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Civil Justice Forum
No. 43 October 2005

The Time for Legal Reform Is Now, continued


  1. Abraham Lincoln, The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions: Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, Jan. 27, 1838, available at
  2. See generally Manhattan Institute, Trial Lawyers, Inc. California: A Report on the Lawsuit Industry in California, 2005; available at; Manhattan Institute, Trial Lawyers, Inc.: A Report on the Lawsuit Industry in America: 2003, available at
  3. See U.S. Tort Costs: 2004 Update, Trends and Findings on the Costs of the U.S. Tort System 5 (Towers Perrin [Tillinghast] 2005).
  4. Cf. President's 2005 Budget, available at (showing 2005 homeland security spending at $30 billion and 2005 education spending at $57.3 billion).
  5. Cf. International Monetary Fund list of countries by GDP, 2005, available at (showing twenty-seven countries with GDP greater than $246 billion).
  6. See U.S. Tort Costs: 2004 Update, supra note 3, at 2 (showing per capita U.S. tort cost of $845).
  7. See generally Deborah R. Hensler et al., Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain (RAND Inst. for Civ. Just. 1999), available at
  8. See Press Release, Toshiba Reaches Settlement of U.S. Lawsuit Regarding Floppy Disk Controllers in Notebook PCs, Oct. 29, 1999, available at; Andy Pasztor and Peter Landers, Toshiba to Pay $2B Settlement on Laptops, The Wall St. J. Online, Oct. 31, 1999, available at
  9. See Press Release, Congress Approves Goodlatte Class Action Reform Legislation, Feb. 17, 2005, available at
  10. See Brian J. Ostrom et al., Examining the Work of State Courts, 2002: A National Perspective from the Court Statistics Project 10 (National Center for State Courts, 2003), available at (showing 15.8 million civil lawsuit filings in state court in 2002).
  11. See Federalist Society, Analysis: Class Action Litigation—A Federalist Society Survey, 1 Class Action Watch 1, 5 (1999).
  12. See Peter Huber, Liability: The Legal Revolution and Its Consequences 14, 157–58 (Basic Books, 1988) ("Under jury pressure, the new touchstones of technological legitimacy have become age, familiarity, and ubiquity. It is the innovative and unfamiliar that is most likely to be condemned. . . . People everywhere underestimate the risks they know well and face every day and overestimate those that are new and foreign. The familiar is safe, or at least bearable enough, no matter how appallingly dangerous it may be in reality. The unfamiliar is suspect, intrusive, and probably dangerous, no matter how reassuring the statistics may be.").
  13. See American Medical Association, Medical Liability Crisis Map,
  14. See Office of the Asst. Secy. for Planning & Evaluation, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Servs., Confronting the New Health Care Crisis: Improving Health Care Quality and Lowering Costs by Fixing Our Medical Liability System 3 (July 24, 2002).
  15. See Lester Brickman, Asbestos Litigation, Center for Legal Policy Forum, Mar. 10, 2004, available at
  16. See American Bar Association, National Lawyer Population by State, available at (last visited Mar. 3, 2005) (measuring 2003 resident and active attorneys in California as 134,468); U.S. Census Bureau, available at (last visited Mar. 3, 2005) (estimating California's 2003 population at 35,484,453); Snapshot of America, U.S. News & World Rep., June 28, 2004, at 40 (citing Frank B. Cross, America the Adversarial, Va. L. Rev. 189, 198 (2003)).
  17. Compare Blue Chip Stamps v. Superior Court, 18 Cal.3d 381 (1976) (determining that a grant of class certification is not a final order and not appealable, only challengeable with a writ of mandamus), with 28 U.S.C. 1292(f) (2005) (providing for interlocutory appeal of class certifications in federal court), and Ill. S. Ct. R. 307(a)(8) (2005) (same for Illinois courts); see Dominica C. Anderson & Kathryn L. Martin, The Asbestos Litigation System in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Paradigm of the National Asbestos Litigation Crisis, 45 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1, 1–2 (2004); see also Gardner v. Charles Schwab, 267 Cal. Rptr. 326 (1990); cf. California Business Roundtable, California Competitiveness Project: Assessment of California Competitiveness 3 (2004), available at (last visited Mar. 4, 2005).
  18. See J. Clark Kelso & Kari C. Kelso, An Analysis of Punitive Damages in California Courts, 1991–2000 16, tab. 9 (Capital Center for Government Law & Policy 2001) (showing 223 verdicts with punitive damages in 1991–95, with a mean punitive award of $5,671,942, and 266 verdicts with punitives in 1996–2000, with a mean punitive award of $19,273,391).
  19. See Thomas H. Cohen & Steven K. Smith, Civil Trial Cases and Verdicts in Large Counties, 2001, Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin app. F (Apr. 2004); Civil Trial Cases and Verdicts in Large Counties, 1996, Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin app. D (Sept. 1999).
  20. See id.
  21. See California Business Roundtable, supra n. 17, at 3.
  22. Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4 (2005).
  23. See 2005 ILR/Harris State Liability Systems Ranking Study, available at
  24. For state rankings, see; for a summary of recent state-level tort reforms, see
  25. See Emily Wagster Pettus, Legal Climate Hurt State in Push for Toyota Plant, Barbour Says, AP Apr. 27, 2004 ("In February 2003, Toyota chose to build a new plant in Texas rather than in Mississippi or several other states that courted the company. [Toyota senior vice president Dennis] Cuneo said he led the site selection for the Japanese automaker's newest plants and was impressed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry's commitment to changing that state's civil justice system").
  26. See Carolyn Said, Citizens' Right to Sue Limited, S.F. Chron., Nov. 4, 2004, at C1.
  27. See Cal. Labor Code 4060(b)(1), 4656(c)(1) (West 2005); Jim Wasserman, California Lawmakers Approve Overhaul of Workers' Compensation, AP, Apr. 16, 2004.
  28. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Campbell, 538 U.S. 408 (2003).
  29. See, e.g., Simon v. San Paolo U.S. Holding Co., No. S121933 (Cal. June 16, 2005); Johnson v. Ford Motor Co., No. S121723 (Cal. June 16, 2005).
  30. See U.S. Senate's Frist Intends to Pass Asbestos Bill, Reuters, July 29, 2005.
  31. See Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2005, H.R. 420, Rep. No. 109-123, June 14, 2005.
  32. See Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, H.R. 554, Rep. No. 109-130, June 14, 2005.
  33. See PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2003 PricewaterhouseCoopers Securities Litigation Study 7 (2004); Laura E. Simmons & Ellen M. Ryan, Cornerstone Research, Post-Reform Act Securities Settlements, Updated through December 2004 16 (2005).
  34. See Press Release, Cornerstone Research, Mar. 2, 2005, available at h_12_2004_PR.pdf
  35. See U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Elections-Policy Accomplishments for 2004, Jan. 14, 2005, available at; Thomas J. Donohue, State of American Business 2004, Jan. 7, 2004, available at ss.htm; Thomas J. Donohue, Illinois Chamber PAC Dinner Keynote Address, Mar. 11, 2002, available at


Center for Legal Policy.



End Notes

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