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Legal Aid Lawyers and the Quest for Justice

By: Daniel Newman
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Published: 18-07-2014
Format: EPUB eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 198
ISBN: 9781782252221
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £54.00
Online price : £43.20
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Loren Epson

About Legal Aid Lawyers and the Quest for Justice

This book examines the state of access to criminal justice by considering the health of the lawyer-client relationship under legal aid. In the largest study of its kind for some two decades, ethnographic fieldwork is used to gain a fresh perspective upon the interaction that lies at the heart of the criminal justice system's equality of arms. The research produces two contradictory messages; in interview, lawyers claim a positive relationship with their clients while, under participant observation, there emerges quite the opposite. Paying more heed to what was seen than what was said, it is supposed that these lawyers were able to talk the talk but not walk the walk. The lawyers treat their clients with wanton disrespect; making fun of them, talking over them and pushing them to plead guilty – despite protestations to the contrary. The evidence is damning for this branch of the legal profession – and tragic for the clients who depend on them. What is responsible for this malaise…inadequate financial remuneration? Increased time pressures? Lapsed ethical training? Whatever the origin, this book is intended to show the profession that there is a problem – one that could get worse unless they choose to learn from the mistakes made by the lawyers in this study.

Table Of Contents

Chapter One – Access to Justice and the Lawyer–Client Relationship
Chapter Two – Investigating the Reality of Legally Aided Criminal Defence
Chapter Three – Attitudes
What Lawyers said about Attitudes
What I saw on Attitudes
Chapter Four – Behaviour
What Lawyers said about Behaviour
What I saw on Behaviour
Chapter Five – Outcomes
What Lawyers said about Outcomes
What I saw on Outcomes
Chapter Six – Some Concluding Thoughts: Access to Justice and the Lawyer–Client Relationship Revisited


“[S]uperbly researched and edited, drawing upon a wealth of studies and, more importantly, on countless interviews with lawyers on the subject of their representation of individuals who have received legal aid...Recipes for success are found in each chapter and prescriptions for a healthy professional and personal life abound...” –  Gilles Renaud, Deakin Law Review, Volume 19(2)

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