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Alderman Pant Rant

Alderman Pant Rant

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Published by lukegilman

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Published by: lukegilman on Jun 28, 2007
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What the 'pant rant' on talk radio misses about lawsuits | Chron.com - Ho...http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/4923294.html1 of 46/28/2007 10:50 AM
Viewpoints, Outlook
June 26, 2007, 11:30PM
What the 'pant rant' on talk radio misses about lawsuits
By RICHARD M. ALDERMAN
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle
Every so often, our legal system coughs up an attention-getting case that provides more grist fortalk-show hosts calling for changes in our civil justice system. The latest example is thenow-infamous lawsuit filed by an administrative law judge who sued a dry cleaners in Washington, D.C.,pair of missing pants.Was the lawsuit frivolous? Absolutely! And should it serve as a "poster child" for a flawed legal system raCertainly not and here's why.It's said that someone who represents himself in court has a fool for a client. The adage certainly provedPearson served as his own attorney and sought to punish his dry cleaners for losing his "favorite pair of pended Pearson's frivolity by tossing the case and could soon impose significant penalties for filing such a lcome as a shock, because it's a fact that frivolous lawsuits are seldom won, and our courts are disposedthem.Contrary to the critics of our civil justice system and proponents of aggressive "tort reform," Pearson's caour court system, which is properly regarded as one of the best in the world. And our lawyers are the peoIf Pearson's lawsuit proves anything, it shows that some lawyers are not as competent as others. But calllawyers and lawsuits because of a case involving a missing pair of pants is like banning all apples becausThere's another side of our court system that seldom gets reported and never makes it to late night comthousands of legitimate lawsuits are filed by injured plaintiffs who are compensated for injuries caused byunsafe products.Tort reformers want to ban most, if not all, of these lawsuits and they claim that eliminating them wouldconsumer. The reasoning suggests that without the penalties associated with launching an unsafe drug, penjoy larger profits and be able to manufacture cheaper aspirin.The problem with this flawed approach is that it has no end. Without lawyers, homebuilders could build leabout being sued due to defects in craftsmanship. The price of a pack of cigarettes would decline becauseaccountable for the proven medical costs associated with smoking. And our stores would be stocked withbecause companies could eliminate "safety" from their list of priorities.Regardless of how the reformers try to spin it, lawyers play an essential role not only in our system of jusIt falls to lawyers to ensure that our laws are properly followed, and to protect people who do not have ththemselves.Our civil justice system is the mechanism that ensures that the products we buy are safe, that services wcompetently and that promises made by businesses are binding (but not to the extent of Pearson demanmillion to back up a promise of "Satisfaction Guaranteed." ) Lawsuits brought by people represented by laweed out the incompetent, the unsafe and the careless.Even more significantly, lawsuits are the means by which those who are injured as a result of someone elare compensated.Not every lawsuit is justified, not every verdict is legitimate and not every lawyer is perfect. Lawyers, likemake mistakes, and some lawyers file frivolous lawsuits. But our system works because judges and jurierecognize these lawsuits for what they are, and they not only find for the defendant, but they also sancti
 
What the 'pant rant' on talk radio misses about lawsuits | Chron.com - Ho...http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/4923294.html2 of 46/28/2007 10:50 AM
bringing the case.Instead of trying to stop lawsuits and vilify lawyers, we should applaud them, and take pride in the Ameribetter system in the world, I'm simply not aware of it.
Alderman is associate dean for academic affairs and director, Center for Consumer Law at the University
VOICES OF HOUSTON
Readers are solely responsible for the content of the comments they post here. Comments are subject touse and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or approval of the Houston Chronicle.
 
What the 'pant rant' on talk radio misses about lawsuits | Chron.com - Ho...http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/4923294.html3 of 46/28/2007 10:50 AM
 
 johncoby
wrote:
BINGO!Thanks for the editorial. BTW I didnt know the plaintiff was his own lawyer. Besides having to pbet the judge is going to hit him HARD with penalties.I wondered why any attorney would have taken the case. Turns out no one did!Thanks for the info!
6/27/2007 2:50:34 AMRecommend (3)Report abuse
 jam102
wrote:
This editorial is totally misleading (not surprising coming from the Chronicle). Yes tort reformer-THESE lawsuits, the frivolous, time consuming, ridiculous lawsuits that have no common sensetaking away a right to sue for neglect, personal injury, etc. Common sense is almost dead in ou- you owe me - has replaced it and it truly is a sadder day because of it.
6/27/2007 6:54:23 AMRecommend (3)Report abuse
 johncoby
wrote:
Jam102, are you speaking from experience, or sound bites? These are the talking points of theAlderman is right on one thing, you cant touch a homebuilder in this state. There are extreme libuyer of the American Dream.p.s. I speak from experience.
6/27/2007 7:14:48 AMRecommend (1)Report abuse
fzysqrl
wrote:
I don't think that "efficiency" is a word that really should be used in this case. It took 2 years fo
6/27/2007 8:15:58 AMRecommend (1)Report abuse
JSKY
wrote:
Tort reformers are masters of the bait and switch. They use lawsuits like the pants one to stir uvoters and then slide in things like Propostion 12.
6/27/2007 8:44:41 AMRecommend Report abuse
Donaldd
wrote:
"And our stores would be stocked with an endless supply of cheap toys because companies coulof priorities."The problem is if you check all the Federal Recall notices you will find Stores buy and do not tesagencies Federal Government screening which is lax to nonexistant to multiple law suits for injuof court in secret agreements while continuing to sell the same items to others who may also bea complaint for $1 million while making $5 million well and good.Only after many suits reach court do Feds take much notice.
6/27/2007 9:39:39 AMRecommend (1)Report abuse
Donaldd
wrote:
"Corporate Conservative" propaganda machine in their efforts to radicalize the Courts are alwaycourt pot. When the injured worker or customer wins a suit over Corporate Business interests treform issue"; when Business screws the people it's a local issue unless 5 or 10 people are kille
6/27/2007 9:49:40 AMRecommend Report abuse

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