No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America

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Random House, 1996 - Law - 427 pages
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In No Contest, Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith kick over the rotted log our corporate-dominated legal system has become to reveal what has been happening to individual justice just out of public view. Through extensive research and interviews with juries, litigants, judges, lawyers, and legal scholars, Nader and Smith counter the corporate-financed propaganda blitz that has painted multibillion-dollar corporations as hapless victims of ordinary Americans bent on suing their way into prosperity. They argue that, in fact, our system has all but abandoned the ideal of providing every American access to justice. Instead, many courts have become the nearly exclusive domain of the country's largest and most powerful corporations - and their lawyers. Behind the giant corporations' tightening grip on American society are the large corporate law firms who have perfected the art of nullifying, misusing, or breaking the law, while pretending to uphold it. In No Contest, Nader and Smith reveal a side of corporate law practice rarely discussed in the media or shown on Court TV. The authors put law firms in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, and around the world under the microscope. They show how the "power lawyers" are behind the erosion of the basic rights of access to true and timely justice for ordinary Americans and people the world over. The scope of the assault on workers' rights to organize, taxpayers and investors' need for sound financial institutions, patients' needs for competent health care, and consumers' needs for product safety is breathtaking. But it can be stopped. No Contest depicts dramatic personal struggles by lawyers of conscience tohold the law to its ideals of justice, and gives voice to the unheralded corporate lawyers who are resisting the corruption of their profession. Nader and Smith propose an extensive program of legal reform that will preserve access to justice for all Americans, unclog the congested courts, and guarantee that the right side - citizen or corporation, poor or rich - will prevail. No Contest is a book for all citizens who believe that justice under law is a big step on the road to reform of the American political process.

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No contest: corporate lawyers and the perversion of justice in America

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Consumer activist Nader and lawyer Smith trace a long list of ills that afflict our legal system--discovery abuse, excessive delay, lawyer overbilling--to the excessive influence of powerful corporate ... Read full review


The Power Lawyers
Chapter 2
Ive Got a Secret

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About the author (1996)

Ralph Nader, the nationally renowned consumer activist, works in Washington, D.C. Author and attorney Wesley J. Smith lives in Oakland, California. Together Nader and Smith are the authors of Winning the Insurance Game and Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety.

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