A web posting on a lawsuit alleging financial elder abuse on the part of a priest recently caught our attention. The story, addressed in a prior EoD post, discussed a California priest accused of befriending an elderly woman in order to gain access to her money.
The scenario described in the article is undoubtedly troubling, but more troubling – as a legal system watchdog – was a sentence at the bottom of the post that said:
A priest can use his influence, as we’ve seen by countless sexual abuse lawsuits, in many ways. In you have been injured by a member of the clergy, or by a private citizen, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss filing a lawsuit.
With every year, the endless trolling of potential causes of legal action just gets more creative. A now-former teacher in a neighboring school district was just arrested for having sex with a student. We haven’t seen the personal injury sites asking “have you or a family member been touched inappropriately by a teacher or other school employee?” however they likely are out there.
A point of view that our legal system is broken and that those who operate it – lawyers and judges – work for their own benefit opposed to any administration of justice seems to routinely prevail in public opinion polls. That certainly was the case in a recent American Tort Reform Association survey.
Meanwhile, though lawyers and judges perpetrate some of the most atrocious abusive probate actions covered here on the pages of Estate of Denial®, quests to find a legal champions for righting those wrongs rarely succeed.
Make no mistake, shutting down the activities of bad people doing bad things is important. These lawsuits, however, are necessarily an appropriate route. They also are often nothing more than contrived shakedowns of targeted individuals or companies that benefit the involved lawyers with little or nothing going to those alleged to have been harmed.
So expect the legal industry’s trolling-for-victim ads to continue. Just don’t expect them to be looking for those who have been victims of legal abuse or other exploitation by a lawyer. Past that, every other industry is fair game.
And who says no one is above the law?