Justinian Lane

David Nieporent Wants to Party Like It’s 1899

Just what we need: more causes of action. If you've ever wondered why this country is overlawyered -- besides greed and lack of personal responsibility, I mean -- you might want to look to our law schools, where law professors with too much time on their hands spend some of it thinking of new ideas for increasing litigation. The latest example, from's The Browser:

The mere act of forwarding an email or posting an exchange to a website is grounds for legal action, according to University of Arkansas law professor Ned Snow. In a paper to be published in the Kansas Law Review this summer, Snow contends that one of the most common acts of the digital age is a violation of privacy and warns that our courts are running headlong into this issue.
...And if there's big money to be made somewhere along the way, well, I guess that's just the price we all have to pay.

Source: Overlawyered: Forward an email, get sued?

David apparently would prefer that as society and technology evolves, the law stands still.  Why, if the law never evolved, we wouldn't have such "problems" as minority rights, voter rights laws, school integration, Miranda rights, the ability to sue the government if a police officer brutalizes you, etc.  While David might prefer a justice system from the 19th century in which injured persons had limited rights of redress, I prefer a justice system that evolves and adapts to new wrongs.  I doubt David would complain about the evolution of law that allows pharmaceutical companies to protect their research into biotechnology, or that allows companies like Microsoft to prevent their competitors from stealing their source code.

As technology marches on, so too must the law.  It must evolve to protect individuals, corporations, and society.  And if there's "big money" to be made by enforcing the rights of citizens and corporations, well, that's not a very big price for America to have the most robust justice system in the world.

David, if you want to rail against greed and the "overlawyered" nature of the country, why don't you do all your work pro bono, or better yet, quit practicing law.  I just love how defense lawyers, who charge hundreds of dollars per hour, complain about greedy lawyers and those injured plaintiffs who dare to demand their medical bills be paid by the entity that injured them.

Cross-posted to Corpreform

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Posted at 9:32 PM, May 04, 2007 in David Nieporent
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Justinian: Personal remarks do not persuade. They show frustration in the traverse. Facts persuade. Try one of those for a change of pace.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 5, 2007 4:55 PM

Every law professor or law student who thinks they've discovered a new cause of action needs to ask themselves two questions:

1) Would I be willing to spend thousands of dollars of cash, and hundred or thousands of hours of my own time, in the hope that this cause of action would be endorsed by the judiciary?

2) If not, would any rational person be willing to spend thousands of dollars in cash, for expenses and a lawyer's time, in the hope that this cause of action would be endorsed by the judiciary?

If the answer to either of these questions is "yes," then it's possible you have discovered a new cause of action. If the answer to both is "no," then you're just engaged in intellectual masturbation.

Posted by: dp | May 7, 2007 1:11 AM