Legal Reform

The 15-Year Legal Farce Known as the Anna Nicole Smith Case May Finally Be Nearing Its End

Imagine a baseball game that appears almost over, but then goes into extra innings for almost 15 years. With that image in mind, one can begin to understand the nature of Marshall vs. Marshall, the endless Anna Nicole Smith inheritance litigation, which has become the farcical World Series of legal system abuse...[more]

Update on the Anna Nicole Smith Case: the Long, Strange Two-Pronged Trip through Our Legal System Continues

Although media attention understandably centers upon the tawdry celebrity element of this dispute, it has actually spawned an alarming Supreme Court decision that should trouble all Americans...[more]

2009 Wacky Warning Label Winners Announced

Recently, Bob Dorigo Jones, president of Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (M-LAW), joined CFIF’s Renee Giachino to discuss the winners in this year’s “Wacky Warning Label” contest, the confirmation of Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein as White House regulatory czar, and the need for comprehensive liability reform…[Read more and listen to the interview here.]

Doctors: How Many Presidential Colonoscopies Can You Take?

Jim Geraghty of National Review Online initiated and has virtually patented the phrase, “All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date,” documenting same with accelerating frequency...[more]

In Wake of Supreme Court’s Wyeth Decision, States Need Stronger Legal Reform Laws

Recently, former Mississippi Senator Charlie Ross joined CFIF’s Renee Giachino to discuss how Mississippi won the tort war, how its legislation is a model for the nation, and how it is important to institute reforms to conform the law to common sense…[Read more and listen to the interview here.]

A Tale of Two Arbitrations: Big Labor Commences One Ambush While Trial Lawyers Prepare Another

Arbitration is similar to traditional court litigation in that opposing sides present their best evidence and arguments to neutral arbitrators (usually former judges), who then render a decision after applying the law to the facts...[more]

Why Medical Malpractice Reform Must Be a Part of Real Health Care Reform

Recently, Hans von Spakovsky, a Visiting Legal Scholar at The Heritage Foundation, joined CFIF’s Renee Giachino to discuss a recent Memorandum published by Heritage entitled “Promoting the General Welfare Through Civil Justice Reform,” and why the Obama Administration must advance the cause of legal reform…[Read more and listen to the interview here.]

FISA Court Vindicates Telecoms, Rejects Trial Lawyers

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review’s August decision, which was just announced last week, stems from an appeal challenging the legality of a 2007 government request to surveil certain suspects’ communications. Although it arose under the Protect America Act, which was a temporary law subsequently replaced by amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and its details remain classified, it obviously serves as critical precedent...[more]

CFIF Launches Public Education Effort in West Virginia

Television/radio ads address critical issues regarding the proper role of the three branches of state government, as well as the individual agencies, bodies, departments and offices that make them up...[more]

Trial Lawyer Lobby Salivates at Prospect of Obama White House

As the nation inches toward the November elections and a possible Obama White House, few groups are salivating quite like the trial lawyers lobby...[more]

Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell Discusses Role of State AGs

Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell recently joined CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino to discuss his role as attorney general, which he believes requires a balanced approach between good consumer protection and protection of the free enterprise system, and how this approach and the state’s legal reform climate have helped Virginia earn a top ten ranking as a pro-business state. ...[Read more and listen to the interview here.]

Class Action Convict Turns to Ethical Education?

A little more than two weeks ago, a federal judge sentenced William Lerach to two years in prison for paying kickbacks to investors so they would be on-call plaintiffs for the disgraced and all-but disbarred class action king's securities lawsuits...[more]

Anna Nicole's Legal Legacy Lives Long After her Death

This week marks the one year anniversary of the death of former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith...[more]

Terrorist Tort Travesty

By John Yoo: War is a continuation of politics by other means, the German strategist Carl von Clausewitz famously observed in his 19th-century treatise, "On War." Clausewitz surely could never have imagined that politics, pursued through our own courts, would be the continuation of war...[more]

FreedomCast: Medical Crisis:  A Pocketbook Matter for Employers

Recently, William Large, President of the Florida Justice Reform Institute, joined CFIF's Renee Giachino to discuss a new report, Medical Crisis:  A Pocketbook Matter for Employers, the crisis in American healthcare, and how patients, their families and businesses of all sizes are paying the staggering costs. ...[Read more and listen to the interview here.]

