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To those posters whose income is under £37k

(83 Posts)
Ilikethebreeze Sun 26-May-13 08:25:21

The Government is proposing changes to legal aid and to the way lawyers work.

The proposal is that if you earn under £37k you get allocated a lawyer who may not be a specialist in your case, he may be lazy, or have no interest in your case.

If you earn higher than £37k, and can afford it, you can choose which lawyer you want.

So, basically, the more money you have, the better your lawyer might be.

There are also plans to cut the legal aid bill in criminal cases even more [most legal aid for civil cases such as neighbour disputes, and family law disputes has already been cut].

If you do not agree with all this, please could you sign the e-petition in the link. Thank you.

TumbleweedAndSandDunes Sun 26-May-13 08:27:40

What if you earn under 37 but can afford a lawyer, can you still not choose? hmm

ComtessedeFrouFrou Sun 26-May-13 08:30:08

What if you earn under £37k but still can't afford a lawyer?

Astley Sun 26-May-13 08:30:40

But that is exactly how it works now! People who have a lot of money don't pop down the high street and use the first firm they come across. They use the barristers and sols with the best reputations and sucess rates, not something the average income family has an option to do.

How many footballers etc get off their speeding fines after using the 'Mr Loophole' type of barristers?

Same with the NHS. There are waiting lists of you can't afford to pay, but for those who can, there are private hospitals and world renound surgeons.

TumbleweedAndSandDunes Sun 26-May-13 08:39:45

confessed I wasn't meaning people should afford one or have no choice, just asking if it is literally under 37 you have no choice to pay even if you can?

lougle Sun 26-May-13 08:45:30

I think the OP is saying that the qualifying income for legal aid will be under £37k.

Up until £37k you will have the choice of legal aid or self-finance.
Over £37k self-finance only.

But, if you have legal aid, you will nolonger get to choose your representation - it will be allocated for you, presumably from the person who convinced the Government they could do it for the least amount of money.

Ilikethebreeze Sun 26-May-13 08:45:36

I have been on this thread. But I found it difficult to understand.
Once I thought I understood it, I said I would start a new one to help get more signatures.

Now I have a problem, as I cant really answer the questions on here!

So I will go across to the other thread, and ask for some help on this one. blush

Ilikethebreeze Sun 26-May-13 08:46:05

Thanks Lougle!

RubyGates Sun 26-May-13 08:46:54

But many "Solicitors of your choice" don't work for the legal aid scheme now.

It's not as if you're going to get the same legal representation as someone with a good income even now. The changes are poorly thought out, but that petition is very poorly worded.

Astley Sun 26-May-13 08:51:15

Exactly, money has always bought a choice.

It's naive to think otherwise.

Tee2072 Sun 26-May-13 09:03:33

We have a capitalist society, no matter how socialist it is at times.

Therefore, money has always bought good legal representation.

So what's changed? The threshold?

lougle Sun 26-May-13 09:17:57

I agree. I think the difference is that before, there was a pool of legal aid that you could choose from, and now you will be allocated someone.

I don't think it makes a massive difference, but then, I'm not accused of a crime.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Sun 26-May-13 09:19:45

What has changed is that Criminal Legal Aid provision is going to be put out to bulk competitive tender. The Government will pick the lowest cost bulk providers and that is who will be allocated to you if you are reliant on Legal Aid. Currently you can choose you lawyer even if you are reliant on Legal Aid but you will lose that choice under the new proposals.

Another concern is that there will be a flat fee for cases so your lawyer will get paid the same if you plead guilty early on or if the case goes to full trial.

RubyGates Sun 26-May-13 09:23:39

Oh, that makes sense.
I forsee that our already overcrowded prisions will become moreso in the near future.

Isn't that like the American system, where a huge majority of people plead guilty moreso than statistically likely, just to recieve a more lenient sentence?

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Sun 26-May-13 09:30:40

There are real concerns that people may feel under pressure to plead guilty as the bulk providers may have assumed a certain churn rate of cases banking on a certain level of guilty pleas when calculating their tender prices.

Yes, this may end up like the US public defender system.

VikkiiKawaii Sun 26-May-13 09:31:05

No, the fact that under the current legal aid you could choose a professional with relevant experience. Under the legal aid cuts it will literally be whoever is cheapest. Under the new system you could end up with a Sainsbury's or Eddie Stobart Lawyer for fucks sake! Companies only interested in making profit!!!

I wrote a Blog about it the other day if you don't mind me linking it up.

This blog is also quite good for explaining

This one is also good as are her case stories such as the paedophile story.

ssd Sun 26-May-13 09:37:29

in what circumstances would you need legal aid?

itsallaboutME Sun 26-May-13 09:41:19

Why is it Partners earning 37k or not. Is how much the woman earns irrelevant?

StealthOfficialCrispTester Sun 26-May-13 09:43:29

who mentioned anything about partners? confused

ShellyBoobs Sun 26-May-13 09:48:56

Is how much the woman earns irrelevant?

Which woman? confused

I don't think this about the sex of the accused/defendant?

ZillionChocolate Sun 26-May-13 09:50:14

People already get a reduced sentence for pleading guilty to discourage unnecessary trials. Paying lawyers about the same amount of money for guilty pleas and trials is just wrong as there is a vast difference in the amount of work involved (eg 3 hours vs a week). It's intended to make lawyers put their own interests before the interests of their clients and the wider community; to pressurise people into pleading guilty regardless of whether they are.

I don't want the barristers prosecuting and defending crimes to be the cheapest available. As a minimum, I want them to be competent, be able to do the amount of work required for cases to be conducted properly (avoiding appeals and miscarriages of justice) and I want them to be incentivised to do well. The government's plan will destroy any of that.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 26-May-13 09:52:41

This is a very big deal. Chaz puts it very well. Bulk tender. Jesus.
We have already been utterly shafted by cuts in legal aid. Don't let these further changes happen.
Imo the legal aid cuts are actually the scariest thing this government are doing, because they are removing any recourse that lower income people have to actual justice.

Sallyingforth Sun 26-May-13 09:53:51

It's a capitalist society. More money buys better things - cars, food, health care, education, holidays. It's not nice if you don't have the money. But the alternative is communism, and that didn't work either.

PasswordProtected Sun 26-May-13 09:59:09

Watch out now for all the legal insurance products that will spring up!
Even then, there is no guarantee that your legal representative will be competent.

Lollydaydream Sun 26-May-13 10:00:04

I don't think you've phrased this very well (sorry). for a start earning over 37k doesn't exactly mean you can pick any solicitor you want and any legal costs are still likely to be financially crippling. That doesn't mean that. I think what the gov is doing is right but phrasing it this way focusses on the idea that 37k can get you anything you want which will turn people off from the debate. Focus on legal aid will be cut and restricted.

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