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With Justice for None: Destroying an American Myth Hardcover – Apr 1989


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Times Books (April 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812916964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812916966
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,415,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on 20 Sept. 1997
Format: Paperback
Mr. Spence takes a long and indepth look at the ills of the American justice system. He, much like Socrates, asks the question, "What is justice?" And like Socrates, fails to find an adequate answer. This is especially true, he finds, when it comes to large corporations committing crimes. He notes that even though some corporations commit crimes that would put a person behind bars for the rest of his life, they are let off with only minimal fines and a proverbial "slap on the wrist."
This book is a real eye opener for anyone who has never considered what their position is compared to the social elite of this country. Spence does, however, offer many solutions to the ills that affect our nation. So, if nothing else, one would get a view from the "other side" of the American justice system. It really makes you think.
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By A Customer on 16 May 1999
Format: Paperback
Mr. Spence comes out of the gate with a rush to explain what the ills of the nation are, dwells and repeats himself for chapters on the contamination of our justice system by the Super Corps and government, suggests ways in which the system could be reborn with new character, mentions some starry-eyed paths to controlling the corporate giants and governmental agencies, then comes down the backstretch suggesting that the answer lies in more lawyers! Perhaps he should have remembered his quote of Willie Shakespeare as to the proper way to rid ourselves of lawyers. Gerry certainly gives the impression that America needs a good shaking out, but that only lawyers are capable of overseeing that restructuring. So we go, from square one back to square one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Truth Hurts 12 Jun. 2000
By Larry B. Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been involved in a civil lawsuit against a multinational megacorporation, and I have seen the truth that Gerry Spence speaks of "from the inside out."
... Too many of our lawyers entered the legal profession because of the perceived "lucrative nature" of law practice rather than from the standpoint of delivering justice for the people.
The quality of advocacy in our free country is very poor because of the focus on "money" and "prestige" rather than "justice."
I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires to understand the truth. Be warned that the truth hurts.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
problems AND solutions 14 Mar. 2002
By Lubug - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm a lawyer, and this is my favorite book about the law. There are so many social issue books in the world that spend a great deal of time describing a problem and then just leave you with it. Not so this one. The book has paired chapters -- the problem with judges/some ideas for fixing it, the problem with law schools/some ideas for fixing them. He has obviously spent many years talking and observing and thinking about what really is wrong with our justice system, synthesizing the good ideas that are out there, and adding his own wise solutions.
Yes, Gerry Spence has defended some pretty unpopular people. He probably took the most heat for his defense of Imelda Marcos. And he does not apologize for this. BUT he is a believer in a true system of advocacy, and if more lawyers were like him, he would lose more often at their competent hands.
Spence has made many mistakes in his personal life and hasn't been perfect in his professional life either. (His stories of his days as an insurance lawyer, grabbing every last crumb from people in despair, aren't pretty.) I think the world would be a much better place if everyone were as comfortable confessing the things they've done wrong as he is.
In all, a brilliant lawyer, complex man, and fine writer. Reading this will make you interested in intricacies of the law you never thought you would care about. He will show you why some of these insignificant seeming details have crucial influences on justice in America and the lack thereof.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring, and depressing... 27 Jun. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A lot has happened to society in general, and the practice of law, in particular, since Spence wrote this book.
On the one hand, inspiring stories of how the system is made to work in spite of its nature are countered with the cold, hard fact that the house usually wins.
On the other hand, the world has changed - dramatically - since Spence wrote this book.
I admire Spence as a writer, and admired Spence as a lawyer until I saw his slipshod defenses of Simpson, and Clinton; the world changed, and Gerry didn't.
His later writings seem to be of a man who is aware that things -the institutional structures of society, including the legal system - are falling apart, and he does not see the relationship between Simpson walking free, and a society that
saw how poorly our interests are protected by our nominal defenders.
From the feeling of helplessness in the face of Evil - thank you, Judge Ito - a lot of people aren't overly concerned
with the fine points of what the practice of Constitional law has become.
They want to be able to sleep at night in peace, and walk the streets without fear.
He displayed an awesome prescience when he said that, today, many people would reject the Bill of Rights out of hand.
That's for openers.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
God's power is on the side of Justice and the people 18 Jun. 2004
By Golden Lion - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If a man labors diligently he expects too profit from that labor. Similarly, if governmental interests preempt a man's land and the grounds for justification are not compelling as necessary for the welfare and security of the nation then the government is expected to pay fair market compensation for the land. A Laissez-faire ensured government encroachment in business would be held too a minimum allowing commerce to flourish through free trade. Often times the Supreme Court did not feel competed too impose their opinions of business on the market and remained neutral.
Federal courts began establishing a dominate of pattern of reversing jury decisions for physical damages and punitive damages award by juries. Sometimes the cases involved a conflict between and individual and a business, an individual against another individual represented by a silent insurance company, or a state regulation against a business. In over 70 percent of the cases appeal to a federal court, the court reversed the decision of the jury.
The Supreme Court ruling in Hancock established that judges held the power to tell juries what the law is. So, Judges instructed juries on the meaning of the law. Judges specific told juries what laws should apply to the case and which laws to ignore. Even before a trial started, a judge could decide, who should win the case. In both the Silkwood and Pringer federal cases involving a federal judge reversed the punitive damages. The reason for reverse in Silkwood suggested that a state could not regulate Kerr-McGee, a private nuclear business, instead that was the job NRC, a federal agency. NRC had over 500 filings on record against Kerr-McGee and no formal litigation. In Pringer, a Federal Judge reversed the Ms Wyoming defamation suite because the stories sold too 26 million men were fantasy and not reality therefore no direct damage could be assigned. Federal courts preempt the rulings and regulations of State courts when the punishments are excessive causing appeal. It seems the federal courts force state courts to preempt. The courts protect the economic liberties of big business. Courts want big business to profit from their labors and make money. The contractual agreements to transact business are protected by the law. The terms for goods and services are defined in the contract and profit amounts agreed upon too do business. A breach of contract brings judicial penalties for the violating party to pay up. Judges are do not provide the moral guardianship of the law. Moral guardianship is the job of the legislative body. Judges defend or champion the interests of law and not necessary justice. Justice is God's job.
Judges are Gods. They can decided who stays married, who gets divorce; they can wrestle children from families and put them if foster homes; they can decide who was right in a traffic violation and who should pay the bill. Judges are the law.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Price Tag on Justice 29 May 2003
By Acute Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This 1989 book is an introduction to the views of this country lawyer; his experiences have turned him into a critic of corporate-controlled America. Spence examines the current system of justice in America, and the crimes of corporations. Workers have basically no rights in their workplace.

