We need legal reform

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HelenaCat95
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We need legal reform

Post by HelenaCat95 » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:02 pm

While the events that spurred this are tragic, to say the least - this is evidence of our messed up legal system, and the fact that we desperately need reform.
What are other's thoughts?

http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.ph ... ldeath.inc



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Post by Cat-theotherwhitemeat » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:22 pm

I can't see a court finding a school at fault for these kids doing what they did unless there is more to the story.

Remember, you can sue for anything you want, doesn't mean you'll win. I think they parents are reaching because of the hurt. Unless, as I've already stated, there is more to the story that isn't in the article.

Unfortunately, this kind of thing cost tax payers either way and it won't bring back those kids.


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Post by WYCAT » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:27 pm

I agree HC95. It is a sad case but I can't see any liability on the schools part (unless like Meat said there is way more to the story). Our legal system is a joke at times. These type of cases are costing a ton of money and aren't worthy of even court time and yet anyone can sue anyone. Maybe we can sue neverwhatever (puzzled on the griz board) for being such a pain the ass? :D



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HelenaCat95
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Post by HelenaCat95 » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:34 pm

Even if the parents don't win, the school district will have to spend money - probably lot's of it - defending itself in court. That is money that should be spent on education.
It may also mean that insurance rates at that school district, and maybe others, may rise as a result of this.
There is no good result from a frivolous lawsuit.



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Post by WYCAT » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:45 pm

How about this for a 1st step towards reform. If the case is found to be unwarranted, the suing party is responsible for all legal costs incurred on both sides. That would put a stop to most of this type of case. Put that on a ballot and you would get my vote.



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HelenaCat95
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Post by HelenaCat95 » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:51 pm

I am a fan of the "loser pays" system like you describe.



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Post by Bleedinbluengold » Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:39 pm

Except that it is unconstitutional.



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HelenaCat95
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Post by HelenaCat95 » Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:46 pm

BBG - explanation please.



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Post by '93HonoluluCat » Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:00 pm

These sorts of frivolous lawsuits are an unfortunate part of our society. It seems to me that collectively we have the "it's anybody's fault but mine, and that someone's gonna pay" mindset.

Where were the parents?

How does this fall into the resposibility of the school district?

Did the Ronan school system start providing vodka for school lunches?



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Post by WYCAT » Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:13 pm

Did the Ronan school system start providing vodka for school lunches?
If so, I think I may want to go back to Ronan for a little algebra refresher course 8)



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Post by El_Gato » Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:20 pm

No doubt the attorney representing the parents is a griz; I don't have a problem with a grieving family lashing out, but this is a classic example where the pre-trial judge needs to save EVERYONE involved a bunch of money by simply telling this attorney to stick this idiotic lawsuit where the sun doesn't shine.

The "loser-pays" mentality is something I definitely support. If the attorney had to post a bond equivalent to the estimated cost of the trial, I seriously doubt we'd see many of these types of RIDICULOUS actions.

I heard a great phrase earlier this year regarding how our legal system works these days: "JACKPOT JUSTICE"

I couldn't have put it better myself.


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Post by SonomaCat » Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:33 pm

While I agree in general terms about the litigious nature of our society and how that needs to be checked, we must be careful to never make justice something that only those with money can afford. If the unintended consequences of a law such as a "loser pays" system is that it discourages people with a credible case from bringing that case for fear of being on the hook in the case of an unfavorable verdict (as I am sure some very solid cases still come back unfavorably), then it would a bad law.

There would have to be some limitations in there that would only force payment in a case that was clearly abusive of the system (which would probably be nearly impossible to determine or prove).

It's a tough situation to find a real easy answer to -- I'm stumped.



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Post by Bleedinbluengold » Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:34 pm

A plaintiff has the constitutional right to due process, and in effect, a "loser pay" system essentially penalizes the plaintiff prior to due process, (i.e., the risk of losing puts a burden on the plaintiff prior to the case being judged on its merits).

I agree that such a system would probably prevent many frivolous lawsuits, but here, every citizen has a right to due process. It's up to the jury of peers to judge the merits of a case after it has been brought. You can't put up barriers that prevent citizens from their right to due process.



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Post by Bleedinbluengold » Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:36 pm

El G: I've heard it put another way:

"You know what the law says?"

What?

"Anything you want it to."



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Post by BozoneCat » Fri Nov 05, 2004 6:01 pm

I think you could amend the "Bobcat Nation proposed law" to make it clear that while everyone indeed has the right to due process, a judge/jury would have the right to proclaim that a given lawsuit was frivilous. The idea of the loser paying all incurred court costs would not be the norm, but it could be an option to dissuade people from starting these ridiculous lawsuits that people often get into with no thought of going to trial, just hoping for a nice settlement.


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Post by El_Gato » Sun Nov 07, 2004 1:12 pm

But the problem is that litigation is SO expensive these days, MOST of these cases NEVER GET TO A JURY. The defendants estimate what their expenses are going to be & then generally offer a settlement for a lower amount and THE LAWYERS KNOW IT. Trial lawyers only need the threat of a loss; corporations and organizations are so terrified of some of the RIDICULOUS results that juries have rewarded over the years that they simply can't risk "taking their chances" with a jury; even when a case seems as clear-cut as this one does.

I'm sure that the families involved in this case could never afford to bring this action if they faced a 'loser-pays' situation. My point is that the ATTORNEY representing them is the one that should post the bond. Do you really believe that the school district would settle if they knew their costs would be covered when they won? And do you really believe there would be all these silly, baseless actions if the attorneys KNEW they'd most likely have to prove their case to a jury? I don't think so.


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