Washington Examiner – Kings of Tort shows what happens when tort reforms not enacted

But those legal reforms are necessary. Otherwise, the natural conclusion is the world portrayed in “Kings of Tort,” the recent book by Alan Lange and former federal prosecutor Tom Dawson. The book describes how former tort baron and current federal prisoner Dickie Scruggs sued his way into a fortune and then began purchasing an entire state’s judiciary. Years before he was caught bribing two Mississippi judges, Scruggs had described as “magic jurisdictions” those places where verdict money was used to stack benches and juries.

“[M]agic jurisdiction,” Scruggs said in a brazen public speech, “[is] where the judiciary is elected with verdict money. It’s almost impossible to get a fair trial if you’re a defendant in some of these places. The plaintiff lawyer walks in there and writes the number on the blackboard, and the first juror meets the last one coming out the door with that amount of money.”

With the billions he won in various courts and settlements, Scruggs gained such influence in the judiciary that he proved popular self-governance cannot survive more people like him.
As Obama seeks out the last few votes he needs for the current health care bill, bear in mind that it will prevent a solution to this problem.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner
3/11/10