CFIF Launches Public Education Effort in Pennsylvania

The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) today launched a public education effort in Pennsylvania designed to inform the public about important judicial issues in the state...[more]

Supreme Court Poised to Unleash Trial Lawyer Onslaught?

The United States Supreme Court stands at the precipice of a decision that could unleash a trial lawyers' orgy of frivolous new securities litigation, and nothing short of America's economic competitiveness teeters on that precipice...[more]

A Tortuous Time for Nation's Legal System

Recently, Colorado Civil Justice League's "Lawyer of the Year" (2005) Lee Mickus, a private practitioner who specializes in the defense of manufacturers in product liability lawsuits, joined CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino for a general discussion of tort law and the offenses that are structured into the law. ...[Read more and listen to the interview here]

Why America Needs an Entirely New Tort Liability System

Recently, Dr. Lawrence J. McQuillan, Director of Business and Economic Studies and senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Pacific Research Institute, sat down with CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino to discuss the litigation lottery costs in America and its burden on the U.S. economy...[Read more and listen to the interview here]

New Study Reveals “Tort Tax” Costs Family of Four $9,827 Annually

According to the study's lead author, Dr. Lawrence J. McQuillan of the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), unlike previous studies, Jackpot Justice calculates both the direct and indirect costs of America's legal system...[more]

Trial Lawyers' New Grab-Bag:  Public Nuisance Litigation

"Public Nuisance" Provides Latest Vehicle for Judges, Lawyers and Politicians to Usurp the Legislative Process and Regulate our Lives...[more] 

FreedomCast: Physicians Organized to Fight for Medical Malpractice Reform

Recently, Ken Kilpatrick, Education Director for the Politically Active Physicians Association (PAPA), sat down with CFIF Corporate Counsel & Senior Vice President Renee Giachino to discuss the nation's medical malpractice crisis and why the real victims of this crisis are the patients...[Read more and listen to the interview here.]

‘Remove Child Before Folding: The 101 Stupidest, Silliest and Wackiest Warning Labels Ever’

Recently, Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch Founder Bob Dorigo Jones joined CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino to discuss his new book, ““Remove Child Before Folding: The 101 Stupidest, Silliest, and Wackiest Warning Labels Ever” and how the litigation explosion is hurting America…[Read more and listen to the interview here.]

Supreme Court Restores Some Sanity to Punitive Damages

Ruling Brings Progress, But Doesn't Go Far Enough...[more]

FreedomCast: Judge Breaks the Code of Silence to Expose the Liberal Judicial Assault

Recently, Robert H. Dierker, Jr., a circuit judge in the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit of Missouri and author of The Tyranny of Tolerance, joined CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino to discuss his personal experiences on the bench and specific cases in which he claims the U.S. Constitution has been perverted by the Left's radical war in the courts...[more]

Legalized Extortion

It may be that the trial lawyers are able to extort huge sums of money from deep-pocketed corporations, but that's only because liberal judges make it legal to do so. That was the point driven home once again in a bitterly divided decision issued on Tuesday by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit...[more]

Debunking the Myths on Trans Fat, Global Warming and Other Junk Science

Recently, Steve Milloy, Founder of, joined CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino to discuss the irresponsible claims made by the junk science community. In his interview, Mr. Milloy covers a diverse range of scientific themes in an effort to help us recognize the suspect science being disseminated in support of issues ranging from global warming to trans fat...[Read more and listen to the interview]

Adult Supervision Required: Supreme Court Addresses Runaway Punitive Damages

Supreme Court precedent be damned, according to the Oregon Supreme Court...[more]

Bribery & Kickback Allegations Against West Virginia Law Firm Expose Litigation Feeding Frenzy that Threatens Hospital

"Given the avalanche of predatory lawsuits stemming from the Putnam case, will the West Virginia State Bar investigate kickback allegations against a prominent law firm, or will it instead protect its own?"...[more]

A Valentine's Tale

By Cary Cardwell: "Jury tampering, collusion and witness intimidation..." A tale of civil injustice in South Texas...[more]

