Make a random list of twenty people you know. On the average,six of them have already been sued, or will be in the future.Lawsuits are not filed only because of accidents, negligence, sep-arations, divorces, or contract disputes. In the United States, any-one can sue anyone else.One of Wiley Miller's
cartoon strips is entitledLEGAL MUGGING. It shows a businessman on the sidewalk of a dark street with his hands in the air. A sign on a post reads
"CAUTION: Watch for trial attorneys."
Stepping from a narrow
alley is a lawyer wearing a stocking cap, dark glasses, and holdingout a legal document."This is a frivolous lawsuit," says the attorney to his victim."You can either spend years and thousands of dollars defendingyourself, or we can settle out of court right now."Although this was in a comic strip, what it portrays is notcomical. More than one million lawsuits are filed each year inthis country. How many of those do you think are frivolous, butare nevertheless settled out of court? Thousands of private in-vestigators would be out of work tomorrow if lawyers stoppedemploying them to find out who has "deep pockets," that is—who has enough money to make a lawsuit worthwhile.By putting into practice what you will learn in the pages tofollow, you may well be able to shield yourself from lawsuits andthe resulting financial harm.
TOTALLY UNFORESEEN TIDAL WAVES
You peek out your window. Look! Reporters, photographers,and trucks with big satellite dishes! If you think this cannot hap-pen to
then kindly allow me to give you a homework as-signment. From this day forward, when you read your newspaperor watch the news on TV, start searching for cases where anunknown person is suddenly thrust into the national spotlight.
Then ask yourself,
Could this possibly happen to me?