In Praise Of Litigation

Author: Alexandra Lahav
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199380817
Size: 17.21 MB
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While the right to have one's day in court is a cherished feature of the American democratic system, alarms that the United States is hopelessly litigious and awash in frivolous claims have become so commonplace that they are now a fixture in the popular imagination. According to this view, litigation wastes precious resources, stifles innovation and productivity, and corrodes our social fabric and the national character. Calls for reform have sought, often successfully, to limit people's access to the court system, most often by imposing technical barriers to bringing suit. Alexandra Lahav's In Praise of Litigation provides a much needed corrective to this flawed perspective, reminding us of the irreplaceable role of litigation in a well-functioning democracy and debunking many of the myths that cloud our understanding of this role. For example, the vast majority of lawsuits in the United States are based on contract claims, the median value of lawsuits is on a downward trend, and, on a per capita basis, many fewer lawsuits are filed today than were filed in the 19th century. Exploring cases involving freedom of speech, foodborne illness, defective cars, business competition, and more, the book shows that despite its inevitable limitations, litigation empowers citizens to challenge the most powerful public and private interests and hold them accountable for their actions. Lawsuits change behavior, provide information to consumers and citizens, promote deliberation, and express society's views on equality and its most treasured values. In Praise of Litigation shows how our court system protects our liberties and enables civil society to flourish, and serves as a powerful reminder of why we need to protect people's ability to use it. The tort reform movement has had some real successes in limiting what can reach the courts, but there have been victims too. As Alexandra Lahav shows, it has become increasingly difficult for ordinary people to enforce their rights. In the grand scale of lawsuits, actually crazy or bogus lawsuits constitute a tiny minority; in fact, most anecdotes turn out to be misrepresentations of what actually happened. In In Praise of Litigation, Lahav argues that critics are blinded to the many benefits of lawsuits. The majority of lawsuits promote equality before the law, transparency, and accountability. Our ability to go to court is a sign of our strength as a society and enables us to both participate in and reinforce the rule of law. In addition, joining lawsuits gives citizens direct access to governmental officials-judges-who can hear their arguments about issues central to our democracy, including the proper extent of police power and the ability of all people to vote. It is at least arguable that lawsuits have helped spur major social changes in arenas like race relations and marriage rights, as well as made products safer and forced wrongdoers to answer for their conduct. In this defense, Lahav does not ignore the obvious drawbacks to litigiousness. It is expensive, stressful, and time consuming. Certainly, sensible reforms could make the system better. However, many of the proposals that have been adopted and are currently on the table seek only to solve problems that do not exist or to make it harder for citizens to defend their rights and to enforce the law. This is not the answer. In Praise of Litigation offers a level-headed and law-based assessment of the state of litigation in America as well as a number of practical steps that can be taken to ensure citizens have the right to defend themselves against wrongs while not odiously infringing on the rights of others.

In Praise Of Litigation

Author: Alexandra Lahav
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199380800
Size: 18.83 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 20

It is not difficult to find critics of America's famously litigious society. We have more lawyers per capita than anywhere else. Critics say we are unmatched in our willingness to sue, pointing to anecdotes of frivolous suits such as a man who sued his drycleaner over a pair of pants or parents who sued a school when their son broke his leg going down a slide head first. The critics contend that the primary beneficiaries of litigation are attorneys themselves, and that the main effect of excessive litigiousness is reduced business innovation. The tort reform movement that they champion-dedicated to limiting the reach of lawsuits and in some cases eliminating certain types of suits altogether-has become a powerful force in America politics and law. The tort reform movement has had some real successes in limiting what can reach the courts, but there have been victims too. As Alexandra Lahav shows, it has become increasingly difficult for ordinary people to enforce their rights. In the grand scale of lawsuits, actually crazy or bogus lawsuits constitute a tiny minority; in fact, most anecdotes turn out to be misrepresentations of what actually happened. In In Praise of Litigation, Lahav argues that critics are blinded to the many benefits of lawsuits. The majority of lawsuits promote equality before the law, transparency, and accountability. Our ability to go to court is a sign of our strength as a society and enables us to both participate in and reinforce the rule of law. In addition, joining lawsuits gives citizens direct access to governmental officials-judges-who can hear their arguments about issues central to our democracy, including the proper extent of police power and the ability of all people to vote. It is at least arguable that lawsuits have helped spur major social changes in arenas like race relations and marriage rights, as well as made products safer and forced wrongdoers to answer for their conduct. In this defense, Lahav does not ignore the obvious drawbacks to litigiousness. It is expensive, stressful, and time consuming. Certainly, sensible reforms could make the system better. However, many of the proposals that have been adopted and are currently on the table seek only to solve problems that do not exist or to make it harder for citizens to defend their rights and to enforce the law. This is not the answer. In Praise of Litigation offers a level-headed and law-based assessment of the state of litigation in America as well as a number of practical steps that can be taken to ensure citizens have the right to defend themselves against wrongs while not odiously infringing on the rights of others.

