Frivolous Lawsuits

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Justice, Tranquility and The Greed for Money Lynn Hubbard is handicapped. She happens to also have her own law firm. In the past year, she sued more than 600 nearly irreproachable institutions for over two million dollars. Hubbard and her entourage of scheming lawyers have not done anything illegal. Some may argue that she has simply exercised her right to the legal system. In any case, Hubbard is part of the growing American society that has discovered large money in mass litigation. This rise in greedy and manipulative lawyers has provided Americans with a skewed financial interest in the American courtroom and has hindered the justice system as a whole. Congress must reexamine tort reform to provide Americans with a trustworthy and secure justice system from frivolous lawsuits. As American citizens we do it everyday: we see something wrong and form ideas of suing. Whether our intentions are resolute or passive, the simple gesture itself poses a series of questions for why Americans find the courtrooms a haven to the solutions for their troubles. Although our forefathers didn’t plan on suits like suing McDonalds for serving hot coffee or causing obesity in children in America, they did create a judicial system that was easily accessible and fair. If examining the root of the problem, we must look back over 200 years ago, when our forefathers envisioned a country with justice and equality, without the idea of abusing the legal system with the intention of financial betterment in mind. In fact, over the past 50 years, America has resorted to the legal system with that exact intention. A major gateway to this broad social change occurred when congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This era, known as the “due process revolution,” was when lawyers won criminal defendants the right to a lawyer and a hearing (Jost). The aged and disabled began fighting for their rights, and eventually employees in the workplace caught on to the courtroom trend and established sexual harassment laws in the 1980’s that brought the courtroom into the workplace. While ease of access to the courtroom is a major advantage in America, this ongoing trend has provoked too much interest in swindling money out of the judicial system. This rise in greed has replaced fairness and community values. In Thomas F. Burke’s book, Lawyers, Lawsuits and Legal Rights, he proposes that we “b... ... middle of paper ... ...or step towards tort reform that took place in 1996. California’s Proposition 211 was a ballot initiative that would alter state laws regarding securities litigation. It had a harsh penalty for lawyers who filed frivolous lawsuits, personal-liability provisions and a punitive damage proposition. I didn’t use this as a source because the proposition never passed, which would have weakened my argument. However, the article did provide me with several examples for how reform could help and concepts for reform. Shapiro, Joseph P. “Defining who’s disabled.” Academic Search Premier. May 3, 1999. U.S. News & World Report. March 3, 2003 Shapiro discusses three cases before the United States Supreme Court, which challenge the definition of disability according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. He argues that the intentional use of broad language in the act make it easy for unlawful citizens to use the act to their advantage in abusing the legal system. His concern over frivolous lawsuits proposes several reforms within the Americans with Disabilities Act itself. His article helped me better understand how the American with Disabilities Act works, its purposes and its faults.

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