The Rule of Lawyers: How the New Litigation Elite Threatens America's Rule of Law

Paperback | June 1, 2004

byWalter K. Olson

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Big-ticket litigation is becoming a way of life in this country. But something new is afoot-something typified by the $246 billion tobacco settlement, and by other courtroom assaults against companies producing guns, cars, breast implants, asbestos, lead paint, and more. Each massive class-action suit seeks to invent new law, to ban, tax, or regulate something that elected lawmakers had chosen to leave alone. And each time the new attack process works as intended, the new litigation elite reaps billions in fees-which they invest in fresh rounds of suits, as well as political contributions.

The Rule of Lawyers asks: Who picks these lawyers, and who can fire them? Who protects the public's interest when settlements are negotiated behind closed doors? Where are our elected lawmakers in all this? The answers may determine whether we slip from the rule of law to the rule of lawyers.

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Big-ticket litigation is becoming a way of life in this country. But something new is afoot-something typified by the $246 billion tobacco settlement, and by other courtroom assaults against companies producing guns, cars, breast implants, asbestos, lead paint, and more. Each massive class-action suit seeks to invent new law, to ban, t...

Walter K. Olson is the author of The Litigation Explosion (1991). A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Olson has written on law and lawyers for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, City Journal, and others. He lives and works in Chappaqua, NY.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.08 × 6.32 × 1.02 inPublished:June 1, 2004Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312331193

ISBN - 13:9780312331191

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"A truly gripping read about tort lawyers...a brilliant expose of the way courts are being overwhelmed by mass tort actions." -Robert Lenzner, Forbes.com"Walter Olson lays out an entertaining, but disturbing chronicle of class-action abuses." -David A. Price, The Wall Street Journal"With a marvelous combination of irony, insight and outrage, Olson covers the whole range of opportunistic litigation over tobacco, asbestos, breast-implants, autos and guns....Olson even proposes sensible ways of reforming the jury system that might actually make a difference." -Gene Epstein, Barron's"Even lawyers, however, will find [The Rule of Lawyers] a tasty snack." -Peter Schuck, The New York Law Journal