See You in Court: How the Right Made America a Lawsuit Nation

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New Press, 2007 - Law - 246 pages
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A powerful new argument that right-wing legal policy gives Americans no recourse but to sue one another, by the National Book Critics Circle Award nominee.

Since the dawn of the Reagan era, America's traditional legal structures have been gradually undermined, replaced by a kind of legal rage that has led to an explosion in the number of lawsuits. Why do Americans sue each other as often as we do and how has this basic rift in our civic trust come to pass?

In an impassioned rebuttal to books such as Philip K. Howard's The Death of Common Sense, which argue that liberals have made the United States overly litigious, public-interest lawyer and award-winning author Thomas Geoghegan explains why these books have it backwards. In reality, Geoghegan argues, it is the conservative revolution that opened the floodgates of litigation and helped to spur the lawsuit culture that Howard and others decry. According to Geoghegan, the country's current addiction to litigation and the need to find someone wrong is a natural response to the right's dismantling of America's postwar legal systema system based on contract, trust, and administrative law, in which it was not necessary to go to court in order to stay solvent, keep your job, or recover from an accident.

Sure to provoke heated debate, See You in Court shows why the right is wrong about the source of our lawsuit culture, and points the way back to civil society.

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Contents

A Warning at the Red Mass
1
How We Went to Court as Creditors
9
the Rule of Law at Work
25
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Thomas Geoghegan is a practicing attorney and the author of several books, including "In America's Court: How a Civil Lawyer Who Likes to Settle Stumbled into a Criminal Trial," the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist "Which Side Are You On?: Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back," "See You in Court: How the Right Made America a Lawsuit Nation," and "Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life," all published by The New Press. He has written for "The Nation," the "New York Times," and "Harper's." He lives in Chicago.

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