The ‘Activist’ Journey of the Florida Supreme Court

Recently, Colleen Pero, a legal analyst specializing in reviewing state supreme court opinions for philosophical trends and directions, joined CFIF Corporate Counsel & Senior Vice President Renee Giachino to discuss judicial activism and her new paper, commissioned by the American Justice Partnership, titled “The ‘Activist’ Journey of the Florida Supreme Court.” …[Read more and listen to the interview]

The Battle against Asbestos Lawsuit Abuse Gains Momentum

Frivolous asbestos litigation is crippling our judicial system and large swaths of our economy. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of asbestos lawsuits have been filed, 8,400 companies are defending themselves, 75 companies have been bankrupted by a flood of frivolous claims, tens of thousands of Americans have lost their jobs, and retirement savings have been eviscerated...[more]

Killing Frivolous Lawsuits Not Once, But Twice ... And Counting

Less than two years ago, the courts of the Golden State were truly rich for trial lawyers who wanted to profit from baseless claims. Back then, anyone could file a lawsuit under the state's unfair competition law -- known as 17200 for its section in the state Business and Professions Code -- against a business to "protect" consumers from any "unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice" and any "unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising."...[more]

Trial Lawyers Redefining "Justice"

An item in the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) is asking its members to approve a name change for the organization to the "American Association for Justice."...[more]

Senate Must Fix Broken Asbestos System

The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) this week joined more than 100 organizations representing veterans, healthcare providers, small businesses, lawmakers and concerned citizens to demand the Senate vote on a The Fairness in Asbestos Injury and Compensation Act (FAIR Act). The FAIR Act would finally allow victims to receive fair compensation by bypassing courtrooms and the federal government's assertion of immunity from prosecution...[more]

NAM Executive Vice President Discusses Asbestos Litigation Reform and the FAIR Act

Earlier this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act (the "FAIR Act"). The stated purpose of the bill is to "create a fair and efficient system to resolve claims of victims for bodily injury caused by asbestos exposure."...[more]

Fried Legal Reasoning

Okay, we get it, CSPI thinks trans fat is bad -- and thinks everyone else should think so, too. And, yes, the lawsuit was inflammatory and designed to make national headlines -- which it did -- but where's the injury?...[more]

Turning the Tables on Abusive Tort Lawyers

And in Texas, a grand jury has commenced a criminal investigation based upon the findings of federal Judge Janis Graham Jack, who one year ago issued a blistering opinion against fraudulently-manufactured silicosis suits by lawyers, physicians and x-ray services...[more]

Adobe v. Microsoft: A Developing Litigation Paradigm

Adobe's decision to sue Microsoft, a fellow American company, before the EU's European Commission (EC) is just the most recent example of this disturbing trend. It threatens consumers everywhere, invites further judicial interference with the free market, and portends increased European encroachment into American business and legal affairs...[more]

CFIF Praises Senators Specter and Leahy for New and Improved FAIR Act for Asbestos Victims

"We applaud Senators Specter and Leahy for reintroducing the FAIR Act," said CFIF President Jeffrey Mazzella. "This vital legislation will ensure that real victims of asbestos exposure are fairly compensated. Just as important, it will put an end the baseless claims that have inundated our nation's civil justice system."...[more]

Fairness Coming to Florida's Civil Justice System

With time running out in many state legislative sessions to pass much-needed litigation reform, thankfully the Florida legislature wasted no time this session in passing a law that will eliminate the concept of "joint and several" liability...[more]

The Need for Asbestos Litigation Reform

CFIF Corporate Counsel & Senior Vice President Renee Giachino recently debated a representative from the National Taxpayers Union on the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act (the "FAIR Act"), which is currently being considered in the United States Senate...[more]

CFIF Expresses Dismay in Letter to Senator Reid, Group Calls for Passage of Asbestos Reform

In the reporter session, Sen. Reid claimed that the FAIR Act leaves asbestos victims "out in the cold."   In the same session, Sen. Reid also stated that the FAIR Act would cost U.S. businesses $900 billion...[more]

CFIF Urges All 100 Senators to Support the FAIR Act

In anticipation of Senate action on the FAIR Act when lawmakers return to normal business in February, CFIF this week urged all 100 Senators to support this much needed legislation, which will provide justice for real victims of asbestos exposure and end the trial lawyers’ gravy train...[more]

CFIF Files Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court of Oklahoma Challenging Lower Court's Grant of Nationwide Class Action Status

The lawsuit seeks remuneration for what the plaintiff alleges is a faulty floppy disk controller.  In addition to seeking repair, replacement or a refund under his warranty, plaintiff also sought to have the lawsuit certified as a nationwide class action lawsuit...[more]

A Great Month for Legal Reform, Sort Of

October was a great month for legal reform in Washington. Well, sort of...[more]

CFIF Warns Senate about Drug Importation Liability Risks

Any new litigation or liability that results from legalizing the importation of drugs from foreign countries will only add to the litigation and liability crisis that currently plagues our courts...[more]

Keep the Ball Rolling on Asbestos Legislation

After months of negotiations, the Senate Judiciary Committee last week endorsed a bill to create a privately-financed asbestos victims trust fund...[more]

Lawyers in Fear

In political circles, it is common knowledge that Democrats at all levels rely on generous financial support from plaintiffs’ lawyers...[more]

American Justice Partnership President Discusses Legal Reform

Legal reform was the topic of discussion when Dan Pero, President of the American Justice Partnership, joined the Center’s Corporate Counsel, Renee Giachino, on “Your Turn — Meeting Nonsense with Common Sense."...[more]

The Asbestos Answer

Of all the selfish exploitation schemes that greedy trial lawyers have perpetrated on our justice system, their abuse of asbestos litigation is certainly the worst...[more]

Florida Justice Reform Institute Director Discusses Legal Reform

Recently, on the radio program “Your Turn — Meeting Nonsense with Common Sense” the Center’s Renee Giachino interviewed Pam Philp, the Executive Director of the Florida Justice Reform Institute, about the goals of the recently-formed organization and the need legal reform in Florida...[more] 

Injudicious Secrecy and an Unfree Press

Apparently the public doesn't have a right to know. That's the lesson that will be learned from Tuesday's federal appeals court decision announcing "there is no First Amendment privilege protecting journalists ... from testifying ... or otherwise providing evidence ... regardless of any confidence promised by the reporter to any source."  But reading further into the decision, it only got worse...[more]

CFIF Joins New Legal Reform Alliance

In an effort to bolster legal reform in the states, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today officially launched the American Justice Partnership (AJP). The partnership brings together leading national and state organizations to coordinate the fight for effective legal reform... [more]

Reheating a Deep Fried Case

The McLawsuit is back yet again.  A federal appeals court has reinstated the case nearly a year and a half after a federal judge dismissed (for a second time) the class action complaint, which claims that McDonald’s is responsible for the weight, girth and health of two named teenagers and countless “other similarly situated persons.”...[more]

WHO to Sue?

Last month, an Indian drug maker that specializes in producing knock-off versions of brand-name medications removed all its antiretroviral drugs from the World Health Organization's list of approved pharmaceuticals...[more]

Legal Reform Across America

On Election Day, voters in several states made their voices heard on legal reform. In California, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 64, an initiative to stop trial lawyer shakedowns of small business owners...[more]

John Banzhaf: In His Own Litigious Words

Say what you will about John Banzhaf, George Washington University law professor and leader of the litigious anti-food crusade, at least he makes no attempt to conceal his scurrilous designs. On the contrary, this litigating busy body has clearly articulated his utopian vision: an America in which everyone’s stomach is empty and every lawyer’s wallet is full...[more]

Stopping Trial Lawyer Shakedowns in California

Imagine. … You own a small travel agency that you spent all of your savings to start a few years ago. You have three employees. With airlines and cruise lines cutting back on commissions, you have to work very hard to make ends meet, but you manage. Thanks to the Internet and that new website you’ve launched, you’re finding new customers. Your profit margins are...[more]

America's litigation crisis

Excessive litigation has created a crisis in America. The time has come to recognize this crisis and demand that our elected officials work together to achieve a solution...[more]

CFIF ‘Study’ Reveals Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Sex Discrimination Hypocrisy

