FIX FOR THE TORT SYSTEM
The civil justice system needs a major overhaul. Things need simplification. What would work –? Here’s what I think.
Institute an offer of judgment system. Claimants or defendants, at any time after an occurrence giving rise to a claim can make an offer of judgment on the other party(s), which offer of judgment shall state an amount of money that is being offered, or an amount of money the claimant will accept to release all parties. If the case is not settled within 60 days after such an offer of judgment, and it proceeds to trial and a final judgment, and the final judgment amount is more than 20 percent of the amount stated in the offer of judgment, the prevailing party shall collect reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs of litigation from the other party. A claimant who refused an offer of judgment, where the final judgment was less than 20 percent of the amount offered, the claimant shall be personally liable for the offering party’s reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses.
There should be automatic disclosure of all documents that any party will use as evidence at trial without the need for a request being made. A failure to timely produce such documents will bar the use of any evidence not timely produced.
Depositions shall be limited to two hours in length, unless good cause is shown.
If a party denies requests for admissions without good cause, and the opposing party takes depositions to prove what should have been admitted, the party failing to admit shall pay the other party reasonable attorneys fees and costs for taking of such depositions.
Standard requests for admissions, interrogatories, and requests for production should be developed for use in various types of cases, and there shall be no objections to such requests allowed.
All state and federal rules of procedure and rules of evidence should be standardized.
There shall be a uniform code of responsibility in product liability and healthcare liability, that pertains to liability, statutes of limitations, and damages.
Lawyers who act as lead counsel in cases filed in court where the amount in controversy is in excess of $500,000 will be required to be board certified.