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Chicago Tribune: Only Recourse

Chicago Tribune
02.10.2009

The following letter to the editor by Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr., extolling the value of our civil justice system appeared in the Chicago Tribune on February 10, 2009.

Only Recourse

Columnist George Will unfortunately relied on the same old tired propaganda in "First things first: Sue" (Commentary, Jan. 13), to malign trial attorneys and judges within the civil justice system. The Constitution's Bill of Rights ensures that all people-rich and poor, black and white, young and old-have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system, even when taking on the most powerful corporations. Will contends that many lawsuits are frivolous. He follows the same old script that courthouses everywhere are bursting at the seams with lawsuits that lack any merit whatsoever. Try telling that to someone when his insurance company refuses to pay a just claim, is injured by a drug the manufacturer knew was dangerous, or loses his life savings by an unscrupulous investment banker. In reality, the number of civil filings has been decreasing for more than a decade. And trial attorneys and their firms, who pay for all expenses up-front out of their own pockets, have absolutely no incentive to file frivolous claims when they know a jury will never rule in their favor. But that doesn't stop Will from peddling propaganda that tries to insist that litigation is out of control. This benefits only one business model: big corporations that don't want to be held accountable for their negligence, while working to the detriment of everyday Americans whose only recourse is the court of law.

-Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr.

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