Posts Tagged ‘nonmonetary costs of litigation’

Dan Rather vs. CBS, cont’d

Beldar doesn’t hold back (Sept. 22) from telling us what he thinks:

Rather’s case — as incredibly, stinkingly, appallingly, cosmically bogus as it is — nevertheless has some considerable settlement value: Not because CBS is likely to lose to Rather if the truth is confirmed in court, but because individual decision-makers within CBS may have overwhelming vested interests in ensuring that the facts are not thoroughly probed in court.

Earlier: Sept. 19. More buzz: Howard Kurtz/WaPo, Eugene Volokh, New York Post “Page Six”, Bertovici/

The costs of litigation

Sun General Counsel Mike Dillon, writing about litigation, repeats something I’ve long said:

Litigation is costly. Incredibly costly. But it is not the expense that is the real issue, it’s the diversion of resources. Time employees spend reviewing e-mails and documents, educating lawyers and preparing for depositions is time away from the business. That’s the real cost of litigation.

Note that these costs are not included even in PRI’s $865-billion/year estimate of the expense of jackpot justice, much less the trial-lawyer critiques of the PRI study, which is why that number, even with its problems, may well be an underestimate of the true expense.

While Sun’s strategy of keeping quiet while litigation was pending may have made sense in this particular competitor-to-competitor litigation, I think it is a very large mistake in the context of trial lawyers and activists targeting companies.

“National Divorce Rate Reaches New Highs in Bitterness”

Comparatively few spouses blow up buildings, as police suspect a Manhattan doctor may have done, but things can still get pretty extreme:

Prominent New York divorce attorney Raoul Felder was more specific. “I had a client murdered by his wife,” Felder said. “I have seen [cases in which] a kitten [was] put in a washing machine, a puppy in the microwave — the puppy died, the kitten lived.

“I have seen art collections slashed, a guy with a vinyl record collection had it returned by his wife all smashed into bits,” Felder added. “I’ve seen clothes ripped up. One gentleman got his wife tickets to some hot play, and when she returned, her stuff was in the street. I’ve seen children taken at airports.”

(Chris Francescani and Kristen Depowski,, Jul. 11; Anemona Hartocollis and Cara Buckley, “Divorce, Real Estate and Rubble: When Marriages Go Really Awry”, New York Times, Jul. 12 (note similar quotes from Felder, who’s clearly not afraid to give the same interview twice); Jane Ridley, “Divorce gets dirty”, New York Daily News, Jun. 12(et plus encore for that same kitten and puppy)). And: Rebecca Goldin at chides ABC for sensationalism (Jul. 14).

Bonus video link: Patsy Cline, “A Church, A Courtroom, and Then Goodbye” (YouTube) (via Terry Teachout’s fabulous new listing of online video and audio resources).

No way to spend your old age

Quotable: “Being involved in a lawsuit is a lousy way to spend your old age” — author Dominick Dunne, 79, commenting on his agreement to settle, on terms which include an apology and an undisclosed sum of money, a defamation suit filed by former Rep. Gary Condit. (Michael Doyle, “Condit, Dunne sidestep big battle”, Modesto (Calif.) Bee, Mar. 17).