Judy and I first staked "open-to-entry" land in the backwoods North of Talkeetna in 1973. In those days, once we left the flagstop on the Alaska Railroad and treked to the cabin, we were truly cut-off from most communication with the outside.
Messages to bush-dwellers read over an AM radio station or a shaky CB radio network was it for personal communication. Even in the mid-1980s, when some dedicated Anchorage lawyers (including now Palmer Superior Court Judge Eric Smith) represented Chase residents challenging poorly-planned state land "disposals" before the Alaska Supreme Court, the bush and CB message service was our sole means of contact with the lawyers. These radio connections gave us the first news that the supreme court had ruled in our favor against the state in 1986.
Today the internet and cellular links have truly revolutionized life in the backwoods.
Here in the homestead law office we are now able to access search engines and legal research sites at a click of the mouse, file complaints and motions in the U.S. District Court through the ECF system, and email documents to a helpful paralegal in Anchorage for mail or in-person filings in the state courts. When the Alaska appellate courts issue their weekly decisions, they appear in our email inbox instantly.
While our wireless link has its limitations, i.e. it is not fast enough for video, it has opened up the ability to effectively practice law, even in the backwoods of Alaska.
This blog will, from time to time, tell a bit of our story about practicing consumer rights & environmental law in the backwoods. I also will be posting tips, court decisions, and commentaries that might be helpful to consumer/citizens facing the predatory debt-buyer industry.