"Loser Pays" Is A Much Needed Change

A big problem we have with our legal system, particularly in regards to tort law, is that it is far too easy for those with trivial or questionable cases to go to court in the hopes of a big pay day. They risk little by filing suit, so suits are filed in great numbers, tying up the court system and driving up costs on a host of products and services, including medical care.

It's well past time to change that by making it less attractive for people to file such suits, reducing the case load for courts and ensuring only cases with merit make it to the dockets.

How do we bring about such change?

Make the losing party pay all the legal costs.

Plaintiffs and their attorneys will think long and hard about pursuing a sketchy suit if they know they are likely to lose and will have to pay the defendant's court costs.

Defendants who know they have been negligent will settle quickly since denying liability, delaying action and defending the indefensible will no longer make financial sense. Those with real claims may find justice will be swifter and fairer.

The typical defense against such a system is that poor people will no longer be able to get representation. The truth is, people with spurious cases will be weeded out before suits are filed, and people, rich or poor, with real cases will find swift and affordable justice.

Unfortunately there's little chance such a change could be made here in the US because the Trial Lawyers Association will do everything in its power to prevent it. After all a change like that would deprive them of the opportunity to collect millions, if not billions of dollars through the courts. The TLA is probably one of the more powerful lobbies in Washington DC and will pull every string to prevent Loser Pays laws from being passed. (It doesn't help that many members of Congress are/were trial lawyers.)