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Construction Law Today

Lawyers Make the Law Too Difficult

Posted in Quotes

Portrait of US Supreme Court Justice Robert H JacksonA US Supreme Court justice once lamented how lawyers make the law incomprehensible to most who must live and work under it:  

"The legal profession, like many another, tends to become over-professionalized.  We forget that the law is the rule for simple and untaught people to live by.  We complicate and over-refine it as a weapon in legal combat until we take it off the ground where people live and into the thin atmosphere of sheer fiction. "

292 (1941)

And that was in 1941!  Back when, by today’s standard, the law was a lot simpler.

One of the principal goals of this blog is to counter the trend Justice Jackson lamented.  So, please e-mail and post comments on how you think we can do it better.

  • I like the post Josh. I hope that Musings simplifies things as well, I know your blog does just that.

  • Life, information, the law … it seems like everything gets more and more complicated.
    You are doing a great job of your part of making things clear though Josh, one post at a time. Keep up the good work!!

  • Great, great quote from Justice Jackson. I frequently get frustrated by this same issue, and it’s especially apparent to my clients who – like yours – are in the construction industry.
    When they need to file a lien they learn about 100 requirements that are there to protect the parties…but the parties had no idea those requirements existed.
    When they have a dispute, they learn about crazy interpretations of their contract’s various provisions, and a number of other things that are there to govern their relationship with some other party…but as between those parties, they had no idea those interpretations or requirements existed.
    Nice to hear this frustration put into words.