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Lawyers and Liability Rates

December 25, 1985

Well!Well!Is the pot calling the kettle black?I refer to Robert Steinbergs letter wherein he finds that only the insurance companies are greedy and callous, and the failure of our tort and claim system is the fault of the money markets, corporate "citadels of power", etc. The lawyers, of course, are not greedy nor are they, in any way, to blame for the present civil-liability fiasco. Their only interests are the injured and the downtrodden, their rights and their welfare.

What did you expect, folks?The legal profession has permeated our society with the popular philosophy and practice that individuals or organizations are never responsible for their own acts;it is always, in every circumstance, someone else's fault. Furthermore, if there is not a rule of law applicable to the case at hand, we will make a new one to cover the situation. That way the "injured party" is always compensated and fees paid, whether or not he or she is culpable, negligent or any part thereof.

From the legal viewpoint, Mr. Steinbergs line of reasoning is understandable and, in addition, most attorneys can probably easily afford those monstrous insurance rates he so fittingly bemoans. But for me and many others in this nation, it is ridiculous. And when the day of reckoning arrives and the tort-compensation system collapses like a house of cards, don't expect the legal people to share any part of the blame. They will all be too busy filing lawsuits against a no-longer-viable system and accusing the rest of us, probably even God, of gross negligence.

RICHARD SEELEY

La Crescenta

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