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Forbes Article on Lawsuits in New York

I was tempted to respond to this Forbes article on how our tort system and medical malpractice lawyers are ruining New York.

Look, unless you have been living under a rock, you know that I oppose tort reform. (Okay, I’m deluding my importance, but stay with me.) Reasonable people smarter than I am support the idea of reforming the tort system and limiting the rights of victims. But you have to at least pretend to write a balanced article if your are trying to convince the undecided. Otherwise, you are just preaching to the choir.

Trial consultant and author David Ball says that trial lawyers – particularly plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers – have no credibility when they walk in front of a jury for the first time. Similarly, I think the same is true for someone writing an editorial. You know where the author is going; what you want to know is did the author consider in a thoughtful way the arguments on the other side. For example, how on earth can you talk about the problem of medical malpractice lawsuits against New York hospitals from a “Gee, this is economically burdensome” perspective without acknowledging the plight of victims, the desultory quality of hospitals, and how to provide support to victims of malpractice?

Apropos to nothing, I read the Washington Post editorial section every night. David Gergen does this well. Even when I disagree with him – which is frequently – I always think he typically seems to consider all of the issues in reaching the conclusions that he does. That is not the impression I have of this Forbes editorial.

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