See You in Court: How the Right Made America a Lawsuit Nation


How Conservatives have created a litigious society in which Americans have no recourse but to sue one another, by the National Book Critics Circle Award nominee.
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How Conservatives have created a litigious society in which Americans have no recourse but to sue one another, by the National Book Critics Circle Award nominee.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Americans find themselves more and more in the toils of the law while getting less justice, declares labor attorney Geoghegan (In America's Court: How a Civil Lawyer Who Likes to Settle Stumbled into a Criminal Trial, 2002, etc.). Elaborating on themes from such earlier books as Which Side Are You On? (1991), the author looks at the massive changes in American society wrought by the implosion of the union movement (wounded by gutted legal protections that were weak to begin with) and by the economic, legal and social anomie of the middle class. Noting the nation's current, dramatically skewed distribution of income, Geoghegan argues that we now have a serious sense of disconnect between effort and reward. The U.S. has shifted from a contract-based society with a stable of reasonably well-known rewards to a tort-based crapshoot, in which more people invoke the legal process but less justice is achieved. The mediating influence of many institutions-including unions, of course-has waned. Geoghegan makes no bones about being an unreconstructed liberal of the bread-and-butter variety. He is openly contemptuous of the collapse of fiduciary law as it applies to corporate leadership, of our lengthy discovery-driven legal proceedings, of the diminishing use of injunctions to achieve justice and of the arbitration that was supposed to effectively and efficiently substitute for litigation. This might be unbearably grim, were it not for a writing voice that positions the author as someone with whom you would cheerfully spend four or five hours in a bar somewhere, arguing the whole time, who would then send you home to the sound sleep of the just, confident that civilization was probably still more orless salvageable, if only Geoghegan would either lead, shut up or simply get out of the way. Will clean out your political cholesterol and make you think about the long-term, systemic effects of the legal and cultural wars in which we are now engaged.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595580993
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 6/25/2007
  • Pages: 246
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Geoghegan is a practicing attorney and the author of several books, including Which Side Are You On?, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and received a special citation from the PEN/Martha Albrand Award judges. He lives in Chicago.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: A Warning at the Red Mass     1
Do We Have Too Much Democracy?     9
From Contract to Tort: How We Experience the Rule of Law at Work     25
From the Law of Trusts to the Collection Courts: How Charities Came to Prey on Beneficiaries     40
From Administrative Law to No Law: The Rise of the Whistle-Blower and the Trial Lawyer     58
The Deregulation of Public Space: Or, the End of Equity     71
The War on Reason, Uniformity, and Predictability in the Law: Why the Right Hates Class Action     81
Why Litigation Costs Are Going Up     93
How Attacking Litigation Is Increasing Litigation     104
How We Went to Court as Creditors and Ended Up as Debtors     116
Do You Really Want to See a Jury?     132
But Would You Rather Get a Judge?     144
So What Is Our Judicial Philosophy?     164
Living in the Fourth Republic     187
The Case Against Civilization     216
The Plan     225
Epilogue     243
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