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  #1  
Old 06-24-2005, 10:54 AM
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Talking Our No. 1 product in America now is . . .

. . . lawyers. (It used to be steel, or automobiles.) We don't need so many.

Of course lawyers won't change unless it hurts them. We need either:

1) A rule that states "If you lose the civil case, you share in the court costs and the settlement with your client." This will keep shysters, as they used to be called, from mounting frivolous lawsuits.

2) A rule that applies to every law school graduate after a certain date. Each would be required to donate 50% of his first two years' earnings to a special fund, to be used for, I don't know, maybe fixing the roads in their communities, or helping to fund space travel. This will ensure that we have fewer applicants to law school! Of course, after a few years, the numbers will fall off, but it's a good start.

There will still be enough lawyers to defend people in real cases of injustice. Those who go into law just to make big bucks will think twice; those who are called to the profession -- who would work for animal-rights organizations, or would become what used to be known as "storefront" lawyers -- won't be deterred.

Or maybe we should have both rules!

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  #2  
Old 06-24-2005, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulC
Perhaps we can export some of them to help address our balance of trade issues.
THats a good one....we could send them to france and germany.......
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2005, 12:07 PM
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As to suggestion number one we already have that. It's called Rule 11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. File a frivoulous case, it gets tossed and you get hit for sanctions.
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2005, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benzadmiral
. . . lawyers. (It used to be steel, or automobiles.) We don't need so many.

Of course lawyers won't change unless it hurts them. We need either:

1) A rule that states "If you lose the civil case, you share in the court costs and the settlement with your client." This will keep shysters, as they used to be called, from mounting frivolous lawsuits.
We've had these discussions before. From a gut feel, many of us like to attack lawyers. But, they are in a business that is the same as any other business.

Do you believe that a lawyer will take a case to court that he cannot win? Will he deliberately file a frivilous lawsuit to prove a point?

By and large, the system works. If an attorney thinks that he can make 30% of a settlement, he proceeds with the case. If he thinks the case has no merit, he advises the client to seek another attorney.

You are of the opinion that there are thousands of frivolous lawsuits. You conclude this because the media loves to point out a frivolous lawsuit every time they can find one because it sells advertising.

However, you have, unfortunately, been brainwashed by the media. Talk to a real attorney and you will understand the way the system functions 99.9% of the time.
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2005, 01:40 PM
BusyBenz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton
However, you have, unfortunately, been brainwashed by the media.
This is a good topic for discussion here!
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  #6  
Old 06-24-2005, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BusyBenz
This is a good topic for discussion here!
OH yeah...the left can argue how Dan Rather was right even without proof and that its all part of a vast right wing conspirocy.
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2005, 01:53 PM
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The "Supply-Demand" curve showed attorney surplus in the early 1990's . . . so there's actually an oversupply which has driven the price of legal services down. In many major markets, the oversupply is so acute that legal work can be contracted for very low hourly rates and business customers are sometimes eschewing the old big firms for some discount lawyering.

Perhaps the "solution" is to demphasize the bias of parents and high school counselors to direct students to 4 year colleges and universities. Once those poor kids get a taste of that unrealistic living situation, they tend to seek out ways of staying in that playground . . . grad schools.
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  #8  
Old 06-24-2005, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton
Do you believe that a lawyer will take a case to court that he cannot win? Will he deliberately file a frivilous lawsuit to prove a point?
Happens every day. Most of those cases are those in which the attorney isn't doing it for a contingency fee, but is on the clock. Further, it happens when attorneys are indulging a valued client.

Quote:
By and large, the system works. If an attorney thinks that he can make 30% of a settlement, he proceeds with the case. If he thinks the case has no merit, he advises the client to seek another attorney.
Even a no merit case has settlement potential, don't forget that, since there are many plaintiffs attorneys that do quite well by filing suits that are settled for "nusiance value." It's not a hard economic formula when a businsess, such as a corporation or insurance company is involved.
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2005, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
Happens every day. Most of those cases are those in which the attorney isn't doing it for a contingency fee, but is on the clock. Further, it happens when attorneys are indulging a valued client.
I'm sure this occurs, but, I disagree with the "every day" part of the statement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
Even a no merit case has settlement potential, don't forget that, since there are many plaintiffs attorneys that do quite well by filing suits that are settled for "nusiance value." It's not a hard economic formula when a businsess, such as a corporation or insurance company is involved.
I agree with this and this is one area that should be looked at for change. It's grossly unfair when GE decides to sue a much smaller company and, eventually extracts money out of them because they can't afford the costs involved to take the case to trial.

