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Synopsis

Over the span of three centuries, America's iconic system of justice has made it the envy of the world. Yet, in virtually every corner of society today, we see the Rule of Civil Law under stress, indeed - in crisis. Our courts are mired in delay, bogged down with tens of thousands of cases. Lawsuits often take years: they take too long, cost too much, drain us psychologically, and produce outcomes that no one can predict. Day by day, with each legal experience, people are losing confidence in our system's ability to deliver justice.

Some pundits blame lawyers. Others blame our litigious society. Still others target legislators who add new laws, more regulations, more technicality every year.

But now, acclaimed New York attorney Anthony Curto offers an analysis that is both stunningly simple-and profound. The enemy of our judicial system lies with time ­-- excessive time, caused by numbing administrative procedures at every level that result in endless delays -- And no justice for all.

Curto presents this argument by masterfully interweaving two compelling stories: First, his own unique experiences over a 50-year career, handling hundreds of cases and representing numerous high-profile figures; second, the saga of James v. Powell, a lawsuit against the late Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., the flamboyant congressman from Harlem who was accused of defaming one of his constituents, Esther James. The case, which mesmerized young Tony Curto at the beginning of his career, left an lasting impact on his views of the legal system-and to this day, richly portrays every aspect of how time can topple justice.

Tony Curto shines a searing light on the scourges of time, but offers pointed and practical "time fixes": a list of "time-killing" methods and Processes to speed up the current system and wring out unreasonable delays. And fix the system we must. For if we fail to heed Curto's call to master the excesses of time, we will not only jeopardize our system of swift and accessible justice, but risk losing our hard-won legacy of freedom for future generations.

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