Okay, it is my own word, but I think it makes a point about our sometimes poisonous legal environment. I do not mean our laws are poisonous, although some might be. I am talking about many of our lawyers, and especially those associated with big law or those representing big business.
You might have envisioned realrecht recently in the Wal-Mart sex-bias class action suit the Supreme Court eliminated the other day. Now, I do not know if Wal-Mart was in the right or the wrong. That is not the point.
Thousands of individual lawsuit can now be filed against Wal-Mart by the women who work for or have worked for the company. The point is that women are not allowed to join together to enhance their power against the giant organization, underscoring the absurdity of the disparity between people and big business in this day and age.
When you are dealing with moral people that have not been corrupted by the power and money, big business and big law are often not a problem. The problem is when the only objective is to win, and not whether the issue is properly placed or should be properly settled. When lawsuits and legal issues are settled only from a position of power, and not so much the issues, then legal ethics cease to exist.
I take my word for Realpolitik. Taken from the German "real" to mean practical or actual, and Politik meaning politics, it came to mean politics or diplomacy based primarily on power and material factors, as opposed to moralistic or ethical premises. The term came to be used pejoratively to mean coercive, amoral or Machiavellian means.
Likewise, Realrecht or practical law I use in the pejorative. It is based upon a law that is not based on the actual law, or reasonable considerations or differences of opinion to it, but on a consideration of power over morals or principles to take advantage of those harmed.
It is power law whose entire premise is based upon tactics and attacking the legal process and those that represent clients as opposed to focusing on the actions of the client and, if the client committed a legal wrong how that case might be properly settled.
There is no doubt about it, power law exists mainly because of the combination of mega business in which what normal people might consider large awards do not even represent a fraction of earnings of those sued, and lawyers who are corrupted by the fees paid by those companies that insist amoral and Machiavellian means.
I agree that I am a bit of an legal ideologue that tends to favor the principle of the law over other considerations. But, I think there is too much in the way of tactics and not enough in the way of truth currently in the practice of law. It is what makes the practice of law simply unenjoyable.