The Law As a Friend

by Adriana Noton - Date: 2010-10-11 - Word Count: 550 Share This!

Although many might disagree on the surface, the law is our friend. A society ruled by written rules rather than by the whim of any one leader or institution is fortunate indeed. These enforceable regulations control the actions of all in a society, and those who operate as if they were 'above the law' are generally not acting for the good of others.

The average citizen obeys the rules in most matters. Traffic violations are common lapses, as many people exceed the speed limits set on roads or try to beat traffic stoplights. Some individuals may try to circumvent taxes and some may work in areas where set rules have not yet been designed. But in the main, most people operate legally - following the rules of conduct - in their lives and business dealings.

These rules define the authority and actions of government and businesses as well as those of the people of a country. Property laws keep us from seizing or infringing on our neighbors' property, but keeps it safe from public seizure as well. Financial firms, manufacturing companies, and businesses large and small are bound to operate in ways that are legal or face prosecution.

Sometimes we run afoul of the rules, by driving under the influence of an unlawful drug, for instance, or trespassing by intent or accident. The police are usually the front line of enforcement, unless the property infringement is against a government institution, when military police or civil servants may enforce the statutes. The police make an arrest, but further action is for judicial officials to decide, from magistrates to the judges appointed to all levels of the court system.

But far more often we use legal help to appeal for recourse in times of distress. The police who may intimidate us on rare occasions spend far more time protecting us, keeping the streets and highways safe and guarding our homes from criminals who attempt to rob and destroy. Legal standards of business practice keep us from being defrauded, sold inferior foods and drugs, or harmed by unsafe household chemicals and appliances, and give us protection against damage to health and well-being caused by improper performance in the goods and services we buy.

Those of us who feel that we have been defrauded can get legal help and advice. Whether the issue is medical malpractice, failure of insurance coverage, contract violation, improper performance of workmen or employers, or personal injury suffered because of the actions of others, retaining the services of a lawyer is so important that it can be a legal right (in criminal cases).

An attorney, a lawyer, legal counsel - these are all terms for those who have been trained in legal matters and licensed to practice their craft. It is wise to get the exact kind of legal advice you need, since many areas of jurisprudence are very specialized and require expert handling. Anyone may read the written codes in a free society, but few may understand them. The rules we live by are based in part on codes and in part on historic interpretations of those rules.

Regarding the law as an enemy or something to be feared is short sighted. Rather, all should recognize the importance of these bonding rules in a civilized world and seek to both uphold and protect them as an invaluable national treasure.

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