The law, he says is (1) random, and it is random because (2) it is so detailed and convoluted that no one person, let alone ordinary judge or jury, can master its application to any given case. The result is arbitrary outcomes (such as we are witnessing in the current church property disputes), and a resultant undermining of the principles of a free society. I could not agree more.
I urge you to listen to his recipe for bringing us back from the tyranny of legalism, which grows in proportion to the degree that trust in the basic framework of society diminishes. The law must be judged by its effects on society as a whole, and not by its results for individual cases. "You can't run a society by the lowest common denominator," he says. And measured by that standard, the law is currently failing to achieve its purpose in spectacular fashion:
Here is a page with Philip Howard's bio and other links, such as to Common Good, a non-profit organization he formed to publicize specific proposals to make government and law more responsive to people's actual needs. And here is the page of Common Good's offshoot -- NewTalk, designed to promote dialogue toward achieving a better society under a rule of law that makes common sense. Here also is Philip Howard's homepage, with links to the books he has authored to date. You can watch his TED talk in high-resolution format from this link, and download his talk in that and other formats from this page.