9780511976551 (ebook) 9781107001220 (hardback) 9780521189491 (paperback)
This book is a broad and deep inquiry into how contingency fees distort our civil justice system, influence our political system and endanger democratic governance. Contingency fees are the way personal injury lawyers finance access to the courts for those wrongfully injured. Although the public senses that lawyers manipulate the justice system to serve their own ends, few are aware of the high costs that come with contingency fees. This book sets out to change that, providing a window into the seamy underworld of contingency fees that the bar and the courts not only tolerate but even protect and nurture. Contrary to a broad academic consensus, the book argues that the financial incentives for lawyers to litigate are so inordinately high that they perversely impact our civil justice system and impose other unconscionable costs. It thus presents the intellectual architecture that underpins all tort reform efforts.
Title from publisher's bibliographic system (viewed on 05 Oct 2015).
Formatted Contents Note
The origin of the contingency fee How profitable are contingency fees? Are contingency fee profits "reasonable"? How tort lawyers have increased their profits by restraining competition Why the market has failed to correct the absence of price competition Impediments imposed by the bar to price competition The effects of incentives created by contingency fees How the quest for profits influenced the development of the tort system Lawyers' role in the expansion of tort liability The role of the judiciary in tort system expansion Current and future expansions of tort liability The "litigation explosion" : fact or fiction? Measures of the rate of expansion of tort liability The relationship between injury rates and tort system costs The impacts of substantial increases in tort lawyers' effective hourly rates Class actions Fees in class actions How class action lawyers game fee setting Securities class actions Regulation through litigation A new role for punitive damages : policy making as a profit center For-profit partnerships between state attorneys general and contingency fee lawyers.