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Fw: Disturbing New Trend

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 United States is a unique but however not only state on the world.
 Perhaps it can be useful to take a look on the justice system in the other
 countries (Canada, France, Germany e.t.c.) and look into to understand the
 differences.
 Nothing is perfect, for sure. I do not believe something can be changes in
 the current system but a fresh look how the others are dealing with this
can
 be interesting.

 John W.S., ing.

> ----- Original Message -----
> >
> > This is a favorite topic of mine (I the interest of full disclosure I
will
> > admit to frequently providing engineering services to attorneys). I have
> > zero doubt that the system could be improved. However, there are several
> > fallacies (IMHO) regarding litigation reform that seem to pop up
> frequently:
> >
> > 1) Loser should pay. This sounds good at first blush. However, consider
> that
> > accepted rule that you have a 10-20% chance of loosing a perfect case
(and
> > rarely is a case perfect). Now here comes Exxon-Mobil (or choose your
> > preferred  large company) - We know we screwed up, but if this goes to
> trial
> > we are going to spend $25M defending the case. If you loose, you will be
> > broke for the rest of your life. Would you proceed with a 10% chance of
> > loosing everything? Most would settle for less than they deserve.
> >
> > 2) No punitive damages or class-action lawsuits. This says to me that it
> is
> > ok to steal small amounts of money or inflict small harms. Say your
> mortgage
> > company is charging you $1/month extra, you find out, and they say tough
> > luck. Are you going to sue them for one dollar? Just because the loss is
> > small, does not mean you should get away with it. lessening the bottom
> line
> > is the only speech large corporations understand.
> >
> > 3) Contingencies fees should no be allowed. First, don't kid yourself,
> > defense attorneys make just as much money as plaintiff attorneys, they
get
> > it as small amounts per week as opposed to occasional lump sums. Second,
> see
> > #1. You can never guarantee a win, therefore with contingencies, no
> attorney
> > would ever take a case unless the plaintiff could fully fund it our of
> there
> > pocket. Should poor people have no access to the legal system?
> >
> > 4) Bogus lawsuits should not be allowed. Who decides? Right now it is
the
> > jury. Who do you think would do a better job [Other than yourself :-)]?
> >
> > I think (for the most part), people who work in the legal system believe
> > that most cases are reasonably resolved. Yes, you hear about the severe
> > miscarriages of justice (and they ARE too frequent), but it is not as
bad
> as
> > it is generally made out to be in the media and anecdotal stories.
> >
> > In summary, the legal system IS messed up, but I have never heard any
> > suggestion (other than small incremental changes), that would provide a
> > significant net improvement. Not to say such suggestions do not exist,
but
> I
> > have never heard them. It seems to me that the key is improving the
jury.
> I
> > am not sure exactly how this should be accomplished, however.
> >
> > So lets here some suggestions that would improve things rather than
> > statements that the system is broke!
> >
> >
> > Eric Green, PE



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