July 28, 2017 10:03 am at 10:03 am #1327507
It is high time for Congress to enact tort reform in the United States. The litigiousness of society and the runway awards are completely out of hand. The cost to the economy in higher prices, especially in the medical field, is enormous. Those high medical costs are in large part a result of outrageous awards doctors are forced to pay in lawsuits, many frivolous and others with outrageous damage awards for relatively minor issues. The same high costs are the result in non-medical fields and products as well.July 28, 2017 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm #1327578
+1July 28, 2017 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm #1327772
According to Halacha, a doctor who is licensed, and certainly one who is board certified, is only liable of a gross violation of professional standards. The same goes for any מומחה לרבים.July 28, 2017 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm #1327574
Good points, but crafting (Federal?) legislation to accomplish that is a real headache.
One challenge is distinguishing expensive from what you referred to as “outrageous”. That evaluation alone requires the time of experts which costs money. Which party pays for that, not to mention the cost of care/compensation resulting from the rendered decision?
Next, how are disputed decisions settled if not in court or through arbitration and at whose expense (socialized law, perhaps?)?
Costs not borne by either the practitioner or the patient (or the corresponding insurer) falls to the government (taxes), so we have now segued into the debate about socialized medicine.
As with most things, the devil is in the details.July 28, 2017 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm #1327942
Tort Reform is far better handled at state level than through Congressional action. The vast majority of Tort actions take place in state courts. Those brought to Federal court because the Plaintiffs and defendants live in different states are still tried by a Federal judge apply state law where the alleged wrong was committed.
Some state have tort limits. Massachusetts severely limits the amount a charitable institution may be sued for, which is why virtually every hospital in Massachusetts is a non-profit charitable institution.July 28, 2017 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #1328560
Another worthwhile change in the law is to allow non-lawyers to represent defendants and other litigants in court if the defendant or litigant explicitly acknowledges their representation is not a lawyer, acknowledges and accepts in open court in front of the judge whatever risk utilizing such representation entails.July 28, 2017 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #1328628
Would you also allow consenting adults to have open heart surgery performed by a non-doctor?
Professionals have specific education, must pass licensing tests as well as character and fitness review before getting their license to practice law.July 28, 2017 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #1328655
The Constitution guarantees the right of self-representation. If you’re not a lawyer you can still represent yourself in court. Asking someone else who is better than yourself, even though not a lawyer, ought to be your right.
If a neighbor is handy and great at fixing leaks, you would oppose another neighbor asking him to fix the sink since he isn’t a licensed plumber?July 29, 2017 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #1328665
Just go to law school, Joe. Actually, I always wondered why you didn’t.July 29, 2017 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #1328669
Joseph, defendants who go the pro se route are aided by staff lawyers who work for the court.
CTl, Itamar Ben-Gvir did such a good job of representing himself that a judge suggested that he become a lawyer. Now he is one of israel’s top lawyers. However, the enormous cost of law school in the US screams for reform. Here in Israel (and not only Israel) Law is a BA like any other BA and it only takes 3-1/2 years. I think that there should also be a return to the apprenticeship system. Lincoln did not even do that but taught himself.July 29, 2017 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #1328760
Joseph probably considers himself conservative. There is nothing conservative about having the federal government – i.e., Congress, as Joseph proposed – overrule or overturn state tort law. As CTLawyer correctly noted, tort law is, primarily, state law.July 29, 2017 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #1328761
The US system to become a lawyer is a racket. It is legally designed by lawyers to protect themselves from competition by deflating and severely reducing the number of people who can become a lawyer.July 29, 2017 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm #1328752
Highly doubtful if you will receive any visibility on this forum or is it just rave and rant. Perhaps contact your local council person or state representative to push these ideas. It is a vicious cycle almost catch 22. However, may I point out that the good old US of A is the only country in the world where doctors pay mal- practice insurance hence the insanely high cost of medicine. Just a thought. Good luck. Have an easy fast and hopefully we can continue this conversation in Eretz Yisroel as Mashiach will have arrived and of course resolved these issues.July 30, 2017 12:30 am at 12:30 am #1328785
Joseph, your comment about lawyers restricting their ranks is off base. There are lots of lawyers who can’t find jobs as lawyers. If they were plotting to restrict their ranks, there would be a shortage of lawyers.July 30, 2017 1:26 am at 1:26 am #1328791
YY: The laws protecting current lawyers from competition by severely limiting the ability of newcomers becoming lawyers have been in effect for well over half a century. The current shortage of legal jobs is barely a decade old. For many many decades it was the other way.July 30, 2017 1:39 am at 1:39 am #1328792
huju: I’m all for tort reform on the state level in all 50 states. Some of the states have already enacted such.July 30, 2017 7:21 am at 7:21 am #1328810
Joseph, you admit that there are more lawyers than jobs for lawyers. Please explain how the legal profession has “protect[ed] themselves from competition by deflating and severely reducing the number of people who can become a lawyer.”
BTW, a lawyer once made the same complaint as you’re making — about doctors. He said that the law schools were wide open while medical schools severely restricted numbers of students. This was at least 20 years ago.
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