Legal Wrangling

By February 9, 2005Briefly Legal

As we write this, the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body, the United States Senate, is debating class action legislation. (If you’ve not already sent a letter to your Senator urging support for S.5, the Class Action Fairness Act, without amendments, please do so by clicking here.) At the moment, they’re voting on trial lawyer pal Ted Kennedy’s amendment to exempt civil rights — and more importantly, labor — class action lawsuits from anything dangerous like reform. This is important to Sen. Kennedy and his pals over at the AFL-CIO because increasingly, frivolous class action claims have become a staple of corporate (organizing) campaigns. Hate to see that cartel broken up, wouldn’t we?

In any event, we wanted to breathe a little perspective into this debate. On the left you’ll see links to a few websites that fairly well chronicle the excesses of the trial bar. Overlawyered.com, thanks to Walter Olson, author of “The Rule of Lawyers”, is filled with anecdotes, cites to real cases and fun facts about over-reaching lawyers and ridiculous lawsuits. Also check out M-Law.org, Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch. There you’ll find the sadly hilarious fruits of our litigious culture, including the “Whiplash Awards” for stupid lawsuits and our favorite, “Wacky Warning Labels”.

To round out your reading, and in fairness, you should also wander over to the dark side and check out the American Trial Lawyers Association website as well. Their defense of the McDonald’s spilled coffee case is well nigh hilarious, made moreso by the fact that they’re serious in defending this asinine case.

Objection, anyone….?