The Time For Justice

Overview

Anthony Curto, acclaimed New York lawyer who has represented Harry Chapin, Paula Abdul, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Freeman McNeil, and has focused on resolving issues in the quickest, most efficient way, has determined that the enemy of our judicial system lies with time—excessive time—caused by numbing administrative procedures at every level that result in endless delays, and no justice for all. This powerful book presents masterful ways to fix the system and uses compelling cases that illustrate how time delays ...

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The Time For Justice

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Overview

Anthony Curto, acclaimed New York lawyer who has represented Harry Chapin, Paula Abdul, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Freeman McNeil, and has focused on resolving issues in the quickest, most efficient way, has determined that the enemy of our judicial system lies with time—excessive time—caused by numbing administrative procedures at every level that result in endless delays, and no justice for all. This powerful book presents masterful ways to fix the system and uses compelling cases that illustrate how time delays can topple justice. A must-read for anyone interested in insuring the swift and fair delivery of justice—for all.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
It is popular these days to write a book claiming that this system or that institution is broken. Often times these revelatory books are delivered in shrill and accusatory language. The writer identifies the bad guys and offers draconian methods to root out the evil.
Thus, it is a great relief to read Anthony V. Curto’s The Time for Justice, a thorough and reasoned analysis of the need for serious reform of the civil justice system in the United States. Curto does not scream expletives or make stinging accusations that liberals or conservatives have hijacked the courts for their own nefarious purposes. Rather, the reader is invited to experience a rational, temperate, and organized discussion of why our civil court system fails to deliver justice in a timely manner, and why that is important.
Curto does not blame lawyers or litigants or legislators alone, although he points out various ways in which each of these players contribute to the problem. According to Curto, the blame should be placed on time.
The author uses three techniques to direct his “unwavering light.” First, he presents an enlightening and entertaining exposition of the case of Esther James v Adam Clayton Powell, a civil suit charging the congressman with defamation. This case dragged on through numerous courts for almost a decade, with Congressman Powell using every procedural technicality available to him (and sometimes open defiance) to avoid letting justice be served. “The case has been derailed by a defiant litigant whom the judges could do little to control,” explains Curto. This is a predicament not exclusively related to this case.
Second, Curto uses a variety of examples from his own experience as an attorney to demonstrate how justice delayed is justice denied. In one of the most compelling examples, he discusses a single woman who got pregnant from a liaison with her boss. She wanted to keep the baby. He offered to pay for an abortion but not to support the child. After consulting an attorney, she concluded she could not afford to sue the man and wait the many months it would take to resolve the case. She aborted the pregnancy.
Interspersed throughout the book are short sections outlining reforms to the civil justice system designed to streamline the litigation process. Many are simple, common-sense suggestions, such as requiring all litigants to attend pre-trial procedures, or limiting the use and length of written briefs attorneys are required to file. Another suggested innovation, expanding the jurisdiction of small claims courts, has been implemented in some jurisdictions. Others are more controversial, such as banning contingency-fee arrangements.
Curto is a distinguished lawyer with an impressive record of representing high-profile clients ranging from Linda Lovelace, the porn star, to folksinger Harry Chapin to Freeman McNiel, the All-Pro running back for the New York Jets. He had significant involvement in the creation of the Bernard M. Baruch Foundation and the establishment of the free agency and salary-cap provisions in the National Football League.
Like many talented lawyers, the author has a tremendous capacity for simplifying that which is complex. This makes the substance of The Time For Justice available to all readers.

Foreword Clarion Review John Senger

Clarion Review
It is a great relief to read Anthony V Curto's The Time For Justice, a thorough and reasoned analysis of the need for serious reform of the civil justice system in the United States. Curto does not scream expletives or make stinging accusations that liberals or conservatives have hijacked the courts for their own nefarious purposes. Rather, the reader is invited to experience a rational, temperate, and organized discussion of why our civil court system fails to delivery justice in a timely matter, and why that is important.


Like many talented lawyers, the author has a tremendous capacity for simplifying that which is complex. That makes the substance of The Time For Justice available to all readers.

