Month: February 2013

Where is the Justice???

Our founding fathers explicitly declared that trial by jury is essential to secure the liberty of man and enforce the principles of the Constitution.  Yet, efforts are underway to take this weapon away from you.

We have all heard the bad lawyer jokes, mistakenly epitomized by Shakespeare’s famous quote, “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”  The ironic thing is that this statement was made because lawyers stood in the way of the scheme, hatched by Dick the Butcher, to enable Jack Cade to overthrow the king.  The champions of justice, protectors of the Constitution–lawyers–were a major impediment to rebellion.

Our jury system was designed to provide justice, deliver order, and insure safety by holding people accountable for their transgressions.  Many safety systems and procedures have been implemented in this country because of the work of trial lawyers.  Rules were not meant to be broken.  Needless endangerment is not a byproduct of living.  Greed is not allowed to prevail over safety.

The problem is that we have a Dick the Butcher among us–largely represented by insurance companies.  The scheme is to overthrow the justice system under the guise of “tort reform.”  People have been convinced by these insurance companies, often masked as public interest groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that our justice system is dangerous to their way of life–to the point that they are willing to give up their right to hold people accountable for their transgressions.  One way this is accomplished is by demonizing the trial lawyers (i.e., kill all the lawyers).  Our justice system is losing its power to hold people, corporations, hospitals, and insurance companies accountable for the harm they cause.  The facts of a case often take second chair to the personal attack of the injured person and their lawyer.

Through decades of well-funded mudraking, Dick the Butcher has instilled fear in the hearts and minds of Americans.  Think about it.  Why would a person be willing to limit the amount of money an injured person can receive when another has caused significant brain injuries or loss of enjoyment of life from a lost limb?  Why do judges and juries view injured persons and their lawyers with detest, but tolerate defendants and their lawyers who perjure themselves?  Rather than focus on the bad conduct of the defendant, Dick the Butcher tells Americans that the  injured person’s lawyer gets rich at the expense of our economy and health care system.  There is no evidence to support this propaganda.

As tort reformers learned from The Bronx Tale, “it is better to be feared than loved because fear lasts longer.”  Fear is a powerful tool.  By causing fear, reason and rational thought become non-existent.  Without evidence, tort reformers tell Americans that access to health care and success of the economy are threatened by greedy trial lawyers; so, juries must punish injured persons to punish trial lawyers and save America.

As my prior post demonstrates, when juries focus on the defendant’s conduct and the harm caused, they are able to ignore tort reform propaganda and return a fair verdict.  That is all trial lawyers are after–fair verdicts.  The jury system was designed to foster fair verdicts–ones not influenced by bias, prejudices, and emotion.

The dilemma is that tort reform acts primarily outside the courtroom.  Caps and limitations on actions are not enacted by well-reasoned discussion of fact-based evidence.  If you want to protect your rights, because tort reform will eventually affect you or a loved one, you need to speak up.  Contact your legislative representatives, local and federal, and tell them that enough is enough.  The only way to protect Americans is to stop pandering to insurance companies.  To ensure safety, order, and justice, we must call out Dick the Butcher and mute his efforts.

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