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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 118175
Experience:  Attorney handling education matters.
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Why is it so hard to find a lawyer who will take on govern

Customer Question

Why is it so hard to find a lawyer who will take on government???
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Governments are protected by law by what is called "sovereign immunity," which means that someone cannot generally sue a government entity or employee unless the government gives consent to be sued AND the plaintiff is able to prove "GROSS negligence" which is more than just regular negligence it takes to sue other parties. As you can imagine it takes a much higher burden of proof to sue a government because of this immunity and requirement of gross negligence. It also costs money, since attorneys do not generally take these type of cases without a client paying a retainer fee to start the case as they are not typically contingency fee type cases.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That is like saying if you are part of the government ... you are above the law... that is crap.. why am I held accountable and they are not... what happen to lawyers becoming lawyers to protect human rights??
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Lawyers have to also operate within the existing legal framework and statutes that are enacted. So they cannot pursue a case where there is no legal basis for suing. The law on sovereign immunity is a carry over in this country from England, where the law was you could not sue the king unless he consented to be sued. So, the lawyers in this country are bound by the state laws covering when they can or cannot sue governments.
Also, lawyers are only mandated to work pro bono for criminal cases where a defendant cannot afford an attorney, that is a constitutionally guaranteed right. In a civil case, lawyers have to carefully evaluate whether or not gross negligence is involved in a case against the government to make sure they conform with the legal requirements and they are very cautious with those cases, because if they bring a case that does not meet legal standards they could lose their license to practice or could be fined.