In Praise Of Slow

Author: Carl Honore
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9781409133049
Size: 15.41 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Across the western world more and more people are slowing down. Slower is better: better work, better productivity, better exercise, better sex, better food. DON'T HURRY, BE HAPPY. Almost everyone complains about the hectic pace of their lives. These days, our culture teaches that faster is better. But in the race to keep up, everything suffers - our work, diet and health, our relationships and sex lives. Carl Honoré uncovers a movement that challenges the cult of speed. In this entertaining and hands-on investigation, he takes us on a tour of the emerging Slow movement: from a Tantric sex workshop in London to a meditation room for Tokyo executives, from a SuperSlow exercise studio in New York, to Italy, home of the Slow Food, Slow Cities and Slow Sex movements.

Rights And Retrenchment

Author: Stephen B. Burbank
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108184090
Size: 20.15 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This groundbreaking book contributes to an emerging literature that examines responses to the rights revolution that unfolded in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. Using original archival evidence and data, Stephen B. Burbank and Sean Farhang identify the origins of the counterrevolution against private enforcement of federal law in the first Reagan Administration. They then measure the counterrevolution's trajectory in the elected branches, court rulemaking, and the Supreme Court, evaluate its success in those different lawmaking sites, and test key elements of their argument. Finally, the authors leverage an institutional perspective to explain a striking variation in their results: although the counterrevolution largely failed in more democratic lawmaking sites, in a long series of cases little noticed by the public, an increasingly conservative and ideologically polarized Supreme Court has transformed federal law, making it less friendly, if not hostile, to the enforcement of rights through lawsuits.

Holocaust Restitution

Author: Michael J. Bazyler
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814799871
Size: 11.86 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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"Bazyler and Alford have produced an essential tool for understanding the righteous struggle to win restitution for Holocaust victims and their heirs." --Richard Z. Chesnoff, author of Pack of Thieves: How Hitler & Europe Plundered the Jews & Committed The Greatest Theft In History"This excellent volume makes a significant contribution both to legal studies and to the history of the Holocaust. The editors deserve special praise for including chapters by Holocaust survivors, assuring that their often-forgotten voices are not lost within the great debate about Holocaust restitution."--Marilyn J. Harran, Stern Chair in Holocaust History, Chapman University"An invaluable text for students and scholars as well as a fascinating read for all those concerned with Holocaust and genocide issues in all disciplines and on behalf of all victims."--Israel W. Charny, President, International Association of Genocide Scholars "This unique collection is important in bringing together the perspectives of legal practitioners, activists, archivists and historians, negotiators, and survivors. It is remarkably comprehensive. . . . The editors have not shied away from controversy."--David Cesarani, Research Professor in History, Royal Holloway, University of London"If there is a 'final frontier' in understanding the Holocaust, it is the assessment of international litigation, compensation, and reparations claims. This extraordinary group of contributions thoughtfully reflects on the Holocaust, past and present, as well as what many would call 'imperfect justice.'"--Stephen Feinstein, Professor of History and Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota"This collection of essayson Holocaust restitution litigation provides a wonderful overview

Cost Of Capital In Litigation

Author: Shannon P. Pratt
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470944919
Size: 14.44 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Cost of Capital in Litigation addresses cost of capital issues in litigation and discusses major decisions, highlighting how to avoid errors that have often been made by experts. The book helps the attorney and valuation expert understand the decisions within the context of the theory of cost of capital and includes a chapter on cross-examining experts on cost of capital issues. Throughout, there are citation to relevant material and cross-reference to Cost of Capital: Applications and Examples, Fourth Edition.