The Center for Individual Freedom today released a "study" that raises questions regarding potential gender bias at law firms suing a bevy of major corporations…for gender bias...[more]

Sexual Hypocrisy: Turning the Tables on Plaintiffs’ Lawyers In Class Action Discrimination Lawsuits

Mimicking their own class action lawsuits against asbestos, tobacco and food, many of the big plaintiffs’ firms are now putting gender on trial in search of a new con game to play for jackpot justice. These law firms’ new marks include Costco, Wal-Mart, Merrill Lynch, Boeing, Home Depot and others, while the pawns are those companies’ employees, who allege gender bias and sexual discrimination...[more]

You Can’t Sue the Sun (Yet)

Two weeks ago, eight state attorneys general (representing California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin), joined by corporation counsel of New York City, announced a federal lawsuit against five power companies (American Electric Power Co., Cinergy Corp., Southern Co., the Tennessee Valley Authority and Xcel Energy Inc.)...[more]

American Tort Reform Association’s Victor Schwartz Comments on Tort Reform and the Upcoming Election

On the radio program "Your Turn — Meeting Nonsense with Common Sense," the Center’s General Counsel, Renee Giachino, recently interviewed the American Tort Reform Association’s General Counsel, Victor Schwartz, about his thoughts regarding Democratic Presidential-hopeful John Kerry’s selection of former trial attorney John Edwards as his running mate, and the implications for tort reform should Kerry-Edwards win the upcoming election...[more]

Spitzer: Surrendering to the Temptations of Power

In the name of fighting crime, government prosecutors have tremendous power to investigate, charge, and sue those suspected of wrongdoing. But that power can lead to abuse. Easy access to favorable publicity lures ambitious prosecutors into pursuing politically popular cases, even if those cases aren’t always legally sound. And prosecutors can be tempted to use their posts to further their own political or ideological agendas...[more]

Finding Fault in Fact

Apparently it is possible for consumers to know too much about the products they buy and use everyday. After all, that is precisely the message being sent by a growing number of restrictions and lawsuits that target advertisements for stating — wait for it — just the facts. That’s right, for products ranging from food and drugs to alcohol and tobacco, companies are increasingly being forced not to tell the public the truth for fear of being hit with draconian penalties simply because those facts are packaged in a 30-second television spot or a glossy magazine layout...[more]

Litigation Won’t Make America Thinner

In the hours after midnight, cable TV is saturated with ads for diet pills promising big and easy weight loss and ads for law firms promising big and easy legal judgments and settlements. Until recently, there was no direct connection between the two groups trolling for customers, but leave it to America’s trial lawyers to find one. Welcome to the brave new world of obesity litigation...[more]

Air Travel: Leave Your Swiss Army Knife at Home but Bring Your Medical Records

It’s getting more difficult and time consuming to board a plane these days. With increased security measures and random passenger searches, the lines are longer and so is the wait to get on board. It may soon get even worse — not because of terrorist threats or NTSB regulations, but, rather, because of trial lawyers...[more]

Overview of the Negative Implications of Public School Nutrition Policies That Restrict Student Food Choices

From Texas to Connecticut, state legislators are working on education initiatives to better our public schools and to fund them. As they debate these critical issues, their attention must also focus on new and proposed policies that will rob public schools of desperately needed funds...[more]

Importing Liability

Governor Jim Doyle needs to take a basic course in the American tort system. As he leaps onboard the prescription drug importation bandwagon — touting "savings" for Wisconsinites and the state’s red-inked budget — Doyle is turning a blind eye to the legal consequences of his plan, not to mention its real monetary cost. Wisconsin is not just importing prescription drugs but legal liability, too...[more]

Obstructionist Tactics Only Strengthen the Case for Medical Malpractice Reform

For the third time in the past year, Senate Democrats last week successfully filibustered an attempt to bring medical malpractice reform legislation to a vote. But apparently the obvious refusal of these senators to even consider the issue is not enough for some reform opponents, who are calling yet again for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to recuse himself from voting on any bills affecting the healthcare industry...[more]

