When I hear something, I want to know it’s true. We all do. Just saying something does not make it so. Jurors understand that. If you tell them in your opening statement that you will prove that the defendant ran a red light and collided with your client, they will need to hear or see some facts in order to agree with you. A picture of your clients damaged vehicle is one fact, but that only proves that a collision occurred. Without evidence tying the defendant to the collision, your claim comes up short. And so it is with anecdotal evidence used to support tort reform arguments …
The same folks who fight to keep junk science out of trials use it when it suits their needs. Tort reform proponents say you can’t use case studies to prove that the product was dangerous, you need a study which analyzes lots of case studies. Okay … so why is fair to claim that because one knucklehead in the District of Columbia files a frivolous lawsuit, the system is falling apart? And why didn’t those same complainers use that case as a call for judicial reform? The judge in that case appeared to be a knucklehead, himself. And if you are going to use a study, shouldn’t you use one that is not funded by the folks who look to gain from it – a technique that Big Pharma has perfercted?
An "article" that I read this morning goes even beyond that – into the "creating news through advertizing" category. The headline caught my eye – "Study Shows Lawsuit Abuse Has Overwhelmingly Negative Impact On California Economy." The "study" was actually a survey of a California trade association for small businesses. Everything cited in the article was opinion – not a single cold, hard fact. It was merely a poll of how they felt. Come on – if I want opinion disguised as news, I’ll watch FOX.
Cum Laude graduate of Cumberland School of Law, Pet Mackey is a civil trial litigation expert who represents plaintiffs in business and consumer tort, contracts and construction, employment disputes and insurance. He is board certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Certified Alabama Mediator, and an “AV” rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell.