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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 me support reforming the tort system and limiting the rights of victims. But you have to at least pretend to write a balanced article if you 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 thoughtfully 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 the issues in reaching the conclusions he does. That is not the impression I have of this Forbes editorial.

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