Lawyers have never had such a large and public role in how our society functions

By JAMES GRAY ROBINSON, ESQ.Dec 14, 2018 at 6:49 AM

What a great time to be alive and practice law. Lawyers have never had such a large and public role in how our society functions. It seems that governments, groups, administrative bodies, and individuals have defaulted to lawyers to resolve conflicts and disagreements that used to be resolved internally.

Just in recent weeks, lawyers have been asked to resolve election disputes on state and national levels, disputes over press credentials, and disputes about presidential appointments and firings. This is far beyond the roles of attorneys in the past.

I laughed when I read that the media is reporting that candidates in the recent Florida elections are contending that “lawyers were descending on Florida to steal the election”. There are two problems with this position. First, lawyers are trained to resolve conflicts, and it was rare when election conflicts were brought into the courts for resolution. This used to be a good thing for lawyers to show up. Second, lawyers often are faced with a perception problem when they advance a position against a vested interest. Thus, when lawyers show up to protect people’s rights, they are accused of “stealing” something.

It is the new reality for everyone to run to the courthouse when they disagree with something. Multiple lawsuits are filed to cover just one dispute (2018 Florida Senate race). The problem is the judicial system is being Shanghai’d into the political forum. If people disagree about whether an election is conducted properly, people run to court to sort it out. That right certainly differentiates the United States from other countries and is the only thing protecting our Constitutional rights.

The question is: what toll is being taken when every dispute ends up in court? A case in point is asylum requests now take two years to resolve in immigration courts. A large majority of these cases are not tried because after two years the immigrant has already disappeared into the country and assimilated as an illegal immigrant.

Another toll is that unscrupulous attorneys are becoming more and more media oriented in order to try their cases in the Court of Public Opinion. Criminal investigations are minutely monitored by social and public media. It is certainly questionable whether defendants or the prosecutor can get a fair trial when the case is being “nitpicked” by former attorneys on national television

Lawyers have certainly influenced everything from appointment confirmation hearings to tax returns. The recent confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh had legal fingerprints all over them. Whether President Trump’s tax returns are made public will be resolved by lawyers in court. Congressional committees are ramping up their use of subpoenas which will in all probability be fought over by lawyers.

The current President is a one man lawyer’s employment facilitator. I have lost count of how many attorneys are working on his issues. Some are paid by the White House, I assume others are being personally paid by the President. This does not include the number of attorneys hired to represent his associates. Robert Mueller, the Russia investigation special counsel, has hired dozens of attorneys.

What is happening on a national scene is trickling down to the local level. People are starting to realize that lawyers should be brought at every stage of dispute resolution. I used to be concerned about the number of lawyers being created every year, now I wonder if there will be enough.

If everything will require hordes of lawyers to resolve, it is a good time to be alive.

James Gray Robinson, Esq. was a third generation trial attorney, specializing in family law, for 27 years in his native North Carolina up until 2004. Since then he has become an individual and business consultant who works with a wide range of people, professional organizations, and leading corporations. Robinson’s mission is for all people to have fulfilling, peaceful career experiences and work environments. At the age of 64, Gray passed the Oregon bar exam and is again a licensed attorney. You can learn more about his work by visiting and to begin a dialogue about supporting you and/or your business, write him directly at [email protected].   Follow him on Twitter at @divinelightmstr


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