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Tort Reform....Anyone Else Interested?

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Revoltingest, Feb 17, 2017 at 11:13 AM.

  1. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian
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    I ran across this today.....
    Will a Judge's Ruling Against CNN Make It Easier to Sue the Media?

    This caught my eye.....
    "Many states have anti-SLAPP statutes in the interest of guarding against frivolous lawsuits
    attacking First Amendment activity. Georgia is one of them. Under these SLAPP statutes,
    plaintiffs have to show a likelihood of prevailing before the case moves any further."

    Wouldn't it be nice if for all suits, the plaintiff had to prove the case had merit before proceeding?
    There's no need to afford only media this useful protection.
    As things stand, they need only a dispute of fact.

    Let's say I sue @4consideration for child support for my son, @BSM1 , claiming she's his mother,
    I don't need evidence, just the claim.
    Btw, here is a pic of our spawn....
    [​IMG]
    Isn't he just a little darling?
    Why won't she support him!

    A fact is in dispute (his being our son), so it would go to trial.
    I filed this frivolous suit in order to coerce her into paying me $50K, to go away.
    I expect her to win, but I'd also expect her to pay $100K+ in legal fees.
    Such extortion is currently both legal & common.
    Courts don't sanction the predatory party.
    (That would be bad for business, since all judges are lawyers before & after being a judge).
     
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  2. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    Meaningful tort reform is about as likely to happen as me becoming a Muslim.
     
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  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian
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    At the risk of insulting you, your becoming a Muslim looks more likely.
     
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  4. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    I can agree with that.
     
  5. sunrise123

    sunrise123 Darkness will pass. Dawn is almost here.

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    In a more perfect world, tort reform would be an interesting topic. As it is, it would turn into gigantic corporations stopping people from suing them.
     
  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian
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    Remember 2 things.....

    1) Crooks & crazies also file frivolous & vexatious suits against other people & small businesses.
    In your lust to hurt big corporations, you create collateral damage to innocent people.

    2) The price your owner pays for your kibble is higher because of unjust legal costs.
    It's why you get dry instead of canned food!
     
  7. esmith

    esmith Well-Known Member

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    Let's start with a very simple tort reform measure. The losing party has to pay all court cost and this includes the lawyer or law firm as well as the plaintiff.
    Might do away with a lot of "rain maker law suits".
     
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  8. sunrise123

    sunrise123 Darkness will pass. Dawn is almost here.

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    Life is full of trade-offs which idealists ignore. After all, a wise man once wrote "An atom blaster is a good weapon, but it can point both ways." The innocent get convicted of crimes etc and the guilty go free.

    Having just been through following CBS/Paramount vs Axanar where two gigantic corporations tried to shut down a fan film which would have happened if not for some great pro bono legal help by a very skilled attorney, I think it should be easier not harder for David to fight back against the corporate Goliath's.

    There might be a way of extending the basic idea of the anti-SLAPP laws, but as it is, I'm convinced that the powerful, corporations etc, would distort any such effort into favoring them. I'm open to being convinced otherwise but I'm not holding my breath.
     
  9. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian
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    I suppose one could defend drunk driving because a corporate CEO might be killed.
    Then oppose reform because CEOs would benefit.

    If appeal to your sense of justice doesn't work,
    could I just bribe you over to my side with...
    [​IMG]
     
  10. 4consideration

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    As a matter of principle, I disagree with different rules being established for different classes/groups of people. I think the same rules should apply to all.

    It sounds reasonable to me that showing a case to have some merits before moving forward would be good idea, as I am aware from past work experience that a lot of money is wasted/exhorted from people not at fault who merely settle to avoid the higher cost (in both time and money) of defense. However, I think the devil is in the details, and I don't have a clear picture at this time how one might establish merits sufficient to justifying moving forward with a case, without risking right to a fair hearing on the matter.

    Do you have an particular ideas for how to improve the process?
    In this case, wouldn't establishing merit be the same as arguing the case?
     
  11. BSM1

    BSM1 Have you seen the remote?

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    Aww...why did you have to use my third grade pic? You know I hated that shirt.
     
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  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian
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    See below....
    Not a full blown trial.
    A judge could examine the claims & the evidence to see if there's merit.
    In my experience, much of a trial is about irrelevant details, quibbling about
    details, grandstanding, & procedural delays. Very little is about actual
    evidence central to the case.
    A judge could rule a couple ways....
    1) Dismiss the suit.
    2) Allow the suit to proceed.
    3) Allow the suit to proceed, but with a warning to the plaintiff.
    Win your case, or pay the defendant's costs.
     
  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian
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    It was the best I had.
    Afterwards, you weren't so cherubic....
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. 4consideration

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    OK. I have no argument. (Give me time, I'll think of some.)

    When I worked in claims I saw a lot of attorneys bills where their "expenses" were huge, and exceeded their "fees" by several times. I might still know some of those attorneys. You might want to reconsider suing me. :p
     
  15. BSM1

    BSM1 Have you seen the remote?

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    That's what I'm talkin' about...
     
  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian
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    Even legitimate charges by ethical lawyers (yes, some exist) can be huge.
    But the court can determine what is reasonable if the payer makes a challenge.

    Btw, one reason it's so attractive to use lawsuits for extortion is that it's cheaper
    to sue than to defend, because the former only involves making claims with no risk,
    while the latter means building a strong case because of high risk.
    The court stacks the deck in favor of the plaintiff in civil (as opposed to criminal) cases.
     
  17. 4consideration

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    I agree, except I would say there are some times (when the case involves the seizure of assets -- and justifying it) where the deck is also stacked in favor of the prosecutor -- dragging on the process on until the defendant's funds are depleted and he/she can no longer afford private counsel, and must move to a public defender. I'm not saying that happens all the time, just that it happens some of time.
     
  18. freethinker44

    freethinker44 Well-Known Member

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    That IS a good idea.
    Frivolous lawsuits are a stain on the justice system, but I don't like the idea of loser pays all costs and fees to discourage them.
    I don't want actual victims dissuaded from filing legitimate lawsuits because there's a chance they might lose.
    I like the idea of plaintiffs having to prove merit before proceeding though.
    Kind of the same function as a grand jury but hopefully more useful.
     
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian
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    Aye, the old "policing for profit" problem.
    I'd like to see government pay damages to people whose property is seized without due care.
     
  20. Curious George

    Curious George Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, suit would get dismissed and sanctions would be held. Also, it would not cost what you have stated...your exaggeration shows the ridiculousness of your argument.

    A more likely frivolous lawsuit would be that you evicted someone and had to initiate court proceedings to do so, and they filed a counter claim that you breached the contract first by not providing livable housing. And the figure of court costs and attorney fees is closer to 10k.
     
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