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Trial Lawyers Inc. -- Asbestos

The Manhattan Institute's Trial Lawyers Inc. project came out yesterday with its latest, and one of its strongest, reports on the business of mass litigation: Trial Lawyers Inc. -- Asbestos, directed by my colleague Jim Copland, the principal author being John M. Wylie II. I've been writing about asbestos litigation for years on this site and elsewhere, and even devoted a chapter to it in my book The Rule of Lawyers, so I figured I'd seen it all. Wrong: this report has all sorts of fresh and arresting material, well organized and clearly written. As Carter notes in his laudatory post at Shop Floor, it makes a particularly good explanatory resource for new readers seeking a first approach to what is almost certainly the most complicated and costly body of injury litigation in history. It also makes a compelling case that our legal system has failed badly to curb the various devices -- from mass screening resulting in medically dubious diagnoses, to mass forum-shopping in search of favorable courts, through group trial and mass settlement of cases -- by which some law firms convoy spurious claims of asbestos injury to victory along with the genuine.

In its first day the report has already made a considerable splash, with the ABA Journal taking note, Jim publishing an op-ed in today's Examiner, ATRA calling for Congressional hearings on the subject, and the Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine and sister publications covering as well. The report, once again, can be found here.

More: Edited May 12 to clarify authorship of report; see followup posts here, here, and here.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.