In many if not most cases, lawsuits that are held up to scorn on this site are filed by people who, in their heart of hearts and however misguidedly, believe in the justice of their cause. Those people can and should be criticized when their cause is misguided, or when it camouflages some other agenda, or when their only real impact is the introduction of unjustified costs, frictions, and obstacles in to the path of valuable and legitimate economic or creative activity (not to mention the unjustified enrichment of a small class of my fellow attorneys).
Worse than these, though, in many ways, are wealthy and/or powerful egotists who use the legal system on a whim, as their personal payback mechanism or as a means of venting their pettiest grievances. At the risk of fatally lowering the tone of Overlawyered and of prematurely ending my tenure as a guestblogger, I note the latest example, a tiff between two deeply unpleasant but inescapable self-anointed celebrities: Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump (MSNBC, "Trump to Rosie O’Donnell: You’re sued!", Dec. 21).
Earlier this afternoon Trump announced he is filing suit against the TV talk show host. ‘She says things that come to her mouth, she’s not smart, she’s crude, she’s ignorant and to be honest I look forward to suing Rosie,’ he told our cameras. ‘I’m gonna sue her and I look forward to it. She’s really very dangerous for the show.’
Trump declined to elaborate on the details of his proposed legal filings, but added O’Donnell will understand his reasoning. ‘Rosie will find out what we’re suing her for. She knows what we’re suing her for,’ he said adding the lawsuit is already in the works. ‘It’s something I look very forward to,’ he added.
If ever there was a case for "loser pays," this is it. Trouble is, with relentlessly meaningless suits like this one gumming up the works, we’re all the losers.
Of Related Interest: The scurrilous Los Angeles gossip site, Defamer, has the Trump video from which I have drawn the post title (Dec. 20). Not that I would recommend watching it, of course.