Hey Trump haters, he can file as many lawsuits as he damn well pleases
today at 2:31 pm
Access to the third branch of government–the judiciary–is a basic right in a democracy to fix real or perceived wrongs.
That President Trump or his supporters have sued many times to challenge the outcome of the presidential election does not make him a threat to democracy. Nor does it mean that those defending his right to do so are joining him in an “alternate universe.”
The extreme rhetoric is coming from both the political left and right, with the bulk coming from the former. Which is extraordinarily ironic, because Democrats are a handmaiden of the trail lawyers, personal injury attorneys and ambulance chasers. They make their living by filing lots and lots of lawsuits, some of them frivolous.
OpenSecrets.com, the non-partisan follow-the-money tracker’s research shows that lawyers and their law firms contribute significantly more (I’d say a lot more) to Democrats than to Republicans. In lawsuit-friendly Illinois, trial lawyers share, with public employee unions, an extraordinary grip on state . politicians. One can safely conclude that Democrats are more likely to do the bidding of trial lawyers.
So, the source of many trial lawyers’ wealth is exactly what Trump does: file plenty of lawsuits, even those without merit.
Take Cook, Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois, national leaders in the number of frivolous lawsuits filed–a veritable “Plaintiff’s Paradise.”
The American Tort Reform Foundation concludes:
This trio of Illinois counties continues to be a preferred jurisdiction for plaintiffs’ lawyers thanks to no-injury lawsuits, plaintiff-friendly rulings in asbestos litigation, and the promise of a liability-expanding legislative agenda each and every year. Illinois is ground zero for no-injury lawsuits, thanks in large part to its Biometric Information Privacy Act and the courts’ expansive interpretation of the law. While 2020 did not bring the normal volume of litigation due to COVID-19 shutdowns, there is no reason to think it will not resume to normal levels once the pandemic has ended.
The Illinois General Assembly continues to look for innovative new ways to expand liability for businesses, increasing the financial burdens of doing business in the state. At a time when business is reeling from the economic impact of COVID-19, the legislature should consider enacting reforms to ease the economic burden caused by abuses of the state’s civil justice system. A recent report by The Perryman Group estimates that excessive tort costs to the Illinois economy result in $5.7 billion in annual direct costs and 99,966 jobs when dynamic effects are considered. These excess costs result in a “tort tax” of $761.81 per person.
One of the ways that these Democratic Party wingmen cash in is the contingency fee. The American Bar Association explains:
In a contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer agrees to accept a fixed percentage (often one third) of the recovery, which is the amount finally paid to the client. If you win the case, the lawyer’s fee comes out of the money awarded to you. If you lose, neither you nor the lawyer will get any money, but you will not be required to pay your attorney for the work done on the case.
It is an invitation to sue. If the plaintiff loses the case, it costs him nothing. Consider a fender bender. The driver suffers no personal injury, but files a suit claiming $1 million for whiplash, lost wages, depression, mental and emotional distress and a host of other fake injuries.
The lawsuit is an obvious pile of crap, but defending yourself against such nonsense will cost you, big. Lawyers’ fees. Filing fees. Discovery. And more. By the time you add it all up, the cost of actually getting your day in court would be so great that it’s cheaper to reach a settlement with the plaintiff. For a lot more than the actual damages suffered, but for less than fighting for justice.
I know how it works because it happened to me in Cook County Court. And to a relative whose insurance company forked over a six-figure settlement for a minor vehicle accident. In both cases, the claims would have been laughed out of court, but the cost of making these scammers prove their case in court was simply too great.
One of the problems is the contingency fee arrangement. It’s no risk for the plaintiff. That’s wrong. People filing frivolous law suit should have to pay something. Maybe the contingency fee arrangement should be abolished. But something ought to be done to end this injustice and unclog the courts.
Back to Trump’s lawsuits.
While I believe that the election was marred by fraud, I’m not sure that it would be enough to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. And it’s not for me to decide because it is a question of fact. Fact is determined in a court of law, by a jury or a judge.
Trump does not endanger the fabric of our system of governance by filing many lawsuits, as aggravating as it might be. It’s his right. One that needs to be respected. If Democrats believe that it is so wrong, then maybe they should join Republicans who long have fought to end the abuse of the judicial system. You know they won’t though, because it would jeopardize the rich source of their campaign money and their power.