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The aim of the legal profession is to seek out the truth and provide justice for those who were wronged. Lawyers represent clients who are on opposite sides of the case, and who most often have opposite views of the truth. In the legal system there exist two opposing views on the method of uncovering the truth. Many people do not think that these two systems can coincide and believe that they remain separate in their procedure and efficacy. The truth system is one which asserts that a methodical, calm inquiry be undertaken into all the available evidence to ascertain as nearly as possible the truth. The other theory for helping to decide cases is the adversary or fight system. This occurs when each side strives to bring to the court or jury?s attention the evidence most favorable to their side of the case.
The American legal system is based on the idea of the fight system. Lawyers are hired by their clients in order to win the case for them, and to bring out only the information necessary to win their case. Many people contest that the fight system has become ?dangerously excessive?, with lawyers leaving out facts pertinent to the case.
I think that the fight system, for all intents and purposes, is the best and most efficient path to the truth. In the court of law in America, one party, be it the judge or the jury, must deliberate and come up with a verdict in favor of one of the two sides represented in the court room. The lawyers must use their knowledge of both the legal system and the facts of the case to convince the deciding factions to rule in favor of their client.
Taking an excerpt from Jerome Frank?s The Fight Theory versus the Truth Theory, he says that, ?we obtain the fairest decision when two men argue as unfairly as possible on opposite sides? . When two lawyers argue ?unfairly? as Frank put it, they bring out evidence and ideas that might not be brought out in an otherwise lackadaisical inquiry into the case by means of the truth system. The basis of the whole truth system is that there is a ?methodical, calm inquiry? into the events of the case. Most often in a courtroom, it is more or less impossible to decipher truth by the judges who were not involved in the circumstances of the case.
If the judge were to ask the questions that he believed were important, he might miss the actual core problem. By giving the lawyers the information and right to cross examine each others witnesses it allows for a freer exchange of the information, and a more thorough investigation into the truth.
The main flaw of the truth system is that it relies on the judge and the neutral court to extract information in favor of one side of the case. With this as the main foundation for discovering the truth, it does not seem as though most of the facts would be seen, it seems too weak.
The strength of the fight system is in the very name of the theory. Lawyers must fight to convince the judge or jury to believe what they believe, and to rule in favor of their client. The fight theory makes sure that ?no important consideration will altogether escape notice.? Justice will prevail for the side that most thoroughly presents its case, thus putting the spotlight on how well the lawyer performs as well as the case provided. This offers more to the improvement of the legal system as a whole, for it raises the bar for lawyers and judges. No pun intended.
Jerome Frank – The Fight Theory versus the Truth Theory
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