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Legal aid cuts

19 replies

Bramshott · 16/11/2010 12:02

Haven't read much on this yet, but this sounds like a terrible idea - no legal aid for divorce, employment, clinical neligence or housing cases Sad.

By all means make it compulsory for people to go to mediation first if necessary, but to cut legal aid completely seems like yet another strike against poor families (and women and children).

They said on the Today prog that CAB would be expected to pick up the slack - not sure how that's going to work when CAB are already so busy Hmm?

OP posts:
2shoes · 16/11/2010 12:42

it will affect a lot of people with disabled children as well, how the hell can they be expected to afford to sue for negligence without legal aid

missedith01 · 16/11/2010 12:46

Not only are CAB too overstretched, many make ends meet by running legal aid contracts in some areas of law, so it's sort of a double whammy.

2shoes · 16/11/2010 12:48

isn't CAB a charity though?

Chil1234 · 16/11/2010 13:06

There is planned to be an increase in no win, no fee type arrangements - also, some of the categories excluded will still be covered if the circumstances are particuarly severe.

Bramshott · 16/11/2010 13:40

And is that a good think Chill? I thought most decent lawyers didn't do "no win, no fee" work?

OP posts:
popelle · 16/11/2010 13:51

Bramshott- I don't think many decent lawyers do legal aid. When I was a receptionist for a law firm they always used to refer to legal aid lawyers as being the dregs of the profession.

GrimmaTheNome · 16/11/2010 13:58

I had a thought re divorce - that if mediation fails and they have to go to law then the two parties must share legal expenses equally. So that you couldn't get the situation of rich bloke hiring hotshot while wife couldn't afford anything (or vv).

2rebecca · 16/11/2010 15:06

People who don't get legal aid have to think hard before going to a solicitor though so I think people sorting more stuff out without solicitors is a good thing.
If you aren't paying it's easy to threaten someone with a solicitor.

thereiver · 19/11/2010 00:37

stop all legal aid. create a public defence system like the cps. you go to court your given a lawyer and you get what your given. they could be paid at around £20-25000 pa. it would be a job for newly qualified or rubbish lawyers after all thats what the cps use

reesel · 17/02/2011 22:00

The Legal Aid Cuts are going to mean that

  1. If you lose your job unfairly/or are unfairly selected for redundancy you will not get Legal Aid to help you get compensation for unfair dismissal
  2. If you have a probelm with Benefits it will be very difficult to get specialist help to help you dispute a refusal of Disability Living Allowance, Job Seekers Allowance, Income support,Carers Allownace. (Most CABx fund their specialist advice workers via legal aid.)
  3. If you have housing Problems you will only get help via legal Aid if you are at the point that your home is in danger of reposession ( whereas help earlier might have saved you from going to court).
  4. You will only get help with debt problems if you are in danger of losing your home.So if the bailiffs wrongfully force their way into you home and take your things , you are on your own.

  1. You will only get help with divorce if you are victim of Domestic violence.

I don't think these changes are fair - but as only families in difficult situations, disabled people and people with little money will suffer - I wonder who will care...?
Mellowfruitfulness · 17/02/2011 23:16

Great post Reesel.

I also worry that when the NHS is privatised, without Legal Aid it will be impossible/more difficult to challenge malpractice. (Although I don't know if that sort of case qualifies for Legal Aid, tbh).

thereiver · 18/02/2011 18:22

but why should i pay for your divorce? i did mine myself no probs no costs (i had them pinned on the 3rd party) also for around £20 per annum your household insurance will provide cover i have had it for several years now and used it several times both for advice and action.
the easy answer though is to create a public defenders team. just like the CPS you go and they give you a solicitor. if arrested one is sent to you if a dispute you pay a fixed fee say £50-100 and they represent you.

and most advice can be found on line anyways.
also please remember there are as many poor men out there as there are poor women, and most of them have been paid poor by women, greedy lawyers and stupid divorce court decisions. the easiest way there is you have an affair your to blame end of story.

ScramVonChubby · 18/02/2011 18:29

It is scary.

There's a stat that ATOS (people who assess for ESA and shortly PIP that replaces DLA) have 70% of their refusals overturned when the appellant has proper representation.

70%. isn't that ridiculous?

Their Legal Aid will be refused though now and the overturn rate for unrepresented cases is in the thirties (still ridiculously high- what on earth did Government award contract for PIP to them for? Appeals cost £££).

So we can assume that about 40% of ESA and PIP claims will be turned down wrongly but the claimant will have no chance of success.

Fab. Social justice at it's best.

Wrt to amrital advice, a friend was left by her H over Christmas, boxing day to be rpecise, with their 3 kids. He cannot afford to pay for maintennace he says, she has had to give up nwork as one child is disabled and he won't help with care any more.

Can't afford? Poeple, he earns over the £2k per week CSA limit! But is giving much of that to a Lawyer now to try and argue his ass out of paying anything at all. it's not the Lawyer who is wrong, but the man: he is in fact a shit. And one that is on a winner if wife loses legal aid I guess.

ScramVonChubby · 18/02/2011 18:31

'So that you couldn't get the situation of rich bloke hiring hotshot while wife couldn't afford anything (or vv).

But if wide really cannot afford a penny, wouldn;t a half share stop her being able to get defence?

Mum I know faces a good time on Carer's Allowance and IS benefits. no chance of ehr getting flexi working as she works for a council that has put all staff on redundancy notice anyway.

Cannot see how it will help her tbh. And to me she counts as one of the very vulnerable now.

ManateeEquineOhara · 25/02/2011 07:16

What a horrible Tory plan. Plus how would the mediation work in cases of domestic abuse. My ex wouldn't divorce me anyway, he just refused to return the documents, getting him nto mediation would be impossible. This is more of the Tory hate against single parents showing its ugly head in their policies Angry

wordfactory · 25/02/2011 09:51

Having been a lawyer for over ten years, I am worried about the erosion of access to justice.

However, I will be honest and say many publicly funded clients waste costs. They argue about things that paying clients would not.
I can't tell you how many idiotic letters I was asked to write...

I too wonder if a public legal body might be cheaper to run. Instead of all those tiny firms trying to make a profit, each with their own IT systems, support staff etc, whether it would be better to have regional offices covering the lot.

dotnet · 25/02/2011 10:53

Does anyone know whether the mediation people will have to enter into, when considering divorce, will be free, or they'll have to pay?

Sounds like a governmental moneymaking venture to me.

Please put me in the picture if you know, as I a-know-a nuuurthing (Manuel type voice).

Niceguy2 · 25/02/2011 11:23

However, I will be honest and say many publicly funded clients waste costs. They argue about things that paying clients would not.
I can't tell you how many idiotic letters I was asked to write...

Exactly. A good friend of mine is a family law solicitor and its shocking.

Whilst I think its a real shame that legal aid is cut, we have to get real and accept that as a country we cannot afford everything and cuts must be made somewhere.

ScramVonChubby · 25/02/2011 11:30

So a halfway then? Alimit on Legal Aid that could have an extension applied in exceptional circs?

If thsi limits access for the disabled wrongly assessed for help, women wanting to get out of a DV marriage, etc then it's deeply morally wrong. There has to be a better solution.

I am offering to do a little free advocacy for some people I know, but there's a very hard limit on what i an do and not impact on my own chances to make a living (it's the same as asda givinge veryone free food). Doesn;t work. but training and experience cost.

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