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Beyond the Goliath myth

Law.com reports from New Jersey that plaintiff's lawyers in that state are dazzling juries with sophisticated video and computer-generated graphics that dramatize their side of the controversy. Meanwhile, defense lawyers often plod along with "Magic Marker, whiteboard, easel and maybe a projector for paper exhibits". Why the disparity? There are a number of reasons, but first in reporter Henry Gottlieb's list is the inveterate frugality of the insurers who so often foot the bills on the defense side: they are much more likely to keep their lawyers on a tight budget, refusing to authorize flashy new technology even when it holds out a promise of success.

All of this is very believable, and it suggests that the "David versus Goliath" mythos so beloved of our friends in the plaintiff's bar is way behind the times as regards a lot of personal-injury practice. If David is going to sport a fatter war chest and better access to the high-tech weaponry of the courtroom, then maybe it's time for the emotionally resonant imagery about underdogs and slingshots to be put to rest for good.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.