Since the 1970s, according to Olson, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York, an explosion has taken place in American jurisprudence, and it is dangerous for everyone but lawyers and judges. It has resulted in our becoming the most litigious society on earth. Among the more insidious features of the new legal age are forum-shopping (picking the venue where a case has the best chance of succeeding), shotgun complaints (instituting a suit and then shopping around to determine in how many states one can simultaneously sue), depositions for discovery (asking hundreds of questions in hopes that some answers will prove incriminating). The catalogue of abuses by the legal profession cited here seems endless. Olson offers faint hope in his conclusion, urging that, to curb frivolous litigiousness, the loser in a case should pay all costs. An important book. (Apr.)
A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Olson concisely examines the 20-year evolution of America's sue-and-be-damned society. Written primarily for the nonlawyer, his book will appeal to anyone wondering why the litigation explosion developed, what it means, and who profits and who loses. Olson thoroughly discusses the Alternative Dispute Resolution and the recent Rule 11 legislation, which promise some hope for reform. Recommended for public and university libraries.-- Fern Sikkema, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, Washington, D.C.