Liable But Not Culpable, Part 3: Lexplaining The Reasonable Person and Civil Justice

Welcome to the third part of our interesting investigation of intent here on Lawyers & Liquor, where we strive to provide baby lawyers and law students with a profane purview of the legal profession.  I’m your host with little to say and 1,500+ words to say it in, the Boozy Barrister.

So, like we’ve covered every other time, this guide isn’t really aimed at lawyers.  I mean, at least not good lawyers who paid attention during their first year of law school and therefore have a semi-firm grasp on these basic fucking concepts.  I mean, these are concepts so basic they get a latte from the same Starbucks every damn day.  You should know this shit well before now if you’re an attorney and any where the day-to-day practice of lot and not busy being some in-house asshole who forms their furniture solely out of frightened interns and sales representatives.  It’s basic and fundamental to the practice of law to understand the question of states of mind and intent in the civil and criminal law system, that’s what we’re getting at here.

And we’ve gone through it now.  Last time and the time before that we looked at the basic differences between the criminal and civil justice system and the standards of proof used, and then at the question and definition of what “intent” and “mens rea” mean in regards to the criminal justice system alone.  And that was some dense shit, man. This time, though, we’re going to go into the sort of law that most of the people out there are going to be experienced with at some point in their life, and that’s civil justice.  Because life isn’t a fucking Law & Order episode where a random celebrity is going to show up and commit some horrible crime against us, no matter how many times Kevin Spacey tries to break into your bedroom at night.

So, without taking up any more of my precious intro space, let’s lead ourselves down the garden path of civil intent and its meaning in this, our penultimate installment in our multi-part series.

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Liable but not Culpable, Part 2: Lexplaining Intent in the Criminal System

Welcome to the second installment of the Lawyers & Liquor series on the difference between the criminal and civil justice systems.  I’m your host, the Boozy Barrister.

So last time we talked about the general differences between the criminal and civil justice systems.  We talked about the difference between the burdens of proof necessary to hold someone responsible for an offense, the intention of the two systems, the nature of who is bringing a case, the punishments, and where the basis for criminal and civil law is found.  That was all leading up to today’s discussion, which could possibly be useful for lawyers that have lost half of their brain, or may have been practicing in one area for so long that they’ve forgotten the differences when they switch fields.

So, today on Lawyers & Liquor, and without any further dilly dallying back and forth, we’re going to start talking about the concept of mens rea in both the civil and criminal systems.

Let’s start with a conversation today about mens rea and criminal law because, once fucking again my wonderful little shit stains, this shit is somewhat complex and I’m basically boiling down like three weeks of criminal law courses into a single goddamn post for you.

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Liable But Not Culpable: Lexplaining The Criminal and Civil Justice Systems, Part 1

It’s May! Well, it’s halfway through May, and so in my infinite wisdom and general niceness, because I’m simply on heck of a guy who cares about those lowly law students, I’ve decided that I’m going to do a bit of a primer on a key difference in law that most people don’t understand.  Hell, I’ve met lawyers that don’t really understand it. It’s because the difference that we’re talking about here is the difference between criminal culpability and civil liability, and the difference between what criminal intent and civil intent are.

Have I gone long enough without cussing that it won’t show up on the article previews in social media? Thank fuck.  Alright, listen, if you’re a lawyer and you don’t already know this shit, hand in your law license.  There is literally no reason for you to be practicing law. No reason, whatsoever. This is some basic ass shit, like, so basic we’re talking “pumpkin spice latte wearing ugg boots” levels of basic.   There’s absolutely no reason a practicing attorney shouldn’t already be aware of this first-year-of-law-school bullshit, but it was requested by a reader that I dig into the difference between the two, and that’s what we’re going to do today: the difference between civil liability and criminal culpability.

But before I even start to talk about that, the difference in the state of mind needed and the types of shit that happens, we gotta make sure the non-lawyers out there understand the difference between criminal and civil.  And that means, of course, that we’re going to end up doing a Lexplanation (you like that? I like it.  It’s a portmanteau of lex, the Latin for law, and explanation, the English for “talking slowly and loudly to morons”).

So, I don’t know guys, go get some coffee or something and see what Popehat is up to? He’s normally got some decent shit on his site.  I’ll be over here forcefeeding basic legal knowledge to muggles and walking malpractice suits.

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NCCU and the ABA – A Clash of Wills

OH HAPPY DAY!

So you guys may be familiar with my longstanding opinion that the ABA is something we could do without.  It has, for generations now, served as a governing body without a profession to govern, choosing to suggest things and come up with resolutions regarding the practice of law that are entirely non-binding on attorneys. In short, the ABA is the government-that-never-was, dictating the standards and admissions of exactly 0 attorneys and offering nothing more than a series of possible discounts in the form of malpractice insurance and rental car agreements for the attorney who thinks it may mean something, someday.  But, unfortunately, this lack of say has not extended to the law schools that educate the attorneys of our fair nation, and the ABA, as the accrediting body for these august institutions of assholery, has long maintained a stranglehold on the profession by governing where someone seeking to learn how big of a mistake lawyering is can go.

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Young Lawyers: You Won’t Get Rich

Face the facts, folks, law school isn’t cheap.  Unless you’re at an in-state school paying in-state tuition for a decent in-state program, expect your three year journey through the fires of hell to cost you somewhere in the realm of six figures, if not more.  The freshly minted attorney will step blinking from the birth canal of the bar exam owing as much to the federal government, or to private student loan lenders, than it would take to buy a house in most parts of the country. But, of course, it will all be worth it because once they have the ability to earn in the legal field, those young bucks and buckettes will rake in the dough hand over fist, right?

Oh you poor, poor deluded asshole.

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