Texas law

…from the quill of Antisthenes

The question of how and why legal systems work (or not) certainly is not an appropriate subject for a short article by an amateur. Still, if I may be so bold and simplify the issue – generally, according to the English based common law, in a civil suit the loser pays the legal costs of the winner. A potential plaintiff has to weight his chances carefully before instigating a legal action. In fact, a person ought to consider carefully the consequences before taking any serious step. I can’t imagine why a reasonable person would object to that. Prescient American lawyers did, so (generally) the principle “loser pays” does not apply in the United States jurisdictions. It is like betting in a casino without a cent in your pocket and not having to worry about losing. Talk about the access to the courts which otherwise poor people would not have is just that – talk. Yes, there are lawyers who do fight just for justice and don’t care about money… out there somewhere; and usually they can’t afford TV advertisements.

It is interesting, but not surprising, that it is Texas, not the “progressive” California, which leads the way in a law reform. The illiterate southern red-necks i.e. Republicans, started this in 2003, and now they are going to make people who lose a lawsuit responsible for the legal costs of a winner. Additionally, even the winners could end up paying, if the court award is less than the amount offered during preliminary negotiations. Naturally, the Democrats are up in arms. I guess that there are equal numbers of lawyers in both parties, but it seems that the so-called ‘trial’ lawyers donate to the Democrats more. It is the original pro-slavery party, after all. By the way, The Economist, always on the side of the greedy, also doesn’t like the idea. Frivolous lawsuits? What frivolous lawsuits? Where would the world end if people were held responsible for their decisions?

(R.Kipling wrote in 1919 – “…and the brave new world begins, when all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins…”)



About Antisthenes

A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Socrates. Led a revolt, with Diogenes, against the demands of the city-state and the sophistication of life. Accepted the interrelation of knowledge, virtue, and happiness; and sought the ideal condition for happiness in return to primitivism and self-sufficiency. Rejected all social distinctions as based on convention, scorned orthodox religion as a fabrication of lies, and studied early legends and animal life in order to arrive at a true understanding of natural law. The individual was free and self-sufficient when he was master of his passions, secure in his intelligence, impervious to social or religious demands, and satisfied with the poverty of a mendicant. Needless to say, a person who on the Fog of Chaos adopted the Athenian philosopher's name has nothing whatsoever in common with him.
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