Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ending frivolous lawsuits: my proposal

Which isn't actually mine:
If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, 17 then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. 18 The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, 19 then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. 20 And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. 21 Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
(Deuteronomy 19:16-21)
Interesting, isn't it, that here the lex talionis is applied — not to actual harm, but — to intended harm?

Contrast this with the state of affairs in America, where literally anyone can sue literally anyone for literally anything. Win or not, those thousands of dollars, and hundreds of hours, are gone, gone, gone.

So my proposal is that failed lawsuits result in penalties for the false suit-bringer. Bring back the concept of frivolous lawsuits. At the very least the loser must pay attorney's fees plus some sort of compensatory damages. A little in-kind restitution wouldn't hurt.

Unethical lawyers, living as they do on human misery — on the exacerbation and exploitation of which they make their tidy little living — wouldn't much like it. Anyone who's ever lost part of his life to some itchy suer and his vicious attack-dog lawyer would think it was pretty cool... and pretty just.


Aaron said...

We could start with some of these folks.

LeeC said...

Yeah, I've been saying this for years.

I think we would be totally stunned at how something like this might help our economy on all levels and bring back much needed justice.