Thursday, January 27, 2005

New Tort Reform Bill in Congress

Tort Reform Advocates are happy with the new legislation introduced in Congress to impose sanctions on lawyers for filing frivolous lawsuits. I generally disagree strongly with the tort reform folks (my most recent post discusses Judge Posner's comments, click here), but from what I've read, this proposed bill is more moderate - it mostly limits attenuated forum selection (which is fine, I think - although it inconveniences plaintiffs who live near a big facility (read employer) of the defendant, and perhaps they should create a small exception for that case (except that voir dire allows the lawyers to nix jurors with family members who work for either party). And many states already have provisions for sanctions in cases of vexatious litigation. I'd rather see these types of limitations than "caps" on damages, which I view as unfortunate regulatory interference in a market, akin to rent control.