Let the Sunshine In On Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

In a setback to efforts by physicians at self-help medical malpractice tort reform, a new national database set to track litigious patients, attorneys and expert witnesses was pulled from the Internet last week. After opening in November under the direction of a Texas physician, the site’s slogan read, "they can sue, but they can’t hide." For a nominal monthly fee, physicians were encouraged to query the database of public records of litigation in order to "assess the risk of offering [their] services to clients or potential clients." In a nutshell, a physician could learn the litigation proclivities of potential patients before, rather than after, rendering services...[more]

The Food Police: Coming Soon to a Texas School Lunchroom Near You

The Lone Star State may soon find its school lunch lines getting a lot lonelier. That’s because the food police will be coming to a local school cafeteria near you if Texans do not take a stand against the nutrition guidelines recently announced by the Texas Department of Agriculture. This summer, on August 1, 2004, when Texas families are still focused on fun and sun, the revised Texas Public School Nutrition Policy will take effect, significantly restricting the foods available on school grounds and in the cafeterias...[more]

We Didn't Mean Our Pockets...

By Erin Murphy: Former Rep. Bill Janklow (R-SD) , who is currently serving a 100-day jail sentence for second-degree manslaughter and reckless driving after he collided with and killed a motorcyclist in August, now faces a civil wrongful death suit that could well result in a sizable verdict. But because he was driving home from a speech to Korean War veterans at the time of the accident, the Justice Department concluded that Janklow's actions were "official business" within the scope of his duties as an elected official. Thus, under the Federal Tort Claims Act, Janklow's employer — the federal government — must pay any verdict, meaning that taxpayers will ultimately foot the bill...[more]

Sunshine, Ballots and Lawyers

Florida again may be the state to watch in the upcoming 2004 elections, although perhaps not for the same reasons as it was back in November of 2000. Assuming all goes right with Florida’s new voting systems, there should be fewer hanging chads and butterfly ballots. But even so, voters nationwide should still turn their eyes south to watch the Sunshine State as it takes the electoral lead on legal reform...[more]

Blame it on the Bars

By Erin Murphy: Nothing gets the plaintiffs’ bar going like alleged "evil empires" with deep pockets — big tobacco, gun manufacturers and profitable corporations are always at the top of the list. Not to be discounted is the alcohol industry, which has been battling dram shop liability claims for decades. Under dram shop liability laws, a party injured by an intoxicated person can sue establishments contributing to that person’s intoxication...[more]

Is Truth in the Eye of the Beholder?:

Does the First Amendment Protect Fact-Based Speech that Could Be "Misleading"?

From fast food to sneakers, more and more frequently manufacturers, retailers and their advertisers are facing lawsuits brought by consumers who allege injury after buying, consuming or using well-marketed products. But while false advertising has always been fair game in the world of torts, many plaintiffs today do not claim they were duped by untrue statements. Instead, the latest trend in consumer protection is liability based on "misleading" speech, even when the sales pitch may be fact-based and literally true. The Federalist Society’s Law and Advertising Subcommittee, which is chaired by Center for Individual Freedom Assistant General Counsel Reid Alan Cox, is hosting a panel discussion on these important issues on January 15, 2004, from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. To attend the panel discussion, RSVP to the Federalist Society by phone at 202.822.8138, or register online by visiting here.

Senator Lieberman Jumps onto the Junk Food Wagon

"Every third American devotes himself to improving and uplifting his fellow-citizen, usually by force." — H.L. Mencken Senator Joe Lieberman has just become that third American. Earlier this month, the Connecticut Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate announced that he is calling for a federal investigation into the marketing practices of "junk food" companies...[more]

Clogging the Legal Arteries with Obesity Lawsuits

The average American consumes between 2,500 and 3,500 calories in a Thanksgiving dinner — the equivalent of more than two large pepperoni pizzas. In today’s litigious society, the process server may soon show up at mom’s door with an obesity lawsuit, charging her with some form of intentional infliction of bloating...[more]

The Judicial System Is Anything But Just

By Paul LaRose, M.D: Finally, we have a medical liability reform bill in Florida, for what it’s worth. By all accounts, it doesn’t appear to be worth much. We’ll just have to wait and see if our insurance premiums stabilize and if we even have insurance companies left in the state...[more]

