American lawyers used to belong to an eliteclub that “did the right thing,” or so wethought. There have always been bad lawyers,ambulance chasers, and the like. EvenShakespeare said, “First, kill all the lawyers.”Of the major industrial countries, only theUnited States permits:(1)Contingency law suits. That is, theplaintiffs do not have to bear any costs otherthan a potential percentage award to thelawyer.(2)The loser does not have to pay the legalcosts of the winner.These two rules have led to an explosion in American litigation. Well-financed lawyers canfund clients to prosecute. If the funded clientloses, there is no financial consequence for theplaintiff in all but the rarest of cases.Is it any wonder, then, with these rules, thatwe have so much litigation in the US and otherindustrial countries so little? Other countrieshave these guys under control.These are the facts of life in the Americanlegal world. The American Trial Lawyers Association is alive, well, and vigorously pro-tects its privileges. It is the largest politicalPAC, with all the implications of that powerfulposition, protecting the interests of litigatorsand defenders. Remember that for every liti-gator there must be at least one legal defend-er, usually another lawyer.
Your Role in the Legal World:Winner or Loser
In the current legal environment, you willeither be the winner or loser in your legalaffairs. As with most of us, you will sometimeswin and other times lose. The objective of thisCD-ROM is to keep you out of litigation andhelp improve the odds you will win if youbecome engaged in what has become a wide-spread American activity.
Legal Survival Kit
How We Got to Where We Are