Walter Olson
(biographical sketch: shorter/longer)
Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, is the author of several books and a well-known commentator on American law. The Washington Post has described him as an "intellectual guru of tort reform," while Investor's Business Daily calls him "perhaps America's leading authority on over-litigation". His book Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America (Encounter, 2011) takes a close look at ideological trends in the modern American law school and how they have helped bring about a series of calamitous developments in the real world of law, in fields ranging from Indian land claims to environmental law to international human rights law.

His earlier books, beginning with The Litigation Explosion, have transformed the way we think of the American legal system. The Rule of Lawyers, was hailed in leading publications including Forbes ("truly gripping" and "brilliant"),Walter Olson in Sept. 2006 The American Lawyer, and Barron's (a "marvelous combination of irony, insight and outrage"). The Excuse Factory, his book on litigation in the workplace, was met with accolades everywhere from the London Times ("riveting") to the A.B.A. Journal ("wittily scathing").

On the web, he is best known for his humorous yet serious, often cited as the oldest blog on law as well as among the most popular. He founded the Manhattan Institute's Point of Law and was long its editor and principal writer. In 2009, his writing at Overlawyered helped focus public attention and outrage on the harmful consequences of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) in areas ranging from children's books to thrift stores.

His writing appears regularly in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and New York Post, and he has been a columnist for publications ranging from Reason to Great Britain's Times Online. He has testified before Congress, appeared on hundreds of broadcast shows including "Oprah", and advised public officials at every level of government. Before joining the Cato Institute in 2010 he was a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, the think tank in New York City. | Walter Olson home page