Sports Betting:
The National Football League Versus the Trial Lawyers

Move over NFL, NBA, WNBA and NHL. A new betting line may soon take over Vegas sports lounges. That new "sport" in town, NDPL, is becoming increasingly popular on the courts. Strike that, make it "in the courts." The NDPL, National Deep Pockets League, has lawyers and plaintiffs racing to America’s courthouses to file lawsuits in an attempt to score big payouts against deep pockets, with the NFL becoming the most recent opponent of the NDPL...[more]

Burning the Bridges to Madison County: Legal Reform Heats Up

Author Robert James Waller popularized Madison County, Iowa – the birthplace of John Wayne – in the novel The Bridges of Madison County. But another Madison County, this one in Illinois, is famous for a very different, but just as lucrative, reason. Madison County – Illinois, that is – is the unofficial class action capital of the United States; the single county where trial lawyers file more class action lawsuits than anywhere else, and also home to some of the country’s largest damage awards...[more]

Sue the Lawyers

"Enough is enough."  That is the new message from corporate America.  After suffering through the deluge of class action attacks against corporations that sell products ranging from hamburgers to medical equipment to automobiles, corporate boardrooms are taking the offensive against the increasing number of vexatious litigants...[more]

Three Down, Many More to Go

Three California trial lawyers, who reportedly made their fortunes shaking down thousands of small immigrant-owned business owners through the filing of frivolous lawsuits, have resigned from the state bar after facing disbarment over alleged ethics violations...[more]

Class Action Reform Gets Verdict in the House, Jury Still Out in the Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed the Class Action Fairness Act of 2003 (CAFA) by a vote of 253 to 170.  The bill would make it easier for defendants to move class actions into federal court by expanding federal jurisdiction and is a necessary first step in providing uniform standards for such lawsuits and preventing forum shopping by plaintiffs' attorneys.  Nevertheless, despite this much-needed reform, CAFA faces considerable opposition in the Senate...[more]

McDonald's Turns to the Dark Side

We have frequently railed against those who seem compelled by either greed or irresponsibility to file frivolous lawsuits against McDonald's, among a variety of favorite targets.  Whether plaintiffs or their attorneys (mostly the latter), the offenders are usually just legal entrepreneurs, seeking deep pocket paydays from the most tenuous of claims...[more]

True Legal Reform Begins With Judicial Reform

Progressively, for several decades, opportunistic plaintiffs' attorneys, motivated more by personal profit than any quest for justice, have hijacked the federal courts by filing case after case in search of the next big payday.  From automobiles to fast food as their latest targets, trial lawyers are not only getting more inventive with their legal contortions, but they are also pressing more of them with unwavering relentlessness and baffling success.  Left in the wake is a judiciary stretched far beyond its limits and a legal system desperate for reform.

To read more, visit the Center for Individual Freedom Foundation.

The Criminalization of Responsibility:
Making Corporate Officers Guilty for the Acts of Their Employees

For centuries, the law in Western nations was guided by the fundamental principle that an individual could only be prosecuted and convicted of a crime if he willfully or knowingly committed an unlawful act.  Classic Anglo-American legal theory reflected this core belief in its requirement that the state prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused consummated the criminal offense with both an actus reus (a criminal act) and a mens rea (a criminal intent).  Thus, criminal sanctions were never intended to punish bad thoughts remaining unmanifested by action nor bad acts occurring unwittingly or by accident.  The former category was to be resolved by a higher spiritual authority and the latter could properly be resolved by the civil tort liability system...[more]

That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles

California activist attorney Stephen Joseph, who filed suit last week to ban Oreo cookies due to the potential health dangers associated with the trans fat used in making them, has dropped his case.  (Read Assault on Black and White)  "After three days of incredible national publicity, everyone knows about trans fat," Joseph announced upon withdrawing his lawsuit.  He believes he has educated the nation on the dangers of trans fat, and rendered his own lawsuit baseless...[more]

Assault on Black and White

Stephen Joseph, an activist California attorney, has filed a lawsuit against Kraft Foods Inc., accusing the company of not properly informing consumers of the potential health dangers associated with Oreo cookies because of the hydrogenated oil - also known as trans fat - used in making them...[more]

New Report Justifies Judicial Need to Continue to
Reallocate Fault in Product Liability Litigation

