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"No discovery, no parade of expert witnesses, no jury, and loser pays"

In an interview with Jane Genova at Law and More, attorney Joseph K. Hetrick of Dechert, a product liability specialist, looks at some of the contrasts between European legal systems and our own. Excerpt:

...Essentially, there are three key differences.

One, is that the U.S. believes that the people are entitled to a risk-free life. There should be zero exposure to risk. That's now embedded in our national ethos.

But that wasn't always how it was. It became a fixed idea when strict liability decisions were being made.

And, this is certainly not the way most other nations think. Maybe other nations such as Europe had been through too many brutal wars and revolutions on their own land to ever embrace the idea that risk can be prevented from a life. In Japan, if you state that zero risk is your goal, they would laugh out loud. ...

Most nations are conservative about what law should be used for. It should not be a tool to transfer wealth. ... You have to remember: Most suits in Europe begin as a criminal matter. ... our system [in the U.S.] is money-oriented.

An earlier interview between the same participants was linked here.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.