"“A lawyer should render public interest legal service” OSC 5-1, App3-A, Rule 6.1
Uh-huh. I’d say that works about as good as OSC 5-1, Appendix 4, Rule 1.1 in the Tulsa Mental Health Court. It all depends on lawyers having a sense of justice and shame. (So, what temperature was Hell when you were last there?) In my experience living on disability and Social Security and asking for such help and consideration, lawyers satisfy their obligation in the easiest manner possible, by taking only those simple cases that can be quickly settled. In all other cases, you usually get letter like the one I got from Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc., dated September 25, 2012, stating that with so many cases and so few resources, they just can’t do anything.
I debated with myself whether to appeal to the Managing Attorney, as the fine print at the bottom suggested, or to publicize it here. I think it bears on the quality of whatever pro bono services they do give to the poor. The letter includes the line, “I have also included a Motion to Terminate Guardianship that you may file on your own if you so choose.” Not only was no such form enclosed, it had nothing to do with my issues regarding the Mental Health Court.
It has taken me a long, long time to figure out how to express those issues calmly. They include matters of both State law and Constitutional rights, which the Mental Health Court Judge and a Federal Judge have dismissed as unnecessary, inconsequential and even “unintelligible”, due to the unpopular source of the complaint:
• Disparate and biased investigation by police and mental health authorities, on the basis of a disability;
• Manufacture, suppression and falsification of medical evidence and records;
• Denial of access to zealous counsel (replaced by potted plants);
• Denial of access to outside medical evaluation, such as doctors and psychiatrists of long-standing;
• Denial of consideration of the least restrictive alternative (such as simply helping one move one’s belongings and person out of a bad situation);
• Transmutation of hearsay, as generated by habitual liars, into proven fact;
• The actual and illegal use of “preponderance of the evidence”, instead of “clear and convincing evidence”;
• Denial of the right of self-defense, including cross-examination of one’s accusers;
• Limiting the “witnesses”, “evaluators” and “petitioners for commitment” to those “mental health professionals” who benefit from the incarceration;
• Judicial rubber-stamping of the opinions of those same “professionals”;
• Indefinite incarceration on the basis of a disability, for future acts that can’t be proven will occur, especially without a past history of such acts;
• Retaliation for refusing to accept false hearsay as proven fact (incarceration for 66 days in my case); and
• Psychological abuse, even of those with a history of trauma and abuse, resulting in physical and mental damage and deterioration.
Somehow, I don’t think that a motion to terminate guardianship would address those issues. It leads me to suspect that Legal Aid has the same motto as the Public Defender’s Office.
- e pluribus non sequitur plenarius
To which I say (in fractured Latin) – miseresco clientela.
I get the impression that when it comes to unpopular minorities, who can rarely if ever afford or become lawyers (like those in the NAACP), the ethics and pro bono concerns of the entire legal establishment are like one of those huge false fronts on a old Western store. Two stories high and a two-by-four deep. Where even the whorehouse had more substance. Ah, I guess that explains it; all their customers had to pay up by the hour. "