Monday, July 19, 2004

Trial Lawyers

I'd rather deter torts and compensate their victims through litigation, and the threat of litigation, than resort to legislation and regulation. (Resorting to legislation and regulation is, as the cliche goes, like taking a shotgun to a fly.) Litigation, however, has become legislation via the courts. And, in most States, it's really a get-rich-and-stay-rich scheme for a bunch of trial lawyers.

Tort law, as practiced by John Edwards and his ilk, goes beyond deterring and rectifying torts. The mind-boggling awards and settlements gleaned by trial lawyers, with the permission of the States, have bad consequences for consumers: higher prices and fewer products and services -- medical services among them. Edwards and company may care about the "little guy" who can bring them big bucks; they care nothing for the many little guys who pay higher prices and find medical care harder to get.

Tort reform is as overdue as a deadbeat's car payments. But tort reform isn't possible if Democrats are in power.

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