Tort Reform: The Market Responds

A Texas plaintiffs’ firm specializing in silica and asbestos litigation lays off 8 attorneys and closes an office in response to a tort reform bill signed by Texas Governor Rick Perry that separates claims of injured from non-injured plaintiffs. The firm’s managing partner says, “[w]e are not going to handle as many cases as we used to handle because of the reforms.” (Reg. Req.)

2 thoughts on “Tort Reform: The Market Responds”

  1. The only real way to get these ridiculous lawsuits ended (and BTW, as a landlord in the Occupied Territories of the People’s Republic of New York, I am on the receiving end of several beauts) is to:
    1. Make sure that juries in all neighboring jurisdictions are determining awards, if any, equitably. In NY, to be sued in the Bronx or Brooklyn is tantamount to bankruptcy.
    2. Have a separate board of reviewers, comprised of retired judges and non-lawyers, paid for this, appointed statewide, determine if a suit is frivoulous, or only as an excuse to force a settlement. They would have to do this at random, and be given access to all depositions, and any other pertinent information they desire. If they find that one lawyer or one firm of lawyers institute too many of them, it should be referred to the Board in chgarge of licensing lawyers, with a hefty montary fine for a first offense, and I mean six figures, with a suspension for one year for a second offense, and permanent removal from the bar for number three.
    3. Not permit lawyers to get a percentage of the award. If you reduce the percentage, then you will simply get them to go after bigger and more frivoulous awards. A cap of a reasonably high number for work (hah!) performed, say $100,000, or even $250,000 sounds like a good incentive to win if there is a basis, but will keep trial lawyers out of Wall Street Money.
    4. Not to forget, any time a suit is determined to be frivouous, the lawyer is to be fined double all court costs–and if someone wants to be a plaintiff by themselves, they bear the same fine. However, in the interest of keeping things fair, there should also be a preliminary hearing board to see if there is sufficient grounds to go ahead if you don’t have a lawyer. That way, they at least have a good idea if suing Crackerjacks over no prize is worth wasting the courts’ time.

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