Justice for All
Jeff Smith will work to make access to the justice system easier and fairer for Illinoisans.
- Representative Activities:
- Work in legal services clinics and offices
- Former staff attorney, Loyola Community Law Center
- Attendee, Harvard Law School public interest law symposia
- Over 20 years of general practice, typically representing small businesses and average persons
Every year, scores of new laws are passed in Illinois, making the legal system that the average citizen or business must navigate ever more complex. New technological tools have made it possible for more cases to be expanded to resemble larger cases. Yet real incomes have not kept up with the increase in complexity or cost of legal services.
The result is that for an increasing number of persons, businesses, and problems, access to our system of justice — and compliance with the law itself — has become difficult to impossible in the ordinary matter. Good clients with good but small cases often cannot find counsel. Attorneys often cannot efficiently handle the small file. The vast amount of law creates traps for the unwary, and vests government with enormous discretion.
I am committed to working to reduce the administrative and paperwork burdens, and the sheer cost, involved in complying with law and seeking justice.
I oppose the increase of fees for resort to the courts, which burden the small litigant disproportionately.
I oppose and will work to prevent the imposition of taxes on legal services, which will only increase costs at all levels and be passed on to the ultimate legal consumer.
I favor reduced reliance on a penal system that incarcerates too many, and would look for ways to redistribute savings from diversion into increased access to justice.
I favor increased use of statutes that award attorney fees to the prevailing party, especially in smaller cases, which will discourage both the filing of frivolous cases and a "so sue me" mentality.
I invite your suggestions and ideas as well.
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