Thanks for listening…

I want to thank Walter Olson and Ted Frank for honoring me by giving me an opportunity to guest blog here while Ted is away this week.

First, I guess I should introduce myself, for those of you wondering who the heck I am. I’m an attorney licensed in New Jersey, with a practice which focuses on commercial litigation. Aside from myself, I have several relatives who are attorneys, so it should be clear that I have nothing against lawyers. (In fact, despite all the evidence to the contrary here on Overlawyered, I happen to think we perform a useful function.)

My axe to grind is with those (such as the folks over at the website Ted affectionately calls “Bizarro-Overlawyered”) who want to use the courts, not to enforce agreements or to compensate the victims of wrongdoing, but merely as a way to transfer wealth from corporations to trial lawyers, ostensibly on behalf of consumers.

One of my first close encounters with overlawyering was in the early 1990s, when a classmate of mine got drunk, climbed up on a train, and electrocuted himself; coincidentally, this old incident was mentioned on Overlawyered just a few weeks ago. At the time, I was perhaps naively shocked to find out that someone who was so obviously in the wrong could successfully point a finger elsewhere (or in this case, a lot of fingers) and cash in. The case had everything: a grossly irresponsible plaintiff, innocent defendants whose only fault was having deep pockets, and even the failure of immunity laws to prevent abuse of the tort system. Since then, I’ve become less naive, but I’m no less shocked at these types of stories.

Oh, and I used to blog about politics more generally at Jumping to Conclusions, although I haven’t updated that in quite a long while. In any case, I’m happy to be here.

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