Friday, November 9, 2007

Impact of plaintiffs' lawyers compensation

In trying to gauge how well the civil liability system performs as one of society's mechanisms for fulfilling the purposes of, one, providing compensatory payments to persons who suffer physical and financial losses and injuries and, two, regulating the conduct of society's members to lessen the harm they do to one another, the manner of plaintiffs' lawyers compensation creates enormous incentive to distort the civil liability system to serve the interests of the lawyers and to work against society's balanced interests.

As is well known, plaintiffs' lawyers compensation is largely based on the amount of liability that gets imposed on defendants and the amounts that they are required to pay. This manner of compensation of plaintiffs’ lawyers creates very powerful incentives for them to seek the objectives of (i) expansion of harms or detriments for which a payment should be made, (ii) higher rather than lower amounts that should be paid, (iii) expansion of liability where there is no fault, (iv) disregard of distinctions between intentionally culpable, negligently culpable and faultless parties, especially in the context of corporations comprised of a conglomeration of employees, shareholders and customers , (v) disregard of culpability of plaintiffs in their own injuries and harms, (vi) disregard of rational cost/benefit principles, (vii) the invocation of junk science, and (viii) usurpation by them and the courts of the powers of the legislative branch and the executive branch regulatory apparatus.

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