The larger company always has the upper hand.
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  #10  
Old 06-24-2005, 05:08 PM
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Brian, welcome to my world.

Is it any more "fair" when an attorney files a knowingly frivilous lawsuit against a GE, hoping to eke out a $5-10K "out of court settlement", when the company had done nothing wrong, but is going to write off the settlement as a business expense?
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2005, 05:34 PM
Orkrist
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The focus on lawyers as *all* being plaintiff lawyers is way out of whack. Also, most of the attorneys I know wouldn't file a suit they wouldn't or couldn't take to trial and bet their expenses and time on winning. Its one way to get a very bad reputation among other attorneys and insurance adjusters. The legal profession does a pretty good job from my point of view of regulating itself in this way. It may not in other ways, I admit. Defense firms are no better when it comes to financial shinnanigans, keep in mind. Nonetheless, attorneys are out there doing all kinds of more valuable things, for example. There are whole segments of the profession that focusing on plaintiff suits/civil suits ignores, and if more people were aware of it the whole imnage of attorneys might freshen up a bit.

Also, the whole R. 11 thing. Some of the posters here might want to look it up. As well as some of the restatements on torts. It might be a real eye opener. Lawyers are often as amazed as non-lawyers by some lawsuits. Some of the "class actions" that take place in the securities world blow my mind, lots of money, real creative lawyering, and unfortunately, real creative injuries.
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2005, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benzadmiral
... 2) A rule that applies to every law school graduate after a certain date. Each would be required to donate 50% of his first two years' earnings to a special fund, to be used for, I don't know, maybe fixing the roads in their communities, or helping to fund space travel....
You are assuming that law graduates are pulling down six figures right out of college? Assuming that law school was fully financed from the start as well?

A lot of law grads I knew were making a schoolteacher's income while clerking at their first job, not to mention paying back their school loans...hardly an incentive to practice law for the lure of the million-dollar cases...
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  #13  
Old 06-24-2005, 05:44 PM
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Cool Oh, I realize we need attorneys!

Don't get me wrong. I realize we need attorneys to defend us. Everyone always misquotes the Shakespeare scene, "Let's kill all the lawyers" -- even though the context of the scene makes it clear that, once they have done that, the average person will be defenseless against their plans.

I'm just saying that, in a world where kids go to law school because they can't think of anything else to do, maybe we have an oversupply. We did just fine before 1965 or so, didn't we?
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2005, 05:56 PM
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Along those lines . . . check your local attorneys and ask how often a Rule 11 motion is ever brought and how often it results in sanctions. I believe you'll find that the application is not a great deterent.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2005, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
Along those lines . . . check your local attorneys and ask how often a Rule 11 motion is ever brought and how often it results in sanctions. I believe you'll find that the application is not a great deterent.
It happens enough that you don't bring frivoulous suits. I know this falls on deaf ears but your typical case goes something like this.

You file a complaint and they file a 12(b) motion for failure to state a cause of action. The judge rules on it.

Then after some discovery the defense files a motion for summary judgment which says that even if everything you allege is true you still lose. The judge rules on it. Now bear in mind this is a short staffed judge with a huge docket who is just dying to get rid of a case when he can.

Then you go to trial. At the end of the plaintiff's case the Defense moves for a directed verdict. Judge rules on that.

Then if a jury comes back for the Plaintiff the Defense makes a motion for verdict notwithstanding the judgment. Which again the judge rules on.

Then there is the appeal.

Now if you are a Plaintiff attorney and taking a case on a contingency, how many hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars are you going to put into a frivolous case that can be knocked out at any time by a judge who most likely either came from a big white shoe insurance defense firm or from the DA's office. Forget sanctions, the money and time a lawyer stands to lose makes for a pretty good check on the quality of the case.

I'm small time and I typically have 30-50k in a case by the time it goes to trial. Med Mal cases, catastrophic injury, those guys will have a hundred grand in expert witness fees alone in a case.

Now, would you put your hundred grand on the wood for a "frivolous" case.

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