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"The Juice Isn't Worth the Squeeze"

"The Juice Isn't Worth the Aqueeze: The Impact of Tort Reform On Plaintiffs' Lawyers and Access to Civil Justice"

Stephen Daniels presenting his research.

Presented at the 2013 ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas, Texas.

Research presentation by Stephen Daniels, Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation.

A Texas plaintiffs’ lawyer used the concept “worth the squeeze” in an interview with ABF researchers Stephen Daniels and Joanne Martin as a part of their research on access to justice and the effects of tort reform on plaintiffs’ lawyers’ practices. He was explaining why he no longer takes medical malpractice cases -- especially those involving children, the elderly, and “stay-at-home moms.” The reason is a cap on non-economic damages in health care cases enacted in Texas in 2003. Referring to the long-running tort reform public relations campaign, another plaintiffs’ lawyer interviewed said, “you can say it’s a legislative agenda … (but) the most severe impact is right over there, when you go to pick a jury.” A defense lawyer simply called that campaign his “silent helper” because of its perceived affect on jurors. Each of these lawyers reminds us that tort reform is a multifaceted phenomenon with far reaching impact. 

The program was moderated by: Mark Curriden, JD, Senior Writer, The Texas Lawbook, The Dallas Morning News, and the ABA Journal Writer in Residence, SMU Dedman School of Law.  Panelists included Deborah Hankinson, Esq., Hankinson LLP, The Appellate Law Firm, Dallas, Texas; Carmen S. Mitchell, Esq., Mitchell, Goff & Mitchell, LLP, Dallas, Texas ; Professor Ellen Pryor, Associate Dean for Academics at the UNT Dallas College of Law; and Professor Charles Silver,  Roy W. and Eugenia C. MacDonald Endowed Chair in Civil Procedure; Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin.

The program was co-sponsored by the ABA Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division, the ABA Section of Litigation, the ABA Senior Lawyers Division, and the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution.

A review of this CLE was recently featured in Chicago Lawyer Mazaginze.  Click here for more information.

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