Super-lawyer Leslie McAdoo Gordon calls out our broken legal system
Before retiring from the law, I did litigation work in the San Francisco Bay Area for thirty years. During that time, I came across two judges whom I respected (one of whom I learned, after he retired, was a conservative). The rest of the judges were activists with robes on. At this point, I respect only two judges: Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Otherwise, I've long said our legal system is broken. Many people, including people who like me, consider me a crackpot. However, Leslie McAdoo Gordon, a stellar litigator and a true constitutionalist, ended last week with a huge announcement: the legal system is broken.
For me, the pivotal moment was when I was arguing a motion to dismiss based on the fact that state legislation absolutely precluded the plaintiff's cause of action. I don't remember the judge's precise words when he denied my motion, but I remember the gist: "I don't care what the law is; I think there's something here."
A judge is not supposed to say that. His job is to apply the law. And as it happened, he was so wrong that we not only won, but also got $1.5 million in attorney's fees. That same judge went on to serve on the California court of appeals. I appeared before other judges who clearly thought the same way, although most were not as open about it.
Image: United States Supreme Court by Mr. Kjetil Ree, published under multiple creative commons licenses.
Our legal system is costly, inefficient, unfair, and at the mercy of judges more interested in politics and ideology than in justice. We certainly saw that two years ago, when judges across America, right up to the Supreme Court, absolutely refused to address blatant illegal and unconstitutional conduct connected to the 2020 election. We're seeing it now, when a special master decided that the FBI could raid a former president because some petty leftist bureaucrats asserted that their characterizing documents as "classified" or "top secret" should override the plenary power the president of the United States has to determine a document's security classification.
Something must change. That's where Leslie McAdoo Gordon comes in.
McAdoo's announcement about our justice system and its problems came in the form of a series of tweets. Rather than summarize, I'll simply post exactly what she said:
What I am not doing is "retiring" from public life. I am not closing my litigation practice to "spend more time with my family." No. I am done being an in-court lawyer because: pic.twitter.com/Cqm9Cxlctm— Extremely Leslie McAdoo Gordon ⚖️ 👠🇺🇸 (@McAdooGordon) September 9, 2022
My status as a practicing litigator has constrained me from speaking truth to and about the system. With that constraint removed, I will not be silent any longer.— Extremely Leslie McAdoo Gordon ⚖️ 👠🇺🇸 (@McAdooGordon) September 9, 2022
Lawyers working from inside the system can make some changes, but not the radical reforms that we now need. Some of us will need to be outside the system to do what is necessary & what can only be done by speaking freely.— Extremely Leslie McAdoo Gordon ⚖️ 👠🇺🇸 (@McAdooGordon) September 9, 2022
The decision to do so was made only recently, although after a long period of contemplation. But recent events - national, personal, & with regard to my caseload - have made it clear to me that the time is now right to begin this new chapter.— Extremely Leslie McAdoo Gordon ⚖️ 👠🇺🇸 (@McAdooGordon) September 9, 2022
I may in future again testify as an expert in clearances & I will probably still provide consulting advice to people who need help w/the clearance process.— Extremely Leslie McAdoo Gordon ⚖️ 👠🇺🇸 (@McAdooGordon) September 9, 2022
But, in the main, & for the foreseeable future, I am going to be focusing on our most urgent needs as a nation.
So, I am going to be taking a short break, starting tonight, to recharge & reorganize after my recent projects & also to prepare myself to take up these challenges. A new course requires a clearing of the decks, a re-stocking of provisions, & a re-rigging of the sails.— Extremely Leslie McAdoo Gordon ⚖️ 👠🇺🇸 (@McAdooGordon) September 9, 2022
We need now to screw up our courage and do what needs doing to preserve the Republic. No one else is going to do it for us.— Extremely Leslie McAdoo Gordon ⚖️ 👠🇺🇸 (@McAdooGordon) September 9, 2022
It will not be easy. Nothing worth doing is.
The Republic is absolutely worth it.
And we will do it.
Ms. McAdoo, if you read this post, I'm on your side in whatever you do to help fix our broken system! And if I can help you in any way, you know where to find me.