Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

We Won’t See You in Court: The Era of Tort Lawsuits is Waning

State restrictions, increasing cost and a long campaign by b admin07/24/17
I havn't been practicing long enough to have much insight. vespucius07/24/17
The insurers and their lobby have beaten the little guy. Whe guyingorillasuit07/24/17
Insurers and business in general. Consumer protection laws vespucius07/24/17
Its definitely true that most cases dont go to trial. I wor vespucius07/24/17
One can't dispute that the days of litigation are long over. trickydick07/24/17
Good post. karlfarbman07/25/17
Yep that about sums it up jackiechiles07/31/17
This is a bad thing for everyone other than big business. It physicssezno07/25/17
Almost more noticeable is the % of claims that are now debt karlfarbman07/25/17
in many states Comp and even basic auto claims go through AL vohod07/25/17
Leave it to the WSJ to make the article about those greedy t physicssezno07/25/17
debt collector and landlord lawsuits are OVER HALF of all th triplesix07/25/17
Courts love collections calendars 60 cases at $90-250 a pop vohod07/25/17
admin (Jul 24, 2017 - 7:03 pm)

State restrictions, increasing cost and a long campaign by businesses has discouraged plaintiffs

https://t.co/7zWgRz0HkD

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vespucius (Jul 24, 2017 - 7:18 pm)

I havn't been practicing long enough to have much insight. Most of the lawsuits I defended had tremendous merit, as well as the ones I have prosecuted.

I have definitely seen tort reform ruin an entire area of law for plaintiffs.

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guyingorillasuit (Jul 24, 2017 - 7:16 pm)

The insurers and their lobby have beaten the little guy. Whether or not this is a good thing remains to be seen.

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vespucius (Jul 24, 2017 - 7:20 pm)

Insurers and business in general. Consumer protection laws are being eroded all over the place.

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vespucius (Jul 24, 2017 - 7:22 pm)

Its definitely true that most cases dont go to trial. I worked with people who were litigators, not trial lawyers. Didnt know the first thing about evidence.

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trickydick (Jul 24, 2017 - 7:51 pm)

One can't dispute that the days of litigation are long over. Real tort trial lawyers appear to have gone out with L.A. Law whose run seems to have (not coincidentally) been concurrent with peak tort practice. At least everyone I talk to who was practicing back then claims the PI game completely changed in the 80's and 90's.

But while fewer lawsuits are being filed, I'd argue that the number of insurance claims being filed is actually going up. Insurance actuaries and plaintiffs' attorneys have merely gotten better about valuing cases and have thereby supplanted a lot of the need or justification for filing suit in most cases.

Most of the cases that make their way into my PI mill are simply garbage, not even worth $10k gross. Only the cases worth $20k to $50k at least are worth seriously considering a lawsuit. And although I haven't practiced long, "litigation" in your typical PI case is usually a set piece game like tic-tac-toe with very limited tactics where the outcome becomes very clear early on. You have your routine discovery and either this pretty much shows you where the case is going, or some time is wasted on discovery motions, the outcome of which is fairly decisive. I was practicing over a year before I had my first trial and what I realize is that trials are becoming obsolete for just the reasons I outlined. But the PI mill I work for has no scarcity of claims to handle.

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karlfarbman (Jul 25, 2017 - 8:35 am)

Good post.

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jackiechiles (Jul 31, 2017 - 10:05 pm)

Yep that about sums it up

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physicssezno (Jul 25, 2017 - 8:29 am)

This is a bad thing for everyone other than big business. It's certainly bad for lawyers. The bottom line is the civil justice system is being used in the majority of cases by debt collectors and landlords but rarely by the injured person against the insurance company because the laws restricting compensation and bs culture of tort deform clearly hit injured people and not debt collectors.

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karlfarbman (Jul 25, 2017 - 8:35 am)

Almost more noticeable is the % of claims that are now debt collections/evictions v. back then. They are titled contract cases in the formal stats but the article suggests it's all debt-related cases.

Vohod?

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vohod (Jul 25, 2017 - 9:07 am)

in many states Comp and even basic auto claims go through ALJs or arbs. My guess is we bad guys make up 90% of the civil filings.

FWIW there is so much data out there now to value a case. Taking a case to trial without serious consideration of a settlement offer is pretty much malpractice.

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physicssezno (Jul 25, 2017 - 8:58 am)

Leave it to the WSJ to make the article about those greedy tort lawyers and not the fact that debt collector and landlord lawsuits are OVER HALF of all the lawsuits! Then the WSJ quotes a bunch of industry groups that have spent decades defaming the tort system and plaintiffs lawyers to the benefit of their rich benefactors. Of course all the commentators are like "yeaaa! Drown the tort lawyers!!" as they totally overlook the huge number of debt collection lawsuits and any other statistic lol.

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triplesix (Jul 25, 2017 - 9:21 am)

debt collector and landlord lawsuits are OVER HALF of all the lawsuits

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System is working for the benefit of people who run it while it is a job of little people to provide tax base for funding.

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vohod (Jul 25, 2017 - 9:40 am)

Courts love collections calendars 60 cases at $90-250 a pop each lasting 45 seconds. Kinda a cash cow.

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