Kirkus Reviews
An insider's view of the American legal system--that Bleak House–ish black hole--rendered for the laypeople. New York lawyer Curto--whose client list has included Yoo-hoo, Monsignor Tom Hartman and Paula Abdul--is a respected community advocate who's earned many honors. His book is both an overview of his 50-year career and a lively prescriptive for working through the issues that mire our courts. Central is the author's keen analysis of a 1960 lawsuit that accused Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. of defaming Esther James, his elderly constituent from Harlem. After much delay and misdirection, Powell was convicted and ordered to pay damages, but through a combination of appeals and outlandish human errors, he mostly avoided doing so in a timely manner. Powell's arrogance and ability to work the system are appalling but hardly unique--then or now. To combat such abuse, Curto outlines a series of "Time Fixes" designed to expedite due process by expanding and updating the court system, codifying monetary awards and enforcing court decisions. But the book is more than an eloquent panacea. At its best, Curto's deft handling of the social and legal complexities behind James v. Powell, as well as cases concerning folk singer Harry Chapin and Russian dissident writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, approaches that of investigative journalist Dominick Dunne: wry but never cynical, informed without being boorishly technical, and balanced but never leaving the reader in doubt of the ethically correct viewpoint. Time after time, as Curto points out, "The law gives the edge in justice not necessarily to the wealthy but to the defiant: the party who is under legal obligation to comply but refuses to do so…he is in an ideal position to evade justice by using time and delay as buffers--until timely justice can no longer be achieved." For a Judge Judy–watching society such as ours, the concept of swift legal redress is familiar enough; perhaps if lawmakers, lawyers and litigants were to adopt a comparable, less self-serving view of the legal system, then the notion of "justice delayed is justice denied" could become more than a pithy maxim. A detailed, knowledgeable examination of a failing justice system, along with some solutions for fixing it.
Kirkus Reviews
An insider's view of the American legal system--that Bleak Houseish black hole--rendered for the laypeople. New York lawyer Curto--whose client list has included Yoo-hoo, Monsignor Tom Hartman and Paula Abdul--is a respected community advocate who's earned many honors. His book is both an overview of his 50-year career and a lively prescriptive for working through the issues that mire our courts. Central is the author's keen analysis of a 1960 lawsuit that accused Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. of defaming Esther James, his elderly constituent from Harlem. After much delay and misdirection, Powell was convicted and ordered to pay damages, but through a combination of appeals and outlandish human errors he mostly avoided doing so in a timely manner. Powell's arrogance and ability to work the system are appalling, but hardly unique--then or now. To combat such abuse, Curto outlines a series of "Time Fixes" designed to expedite due process by expanding and updating the court system, codifying monetary awards, and enforcing court decisions. But the book is more than an eloquent panacea. At its best, Curto's deft handling of the social and legal complexities behind James v. Powell, as well as cases concerning folksinger Harry Chapin and Russian dissident writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, approaches that of investigative journalist Dominick Dunne: wry but never cynical, informed without being boorishly technical, and balanced but never leaving the reader in doubt of the ethically correct viewpoint. Time after time, as Curto points out, "The law gives the edge in justice not necessarily to the wealthy but to the defiant: the party who is under legal obligation to comply but refuses to do so…he is in an ideal position to evade justice by using time and delay as buffers--until timely justice can no longer be achieved." For a Judge Judy–watching society such as ours, the concept of swift legal redress is familiar enough; perhaps if lawmakers, lawyers and litigants were to adopt a comparable, less self-serving view of the legal system, then the notion of "justice delayed is justice denied" could become more than a pithy maxim. A detailed, knowledgeable examination of a failing justice system, along with some solutions to fix it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780984900510
  • Publisher: Onward Publishing Inc
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 185
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

As senior partner of Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo, Cohn, & Terrana on Long Island, Anthony Curto has been associated with many complex high-profile matters, but his day-to-day legal philosophy is refreshingly simple: Serve your clients well by getting the issues resolved in the quickest, most efficient way possible. His practice reflects what he has identified as the major problem in the judicial system today—the inordinate length of time that cases take to proceed through our legal system. He practices from a business mindset, isolating the issues, view to the goal, and knowledge of the law to bring the problem to a conclusion quickly and judiciously. Throughout his career, he has also been a staunch advocate of community service, receiving numerous awards, including the 1984 Congressional Achievement Award and the 1987 Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Service Award. He lives in Northport, New York, with his wife, Linda.  

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Table of Contents

Prologue 9

Chapter 1 Powell: The Fiery Congressman Sets a Blaze 15

Chapter 2 Time Troubles: Everyday Justice-and Injustice 19

Chapter 3 Powell: The Chase Begins 27

Chapter 4 Time Troubles: The Procedural Plague 33

Time fixes: *Eliminate pretrial paperwork 39

*Modify service notification procedures 39

Chapter 5 Powell: The Verdict Clips a King-or Does It? 45

Chapter 6 Time Troubles: The Calculus of the Courts 51

Time fix: *Broadly expand the court system 59

Chapter 7 Powell: First Lessons from an Artful Dodger 63

Chapter 8 Time Troubles: The Legalization of America 67

Time fixes: *Require plaintiffs to pay expenses if appeal is lost 73

*Bar percentage contingency fees 74

Chapter 9 Powell: The Gentleman Vanishes 77

Chapter 10 Time Troubles: Uncivil Disobedience 83

Time fixes: *Enforce court decisions 88

*Require litigants to attend their trials 90

Chapter 11 Powell: Disorder in the Courts 93

Chapter 12 Time Troubles: The Problem with Contracts 101

Time fix: *Expand small claims court 105

Chapter 13 Powell: Appeals, Affidavits, Arrest Warrants-Oh, My! 109

Chapter 14 Time Troubles: Delay and Denial 119

Time fixes: *Settle jurisdictional disputes up front 124

* Codify monetary awards 125

Chapter 15 Powell: The Supreme Test-and Beyond 129

Chapter 16 Time Troubles: Unjust Alternatives 139

Time fix:*Keep the same judges on a case 146

Chapter 17 Powell: A Cacophony of Contempt 149

Chapter 18 Time Troubles: Compromising Positions 159

Time fixes: *Expand the role of magistrates 167

*Broaden authority of judges 167

Chapter 19 Powell: Final Indignities 171

Chapter 20 Time Troubles: The New Imperative 177

Appendix: The Short List of Time Fixes 186

Acknowledgments 187

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