Why the Abuses by Trial Lawyers Matter

By February 1, 2008Briefly Legal

In our criticisms of the trial bar, we sometimes neglect to cite some of the key reasons these legal abuses matter. In the post below on Bill Lerach, we note the corruption of the legal system, the rule of law, but it’s also worth a reminder of the economic costs of the tort bar’s excesses.

Investor’s Business Daily, recoiling editorially from the prospect of Attorney General John Edwards, reminds us:

While a good salesman sees everyone as a customer, a trial lawyer sees everyone as a defendant. It would be Edwards’ pleasure, not a mere payoff to donors, to rig the system so that trial lawyers would be running downhill in every courtroom in America.

The tort tax caused by trial lawyers — jury awards, defense expenses and administrative charges — already costs the U.S. economy roughly 2% of GDP each year, more than any other developed nation and large jump from the 0.6% of 1950.

As IBD notes, many trial lawyers do good and necessary work. But the profession has been abused, turned into “a shakedown operation.” The solution is reasonable tort reform, not to place the system in the hands of one of the abusers.

P.S. The Pacific Research Institute’s “Jackpot Justice” report does a fine job of detailing the non-productive costs imposed by our nation’s out-of-control legal system.

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