Emory Law Journal


Georgene Vairo


No talk about tort reform can begin without a quote from Shakespeare¿s Henry VI: ¿The first thing we do, let¿s kill all the lawyers.¿ There has been a lot of debate about exactly what Shakespeare meant. Was he referring to lawyers as mere parchment pushers who worked to the detriment of the people? Or was he talking about lawyers as a bulwark against tyranny? No matter what Shakespeare meant, I think we can probably agree that right now the modern translation of this quote is ¿Let¿s kill all the plaintiffs¿ lawyers until we need one.¿ This Essay discusses the evolution of tort reform¿beginning with the seeds of that evolution in the 1960s¿and evaluates whether the reform campaign was successful.