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Response or Comment

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Emory L. J. Online


In October 2015, Emory University School of Law hosted a provocatively titled symposium, 'The `War' on the U.S. Civil Justice System.' The program was co-sponsored by the Pound Civil Justice Institute, a 'think tank' founded and controlled by leaders of the plaintiffs' bar that advocates for expansions in liability through presenting legal education seminars and publishing papers. The introduction to the symposium edition waxes nostalgic for the civil justice system of '[a] half-century ago,' which was 'a much-admired, well-organized process for resolving disputes, generally in public, before juries and independent judges.' As this Essay will show, at that time, the nation was in the midst of the most rapid expansion of liability exposure in its history. Civil justice reform is an effort, not to turn back the clock, but to achieve balance in areas where courts went too far in relaxing requirements for both imposing liability and awarding damages.

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