September 20, 2005

Time for REAL tort reform

The "New American Rule" is a proposed tort fee rule that would require lawyers to disclose their hourly rates to clients who may be contingency clients. An editorial in todays Washington PostTimes explains that this proposed new rule could help control unreasonable lawyer fees by exposing greed and giving control to consumers after a case is won. But does it go far enough? Hardly - part of the problem is that the consumer is just as greedy as the lawyer in question. Why wouldn't they agree to such rates in a 'roll-the-dice' situation as long as their own end were served? What the proposal lacks is the capping of 'reasonable' fees at such a point that extremely ridiculous cases are too risky even after factoring in potential rewards. Only then will the crap shoot be curtailed!

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