Recently released data from the Bush Administration’s Department of Justice has confirmed what politicians on both sides of the aisle already knew: Corporate attacks on the validity of the civil justice systems are unwarranted and false.
As part of an ongoing lobbying campaign, the Chamber of Commerce has continuously hassled politicians trying to get them to, “pull in the reigns of greedy trial lawyers who exploit our courts.” They however have been surprised to find out that Democratic President Barack Obama and Former Republican President George W. Bush both agreed that their tales of, “jackpot justice,” practiced by, “opportunist attorney’s,” were bogus.
Recently, the Chamber of commerce, through its political action committee, The Institute for Legal Reform, had pressed President Obama to reform the legal system to benefit corporate interests and make it more difficult for citizens to sue (See our December 23rd article for more information.) Fortunately for President Obama, he only had to look as far as former President George W. Bush for some data on the chamber’s claims.
The Department of Justice, under the Bush Administration, released a study confirming that the Chamber of Commerce’s claims were drastically over exaggerated. The study supplements a recent American Association for Justice study, which discovered the following facts:
Tort Cases make up only 6 percent of civil filings in state courts.
Tort cases represent less than one percent of civil filings in federal court
Manufacturing companies ranked “fear of litigation” as their lowest concern, well behind material costs, energy prices, foreign competition, and taxes.
Median legal expenses of individuals who incurred them were not exorbitant, and usually ranged between $5,000 and $4,000.
Although it is rare, both parties in Washington can agree that the Chamber of Commerce’s claims are not to, “protect the legal system from greedy attorneys,” but instead to bolster corporate image and interest at the expense of the people and the legal system established to protect them.