Tort Reform --- a solution

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by KarlMarx, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    We all know that there has been a lot of talk about tort reform.

    But the simplest way to stop the out of control litigation industry is quite simple.....require the same standard of proof for civil cases as in criminal cases....

    For those who aren't familiar with what I mean, civil cases do not have nearly as rigorous a standard of proof as civil cases. In a criminal case, 12 jurors must be convinced BEYOND THE SHADOW OF A REASONABLE DOUBT that the defendant is guilty. Also the standard of evidence is high, for instance, hearsay evidence is not acceptable in a criminal case. However, in a civil case only 9 out of 12 jurors have to believe that there is a preponderance of evidence that the defendent is guilty. Also, hearsay evidence is acceptable in a civil case.

    What would that mean? Some people or businesses that are guility of negligence may get away with it, but you can be reasonably sure that if a company or individual were actually found guilty of negligence that they actually did something deserving of a law suit. Since the standard to determine guilt or innocence would be higher, the number of suits would go down, since the odds of winning would go down.
     
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  2. Moi
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    Moi Active Member

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    good thoughts. I also think that the legal definition of negligence and fault need to be restricted to their actual meanings. How can mcdonald's have been guilty of negligence or fault if a woman puts a cup of hot coffee between her legs and gets burned?

    How can it be a home owner's fault if they have a pool and trespassers drown?

    There are just too many instances where the law is just ignored...the appeals courts should swiftly and surely just nuke them out of the court.
     
  3. west2004
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    west2004 Member

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    I think it would also be a good idea to help the insane amount of stupid lawsuits if there was some penalty for lawsuits that a judge can deem stupid or frivilous.
     
  4. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Karl...I would agree your idea would limit "some" of the litigation we see now.
    But a great deal, the truly frivolous, would still continue. Why?
    Because most of these cases never make it to the courtroom or the end of trial.
    Companies and many individuals, see the cost of litigation as a financial negative with unknown costs versus just settling for $xxxx.

    Settling is also what the litigating Attorneys are looking for in frivolous suits...They bet on the companies or individuals unwillingness to incur the cost of defence.

    I favor Loser pays "ALL" costs for all involved, that's on each side...This would for sure deter the filing of "Un-winnable cases and allow the defence to recoup all of their expenditures if they win.

    And one more thing, it's the Jury, you and me, that hand out most of these unbelievable awards...Maybe we should start with ourselves for change.

    That's my 2 cents worth..
     
  5. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    I don't like the loser-pays idea, but this guy does:

    http://overlawyered.com/

    And he's pretty brilliant.

    The criminal standard is an idea, but I don't think it'll help to deter lawsuits. Lawsuits are about one thing: money. There is basically no incentive NOT to file a lawsuit, especially for an attorney working on contingency (for personal injury lawsuits, the lawyer takes 1/3 of whatever the winnings are, nothing if he loses). Because there's a high chance he'll at least get something in a settlement, he'll file the crappiest suits you can imagine. And they work on volume: file 10, settle 7, find three dismissed. You still make out pretty good. The more suits you file, the more money you make. There is NO incentive not to file: it's got to be the crappiest suit you can imagine.

    My idea to limit the suits:

    1) Make "pain and suffering" amounts statutory. A plaintiff can get proven costs, like hospital bills and lost earnings, but can only get nominal amounts for "pain and suffering," like $1,000 for a standard injury, $3,000 for a serious injury. This would cut down on a lot. The system really would then be about compensating people for loss, which is what the tort law was SUPPOSED to be about originally --- not a get-rich-quick game for every loser, his brother and his lawyer.

    2) Let steely-eyed judges decide if suits can even go forward. In other words, before you even filed suit, you'd make a motion to a judge for permission. Crap could be kept out this way.
     
  6. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    There are fines for frivalous law suits. In the case Costanza vs Seinfeld, Michael Costanza and his lawyers were fined for bringing the frivolous law suit against the Seinfeld show. (how is that for only being in law school for two days? haha)
     
  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    I give ya a B+, esquire ! :banana:
     
  8. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Aww what did i get points off for:p
     
  9. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    I'll give ya an "S"...that's an "S" for see ya later.
    If you're in your 1st year of Law school, you won't have time to be around here much, if any. If you want to see year two that is...good luck.
     

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