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Monday, March 25th, 2002
9:17a - On the Rule of Law


http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?journal=pandemo&itemid=60831

Over the centuries, mankind has continually striven to adjust their environment to their needs.

One area of constant problem is dealing with other people. People have moved from the law of tooth and fangto might makes rightand the divine right of kings to the rule of law.

On the whole, I think this progression has been good for the survival of the species and the planet.

While no system is perfect, nor can it be, perhaps, the rule of law is a more comfortable rule than being subject to the whims of a dictator or strong man.

But the rule of law requires something from each individual living under it. They have to agree to abide by those laws. They have to make the effort to get along without killing others, or subjecting them to abuse, either emotionally or physically. They have to refrain from infringing on others as they live their lives, and respect their property.

This philosophizing was brought about by the recent use of a lawyer to handle contract difficulties with a customer. He expressed surprise that I had not encountered bad actors before.

But when I sell a horse, I do not do a "close" or indulge in high pressure sales tactics. When people buy or lease a horse from me, I try to describe that horse as honestly as I can. I try to make sure the horse will suit the purpose they intend it for. I try to ascertain that they can afford both the purchase price and the upkeep of the animal. If these things seem to be in place, I then draw up a private contract between that person and me.

I learned today that private contracts do not have a three day "cooling off" or "grace period" like commercial contracts do.

My belief that contracts are drawn between two consenting adults who mutually agree to abide by the terms it outlines for the duration was affirmed. Law-abiding behavior is the expectation on both sides when people enter into a contract.

My contracts do not spell out gloom and doom prophesy to compel compliance. The law offices of this country are full of remedies for those who act in unethical, dishonest ways. Lawyers would have no jobs and no position in society were it not for the need to remind the unethical that their behavior is offensive and likely to lead them into trouble.

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