[FoRK] The Platform

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Mon Jun 30 08:53:29 PDT 2008


On Jun 30, 2008, at 10:38 AM, Zee Roe wrote:

> I think there are a lot more in the middle which have merit...

Fine, give the judge both the power to require a bond up front *and*  
the power to distribute that bond however he sees fit in proportion to  
the merits of the case, as previously suggested.  I.e., let it be  
possible for the judge to rebate entirely, or any portion thereof, the  
bond of any plaintiff who had a good case but merely lost.

How does this produce a chilling effect on questionably-but-probably  
meritorious cases?

Simply, it does not.

If you don't recognize how totally parasitized our system is by  
entrepreneurial litigators, then you either haven't spent enough time  
on juries and / or around lawyers, or you're uninformed, or you're  
fully aware of the situation and pulling for the parasites anyway.   
What we've got *now* is a complete perversion of justice;  this can be  
obviously demonstrated by the simple observations that (a) anyone can  
sue anyone else for anything, with little to no up-front expense, (b)  
the likelihood of being the defendant in a lawsuit is directly  
proportional to net worth, (c) case statistics indicate that the suit  
participant with the lower net worth wins more than would otherwise be  
expected by simple random distribution of merit when cases go to a  
jury, and (d) lifetime expenses in settlements and damages is also  
proportional to total net worth.

The only possible conclusion from this is that current system  
comprises a systematic means of extortion that enriches primarily the  
litigating class by playing on the economic social biases of the  
random jury and / or the economic rationality of wealthy defendants in  
settling.  This is *wrong* and I see no way to correct it other than  
by balancing the risk-rewards involved, particularly with respect to  
eliminating the risk arbitrage that is the business model of the  
parasitic litigator.

jb



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