Chapter 1 notes that corporations rule the American people. Justice is made for corporations, not the people (p.4). Justice can't be defined; you recognize it when its gone. Chapter 2 says that Washington DC has one lawyer for every 60 people. Lawyers are legal warriors who battle for the cause that hires them. Chapter 3 tells how Spence trains for a trial; the lawyer must feel for his client. Spence tells of the discrimination in selecting law school students. Pages 46-8 explain how the LSAT is rigged in favor of upper class students. Chapter 4 tells how law schools turn out graduates who have little experience, and practice on their clients (p.56); this was not an accident (p.61). Page 69 tells of the "worker's compensation" scandal which exploits and degrades wage laborers. Chapter 6 explains how Federal judges are appointed (p.93). Their attitudes are investigated and then the candidates. The candidate must make "hefty financial contributions"! Their decisions are payment to their political obligations. Electing judges is covered on pages 97-8.

Chapter 7 explains trials as a sport conducted by its rules, with an umpire who can choose the victor. Page 114 tells dealing with a contractor. An insurance company lawyer protects the greedy from the needy (p.118). Chapter 8 discusses the status of wage earners in our society. Corporate power rests on the ability to exploit workers for their owners. Chapter 9 portrays the insurance industry as a type of protection racket: pay or become poorer without it. Insurance companies profit from litigation (p.183); they are not subject to antitrust laws! "Tort Reform" does NOT lower insurance premiums (p.192). It will not eliminate negligence or malpractice by physicians. Pages 194-5 tell of propaganda by the insurance companies. There are no more lawsuits per capita than in 1959, and the amount of the mean verdict is the same, adjusting for inflation. "Tort Reform" punishes the victims; you can't preserve your rights by giving them away. Chapter 10 tells of corporate crime which is over ten times greater than the crimes of individuals (p.198). Government regulators are controlled by the industries they regulate (p.205).

Part Two of this books considers the cures for the problems. Chapter 11 discusses the pernicious effect of the ABA's LSAT requirements for law school. Spence suggests practical alternatives to produce a better product. Chapter 12 is about the lawyer factories. Law describes politics - the power relationships that exist in our society (p.237). Chapter 13 writes about judges. Many came from the ranks of prosecutors. Spence suggests drafting lawyers for judges the was a jury is drafted for a trial. Judges with lifetime tenure derive from Royal rule. Chapter 14 gives many examples of corporate crime that would not occur with this legal fiction. Corporate crime will not end until management is held responsible for their actions. Pages 277-9 tells of corporate murder convictions, and of poisoning their customers. Chapter 15 discusses the evil influence of television: it blots out the real world for a pleasurable and passive mental state. It is controlled by corporations to condition Americans to reject their rights! The networks manufacture audiences for sale to advertisers. TV avoids the mass murders from asbestos to concentrate on personal crime (p.309). Chapter 16 suggest we examine our myths of freedom. If we are better off than other peoples it could mean that corporate interests have not yet reduced us to third-world conditions! [The attempts of "gun control" is one way to do this.] We must not ration freedom in America (p.318). Read this book for an understanding of our current status.
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