Taxpayers finance courts but have no idea of what is happening there

Hardly anyone understands why George Packer, the son of a Stanford University law professor, noted that two books he was reviewing in The New York Times in 2015 — by authors at opposite ends of the political spectrum — came to the same conclusion: ‘Both describe the legal system as essentially lawless.’

Can such an extreme statement be right? A curious reader could start looking for answers here. This site shows how a civil trial court and court of appeal in San Francisco handled a case about the end of a 16-year relationship between unmarried partners. It explains for readers put off by legal prose the background to actual briefs filed in the First District Court of Appeal.

This case study of the California legal system at work begins here …