This week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a notice saying that years after products are recalled or safety warnings are issued, those same products continue to kill and injure.  Many consumer products deemed hazardous and included on the CPSC list have previously received substantial attention because they were recalled or addressed under government safety standards...[more]

John Edwards: An Oops for the Trial Lawyers' Presidential Candidate

It is no secret that John Edwards, the Democratic U.S. Senator from North Carolina, is the trial lawyers' anointed candidate for president.  He was a trial lawyer himself before multimillion dollar verdicts and audiences of only 12 people at a time no longer satisfied his compulsion to serve humanity...[more]

Stop the Rapid Fire Frivolous Lawsuits Against the Second Amendment

Adopting the predatory lawsuit strategy being leveled against nearly all other sectors of corporate America, the gun ban lobby has enrolled the help of opportunistic plaintiffs' attorneys and over-aggressive state attorneys general in an all-out assault on the Second Amendment: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms."

To send an e-mail to your senators urging them to end this lawsuit abuse once and for all, click here.

High Court Cracks Down on Punitive Damage Awards

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a $145 million punitive damages verdict against the nation's largest automobile insurance company ruling that such an award was "neither reasonable, nor proportionate to the wrong committed, and ... was an irrational and arbitrary deprivation of property of the [corporate] defendant." ...[more]

Malpractice Awards Must Be Brought Under Control

By U.S. Representative Jeff Miller
: "President Bush says frivolous lawsuits have never helped anyone. Yeah, tell that to my new house in Georgetown." This quote, cited from the Raleigh News and Observer, are the words of Sen. John Edwards, presidential candidate and former trial lawyer, speaking at the annual Gridiron dinner at the Capital Hilton in Washington. Although said in jest, this gives some insight to the mindset of many in Congress who oppose medical professional liability insurance reform...[more]

McLawsuit Reheated: It Doesn't Taste Any Better

The McFatties are back. A month after a federal district judge dismissed their class action lawsuit against McDonald's, a group of overweight children and their parents filed a new complaint against the fast food giant maintaining that Ronald, Grimace and the Hamburglar must pay up for childhood obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease...[more]

Shakedown in 'The Golden State'

More than 150 years after gold was first discovered at Sutter's Mill in California, a new Gold Rush has begun in that state, fueled by the shameless exploitation of one of the most powerful consumer protection laws in the nation.  Trading in their pick axes and mules for law degrees and monogrammed briefcases, today's prospectors are trial lawyers who are panning for gold along the shores of endless streams of unsuspecting businesses...[more]

"Beating a Dead Horse”

Chief Justice William Rehnquist kicked off the New Year with a familiar mantra, pleading with Congress to help extricate the federal judiciary from its current crisis of overcrowded dockets, too few judges and inadequate resources.  “The 2002 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary is my 17th,” Rehnquist wrote.  “As I look back on these reports, I am struck by the number of issues that seem regularly to crop up, or perhaps never go away – judicial vacancies, the need for additional judgeships, judges’ salaries, judicial appropriations.”...[more]

Medical Professional Liability Crisis Bleeds Across America

Get out the tourniquet because the shark bites have America bleeding again.  From Pennsylvania to Florida to Texas, and most states in between, victims of the shark (AKA trial lawyer) attacks are drowning in the Litigation Sea. National headlines make it increasingly apparent that a rise in malpractice lawsuits has caused a swell in professional liability insurance premiums, with the current medical liability crisis driving up health care costs and resulting in less access to care...[more]

Flying the Unfriendly Skies:

It’s Time for Tort Reform to Take Off
Perhaps running low on new deep-pocket defendants to sue, plaintiffs’ lawyers are reaching to new heights and making the skies an unfriendly place in which to do business.  The latest wave of personal injury lawsuits, titled the “economy class syndrome,” are being brought by long-haul air travelers who claim they have developed life-threatening blood clots after sitting immobile on long flights in economy class...[more]

Muzzling Corporate Speech

It’s open season on Corporate America. Somewhere between the tech stock bubble bursting and the first Enron executive testifying, an army of special interest groups, anti-globalization ideologues and trial lawyers awakened to the smell of opportunity, and sprang into action...[more]

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