Lawyers Not Ready for Reform

Andrew Spiropoulos is a professor of law and director of the Center for the Study of State Constitutional Law at Oklahoma City University. He also is an adjunct scholar at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

Andrew Spiropoulos
Guest viewpoint

Like many in my profession, I dreamed of being a lawyer from a young age, inspired by both the Atticus Finches of fiction and the Abraham Lincolns of real life. I have never lost my love for the law and the pride I have in the noblest practitioners of it.

Yet despite my love for the law and for genuine lawyers I am bitterly disappointed by the recent actions of some in my profession.

When the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs asked me four years ago to help study and develop recommendations for the reform of our state’s civil justice system, I naively believed that most of the leaders of the profession here in Oklahoma sincerely would participate in the effort to make our system better. Granted, I never expected that the plaintiffs’ bar would consider the issue with an open mind, especially the bottom-feeders who would be most hurt by reforms discouraging meritless and profiteering litigation.

I did, however, expect those whose personal financial interests were not directly hurt by sensible reform to sincerely grapple with remedying the accumulated flaws of our system.

My expectations were, of course, utterly unrealistic. The profession here in Oklahoma has shown little or no interest in reforming itself. Read more…

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