As a business owner and lawyer, I offer some suggestions to reduce the number of lawyers and take the profit out of the legal business. We need tort law reform that includes the following:
* A comprehensive no-fault insurance system with reasonably high threshold limits before a suit is allowed. The voters must pressure the Legislature for meaningful reforms.
* Remove certain areas from the judicial system. Probate, family law and many administrative matters could be handled more effectively and certainly less expensively than through the courts.
* Only graduates of American Bar Assn.-approved schools should be allowed to practice law. Eliminate state accredited and nonaccredited law schools. These schools graduate a tremendous number of lawyers who eventually manage to pass the bar exam.
* Courts should stop expanding causes of action, which provide lawyers ever more innovative ways to recover awards.
We must stop turning to the courts to solve every problem. The public should be educated about what they can reasonably expect from a lawsuit. Make alternative methods of dispute resolution available.
It would also be helpful to eliminate or modify the contingency fee system. This encourages lawyers to urge plaintiffs to file suits because if there is no recovery by lawyers, there is no fee charged to plaintiffs.
It's a good deal for plaintiffs and plaintiffs' lawyers and provides work for all the defense attorneys who are hired to oppose these suits. The costs of lawsuit defense are onerous and paid by the individual uninsured defendant or his insurance company, even if the suit is without merit.
GEORGE A. ORFF