TorteDeForm

Cameron Getto

Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly has exposed tort deform for what it is: Chamber of Commerce anti-lawyer propaganda based on myths instead of hard data.

Michigan Lawyer's Weekly has exposed tort deform for what it is: Chamber of Commerce anti-lawyer propaganda based on myths instead of hard data.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, facing the worst economic forecast of Michigan's future in decades, came up with a disingenuous, cynical plan to improve Michigan's economic future by blaming trial lawyers, victims of negligence, and victims of dangerous drugs.

Michigan Lawyer's Weekly, in a well-researched, thorough expose, debunked just about every single argument set forth in the Chamber's "study." The article, by Todd C. Berg, Esq., debunks the the Chamber's myths by using hard data and expert analysis to establish:

  • Michigan's economy hasn't benefited in any measurable way from tort deform;
  • Tort deform in Michigan hasn't increased personal income or opportunities for employment;
  • Most of the "reforms" sought by the Chamber are already present in Michigan law and Court Rules;
  • The Chamber is wrong about needing more incentives to settle cases -- the vast, vast majority of cases already do settle out of court;
  • Doctors have not enjoyed lower malpractice insurance rates despite the clear, measurable trend toward lower payouts and fewer numbers of them;
  • Declining numbers of physicians are not related to tort deform but to other economic factors.
What is perhaps most interesting is the consensus found among the defense bar, the plaintiff's bar, and the neutral State Bar of Michigan, all of which agree that there is no measurable connection between tort deform and economic opportunity in Michigan.

Never one to fess up when confronted with facts, the Chamber nonetheless maintains its frivolous position that more tort deform is needed.

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Posted at 9:36 AM, Jun 26, 2007 in
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Comments

More tort reform in Michigan? Are you serious? I didnt think it could get any worse in Michigan. I wonder which profession lost more jobs in your state last year -- Doctors or Lawyers?

Posted by: Tom | June 26, 2007 4:51 PM

The Michigan Chamber has a goal of helping business in the state as well as to help move companies into the state, tort reform is a selling point. A company looking to move has to evaluate many factors and unfortunately Michigan has many issues that put it in the negative. Is tort reform the thing that is going to bring in more companies? Not by itself but it wont hurt. A poor or unstable legal climate on the other hand is not likely to be a plus. Michigan needs to advertise its legal climate and try to get people to forget the courts of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

When we moved our business from Michigan we did not consider Madison, IL! A state with a stable, business friendly legal clmate and low taxes was our pick.

Posted by: Chris | June 26, 2007 8:11 PM

Chris:

It is important that you refer to tort deform as a selling point, since selling points are normally intended to communicate the existence of actual incentives, rather than fraudulently induce businesses to move here based on factual inaccuracies. So if your point that tort deform is already providing that benefit for business (which is consistent with my point that the reforms sought are entirely duplicative of what we already have), then the question is why is the Chamber "selling" this as something we need more of? And why is the Chamber issuing a "report" designed to present little more than their opinion as some kind of scientific and evidence-based fact? Doing so is clearly the pinnacle of disingenuity.

Posted by: Cameron | June 29, 2007 9:22 AM

I would argue that the Chamber's shrillness has actually hurt the economic climate in Michigan. Their politicized attacks, attempts to intimidate lawmakers, and just pure lies (see my earlier posts on Tort Deform re: "Big Noise in the Mitten State") provoke an inevitable rejoinder - in the media and beyond. This, it turn, creates the false impression that there is something "unstable" in Michigan's economic and political climate, kind of like investing in a country about to nationalize tooth paste, and the like.

Thus, the Chamber's antics have hurt a great many businesses, and citizens, in our state.

Posted by: Henry Greenspan | June 29, 2007 12:46 PM

Henry: You have a store, or a service business. Would you open it in Michigan or any of the other judicial hellholes you defend?

Let's say, I point out a Michigan location free of any competition, with a guaranteed, desperate demand by the public for your business. Let's say, you move there, and get rich. What happens?

The land pirates and their government protectors come around, take all your assets, and worse, all your time. You are better off not doing business, staying poor, but not wasting time on litigation.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | July 1, 2007 10:37 AM