The Rule of Lawyers

How the New Litigation Elite Threatens America's Rule of Law

Walter K. Olson

St. Martin's Griffin

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Big-ticket litigation is becoming a way of life in this country. But something new is afoot-something typified by the $246 billion tobacco settlement, and by other courtroom assaults against companies producing guns, cars, breast implants, asbestos, lead paint, and more. Each massive class-action suit seeks to invent new law, to ban, tax, or regulate something that elected lawmakers had chosen to leave alone. And each time the new attack process works as intended, the new litigation elite reaps billions in fees-which they invest in fresh rounds of suits, as well as political contributions.

The Rule of Lawyers asks: Who picks these lawyers, and who can fire them? Who protects the public's interest when settlements are negotiated behind closed doors? Where are our elected lawmakers in all this? The answers may determine whether we slip from the rule of law to the rule of lawyers.

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Reviews

Praise for The Rule of Lawyers

"A truly gripping read about tort lawyers...a brilliant expose of the way courts are being overwhelmed by mass tort actions."
- Robert Lenzner, Forbes.com

"Walter Olson lays out an entertaining, but disturbing chronicle of class-action abuses."
- David A. Price, The Wall Street Journal

"With a marvelous combination of irony, insight and outrage, Olson covers the whole range of opportunistic litigation over tobacco, asbestos, breast-implants, autos and guns....Olson even proposes sensible ways of reforming the jury system that might actually make a difference."
- Gene Epstein, Barron's

"Even lawyers, however, will find [The Rule of Lawyers] a tasty snack."
- Peter Schuck, The New York Law Journal

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About the Author

Walter K. Olson

Walter K. Olson is the author of The Litigation Explosion (1991). A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Olson has written on law and lawyers for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, City Journal, and others. He lives and works in Chappaqua, NY.

Walter K. Olson

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Rule of Lawyers
How the New Litigation Elite Threatens America's Rule of Law
Walter K. Olson

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
June 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312331191
ISBN10: 0312331193
6 x 9 inches, 384 pages
$22.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Truman Talley Books
June 2004
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429979085
ISBN10: 1429979089
352 pages
$7.99
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St. Martin's Griffin

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