Monday, July 28, 2014

Our criminal law, and civil law (Criminal Law I and Civil Law I ) professors emphasized that idea of commission and omission of the law. I am not a lawyer today, but my legal trainings guided, and enlightened me about the realities of life. If we see someone in need of help, (ie. choking) you have the obligation to help. Many USA states have " The Good Samaritan Law", that protects you and I, from being sued, in case something goes wrong in the process of helping. The Criminal Law Principle of "non-malicious" action is key to this. Meaning my intention is to help and without any malicious intent. The "human laws" can be perplexing to the untrained mind. There are procedural and substantive laws involved, and Rules of Court. Oftentimes, some lawyers lost their cases because of technicalities. A simple misspelling of someones name (first and last) can impact a search warrant, or other prosecutable actions. 
It is not easy to study law, lest practice the profession. Many of my classmates who became practicing lawyers spend sleepless nights, researching and preparing for their cases in court. When you choose to practice and become a lawyer, you never stop studying...(most of us thought otherwise)

We make our choices. I am happy with who I am. Comfortable with my profession (not lawyering). I was happy to know, I can rely on my lawyer friends. In 2005, they defended me against a wicked health corporation who denied me of my health benefit. I never wanted to sue the health corporation because I do not like making enemies - I meant, why go to courts, when we can settle peacefully and amicably ? To make the long story short, we settled, after the health insurance company paid my bills. It was a pro-bono case, so I agreed to settle. Some thought, I got a sizable settlement, nope. 
I have been a non-lawyer member of cause oriented legal organizations in the USA since then (2005). Many does not like the Obama Care. But, it is friendly to the poor. Of course, big businesses (number 1 enemy of the Obama care), their intention is for profit, right ?
Who wants the Obama Care ? The poor and un-insured.

The beauty of our democracy (USA) - is the rule of law. No one is above the law. Powerful politicians gets jail time for crimes committed while in office. Our legal system is not perfect. But, changes has been consistent, yet slow.

Human laws  are inspired by divine laws. My lesson from Legal Ethics 101, and Roman Law subjects. I respect human laws, but ethics is essential for a law to be really moral. While in the Philippines, the Dictator Marcos (who was a lawyer) used the law to suppressed his political  enemies. I was in grade school when he declared Martial Law on September 21, 1972. My baptismal godfather (best friend of my father) who is a Philippine Senator and a lawyer himself, was  among the first to be arrested and jailed (my godfather was in prison for almost ten years because of his politics, and trumped up charges.) This is an example of a human law applied against Ethics and Morals. For aiding a "politically motivated accused criminal against the state", you become a criminal yourself, even before the presumptions of your innocence. 

Our criminal justice system in the USA is burdened, and overwhelmed. But, we still have one of the best. Many of those in jail are blacks, hispanics, and other minorities (correct me if I am wrong) I was doing my research at Harvard in 2008, when I stumbled on some stark realities of our legal system. It was a great privileged to meet many legal luminaries and scholars of the law. From Supreme Court Justices to legal authors. I met Archbishop Tutu, one of Nelson Mandela's advisers  during  the Apartheid years in South Africa. I am awed and speechless, with all my experiences, considering I am a nobody. I gave God all the credits. 
As the saying goes, " The simple will be use to humble the proud." 


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