In my opinion, the US Legal System, both civil and criminal, along with the jury system just don't work for the average person.
The jury and the defendant are the only people in the court no getting paid. Dismiss the few bucks given to the jury,
When the judge is the trier of the fact, he replaces the jury. The difference between the judge, and the jury as the trier of the fact is that the judge understands the law, juries are selected to insure they don't know the law.
Over the last one hundred years, the constitutional protection of the rights of defendants has been watered down.
Under our criminal justice system, the accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This is impossible, the innocence disappears when the person is arrested or even detained. From that point, the person cannot never be deemed innocent.
Take the plea that a defendant can give in court.
Nolo Contrende --- guilty but not an admission for a civil trial.
There is no plea for innocence, and we all know that Not Guilty is not the same as innocent. Reference OJ Simpson.
The average person cannot afford to hire a lawyer, either as a plaintiff or a defendant. Small Claims court is a viable alternative as long as your case fits under that statutory limit. A solution there would be to increase the ceiling of Small Claims Courts to at least one hundred thousand dollars.
Remember, that hiring an attorney is not a lock on a win in court, and Small Claims cases don't involve lawyers. For the average person, they have a better chance of winning without major legal fees.
Using a lawyer in court is very expensive, and court costs are difficult to win, even if you win your case.
The legal system is a closed system that allows attorneys to charge whatever the market will bear, and they don't even guarantee their work. They should at least give a reduction for their fees, if they lose your case. ha.
In a criminal case, if you can't afford an attorney, you get a public defender. But if you are Bill Gates, you get a whole law office to represent you. Which defendant has a better chance to win?
In addition, today the court of public opinion taints the case, and clouds the minds of the public. Who today can be impartial being subjected to 24-7 media opinions?
Short answer, it doesn't work at all.