Although I’m not exactly an expert on criminal law, Fox Business Network asked me on December 31, 2015, to comment on the recent criminal charges against Bill Cosby. In the brief interview, I made one of the points that I often like to make about the legal system: Lawyers will come up with arguments.
Lawyers are paid to create legal arguments. These arguments are often far from the core of the conflict. For example, in the Cosby case, an interesting question will be whether evidence of Cosby’s past similar behavior will be admissible at the trial regarding this one victim. That may be an interesting point for lawyers to discuss and there’s good reason for the arguments on both side of that issue. But it’s also an example of how the legal system prevents a real, face-to-face conversation, between the involved parties, which could be far more meaningful than any trial is. In criminal cases, restorative justice focuses on creating a more meaningful process.
In civil and family cases, the legalistic debates are similarly beside the point and unsatisfying to the parties. In those cases, real resolution and a real sense of justice can only come from the parties to the case having direct input and control.
Here’s my Fox Business Network appearance: