Lawyers Going Wild, Wilder, Wildest

By September 28, 2007Briefly Legal

The Examiner newspaper today continues its series of articles on America’s broken system of civil litigation, “Lawyers Gone Wild,” turning to one of the NAM’s great allies to reveal the wildness of Delaware. From “How they do it: Favorite tactics of liability lawyers that tip the scales for their fame and fortune“:

WASHINGTON (Map, News) – Something unexpected is happening in Delaware these days as the number of asbestos liability lawsuits filed in the “small wonder” state’s judicial system has increased 345 percent in a few short years.

New asbestos cases have become so common in Delaware that state judges are hearing as many as 85 a day, according to Steve Hantler of Overlawyered.com. Hantler, who is Chrysler’s assistant general counsel for government regulation, is a regular contributor to the widely read Web site that covers the costs of excessive litigation.

“Out-of-state law firms are now busy turning Delaware into Ground Zero of the asbestos litigation morass but the overwhelming majority of plaintiffs have no connection to Delaware whatsoever,” said Hantler, who is also chairman of the American Justice Partnership, an educational group supporting tort reform backed by the National Association of Manufacturers.

The tactic is forum shopping, the hunt for the most “creative” of judges, those who view the court system as a means of correcting “economic injustice,” and for the most resentful of juries, who want to stick it to the man. And politicians allied with trial attorneys work to exploit these forums.

Other stories in today’s package.

  • “How important are judges?
  • “Influential friends: Attorneys General can steer millions toward litigators.”
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