Walter Olson to Speak on Tort Reform

Published January 17, 2003

The Heartland Institute and The Chicago Lawyers’ Chapter of the Federalist Society


A January 28 Luncheon Address by

Walter Olson

Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute Columnist, Reason Magazine Founder and Webmaster, Author, The Litigation Explosion, The Excuse Factory, and The Rule of Lawyers

Introduction by Joseph L. Bast President, The Heartland Institute

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

11:30 a.m. Cash Bar; 12:00 p.m. Luncheon

Admission $25.00

W City Center Hotel, 172 West Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois

RSVP to Kristin Hickman at 312/407-0766 or email at [email protected].

Mr. Olson will discuss his new book, The Rule of Lawyers: How the New Litigation Elite Threatens America’s Rule of Law (Truman Talley, 2003), in which he issues a timely warning: today’s class-action lawyers are fast carving out a new and dangerous role as an unelected fourth branch of the government. Big ticket litigation is a way of life in this country, but Mr. Olson observes that something new is afoot–something typified by the $246 billion tobacco settlement, and by courtroom assaults that have followed against industries ranging from HMOs to gunmakers, from lead paint manufacturers to “factory farms.” Each massive class-action suit seeks to invent new law, to ban or tax, or regulate something that elected lawmakers had chosen to leave alone. And, each time the new process works as intended, the new litigation elite reaps billions in fees, which they invest in fresh rounds of suits, as well as political contributions.

The Rule of Lawyers asks: Who picks these lawyers, and who can fire them? Who protects the public’s interest when settlements get negotiated behind closed doors? Where are our elected lawmakers in all this? The Rule of Lawyers concludes that the answers may determine whether we slip from the rule of law to the rule of lawyers.

Please join us for this special luncheon!