By Mat Wilson

May 28, 2015

Pity the life of the poor process server. If you listen to this tape, you will understand how criminal corporations use corrupt law firms to evade service and ultimately, accountability.

What you hear on this tape is a process server approaching the receptionist to serve the firm with a notice of motion. The receptionist falsely claims she cannot accept service. She calls a law clerk and describes the effort to serve the firm. She asks the process server to wait. The process server wants to leave as soon as possible because he needs to get to the appeal court office before it closes to file the document so he asks the receptionist for a time committment.

The process server cannot wait indefinitely and since it is obvious this firm is inappropriately evading service, he asks for a committment again, in effort to thwart inappropriate stalling tactics.

When the process server tries to further communicate with the receptionist, she says "my shift is over" and abruptly leaves.

The receptionist who replaces the one who leaves is equally evasive. Like a trained seal, she too falsely claims she cannot accept service. A law clerk enters and picks up the document. The process server approaches the law clerk and asks for her name. The law clerk claims she has no name and disappears with the document.

The ultimate consequence of this evasion is that the law firm has accepted service without acknowledging it, and that is a very deliberate and carefully orchestrated abuse of process acceptance.

All the lawyers, in the meantime, pretend they are not even in the office, all tucked away hiding. Anybody want to be a process server?

Why is this evasion tolerated? Why are law firms that encourage this corruption granted the privilege to practice law?

Where is W5, 20/20 or 60 minutes when you need them? Why do investigative journalists target only the individual crook and not these corporate white collar, orfganized criminals who abuse the court system and destroy the lives of ordinary people?

Talk to a process server who hasn't experienced any of the above and then, you might appreciate the extreme need for change.

This grotesque evasion is merely the tip of the iceburg because it is common practice for people who abuse the process to inappropriately dictate outcome and that is absolutely inexcusable.

This brief glimpse into an abuse of process ought to be taken seriously because it highlights a miscarriage of justice in the making.

People frequently suffer crushing losses in court not because they have done anything wrong, but simply because they are the victims of miscarriages of justice. This disgraceful failure of the legal system must be taken very seriously because it clearly happens in both the civil as well as in the criminal arena, and it is not acceptable in either.

In the US, Martha Bergmark, the Executive Director of Voices for Civil Justic, wrote as follows;

"In 2014, a Louisiana woman, J., landed in court after a dispute with her landlord over a $25 parking fee. J., 52, was suffering from cancer and did not have an attorney. The court ruled against her, and ordered her to vacate her home within 24 hours.

J.ís case, which was later taken on by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, sounds extreme, but for someone who canít afford legal counsel, the outcome isnít surprising. The sad reality is that many Americans facing the loss of a home, family or livelihood are going it alone in civil court, and theyíre losing.

In well over two thirds of critical cases in Americaís civil courts, people appear without a lawyer, even though the stakes are often just as high as in criminal proceedings. Many people suffer crushing losses in court not because theyíve done something wrong, but simply because they donít have legal help."

The more significant question is why do people who have done nothing wrong need legal help in the first place? Why aren't they treated as if they are equal, in the eyes of the law?

The suitable assertion to such questions was recently enunciated (December 18, 2014) by Jonathan Rosenthal, a criminal defence lawyer and professor adjunct at Osgoode Hall law school. According to Mr. Rosenthal, "it is time to challenge a disturbing complacency that has crept into the social conversation about miscarriages of justice."

It is difficult to argue with Mr. Rosenthal's skepticism about the proper administration of justice when we have more wrongful murder convictions than lawyers who are willing, available or able to expose them;

"Three in a single week? Weren't wrongful convictions supposed to be a historical aberration, akin to aboriginal residential schools, that have been methodically cleared up? Have not advances in forensic science, the stuff of countless television crime series, eliminated the problem? Did the justice system not learn lasting lessons about the perils of tunnel vision, faulty eyewitness testimony, junk science and police deception?"

Mr. Rosenthal conclusions demands action now, because, as he clearly indicates; "Every day of every year, in cases both big and small, the stage is set for a wrongful conviction. To believe otherwise is to perpetuate a cycle of devastating legal error."

I have personally been studying miscarriages of justice since the 1980's and it is clear and obvious that Mr. Rosenthal is absolutely correct. Indeed, my conclusions to that effect should probably be mandatory reading given the continued tendency to advance miscarriages of justice.

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