President Lincoln, Tort Reformer

As America waits to learn if President Obama’s latest health care proposal makes any move toward  liability reform, we offer these words from another President from Illinois.

Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this. Who can be more nearly a fiend than he who habitually overhauls the register of deeds in search of defects in titles, whereon to stir up strife, and put money in his pocket? A moral tone ought to be infused into the profession which should drive such men out of it.

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.

From “Notes for a Law Lecture,” Abraham Lincoln, circa 1850.

(Hat tip, Texans for Lawsuit Reform.)

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