civil litigation

class action lawsuits bill

Bill in Brief

In the Republican campaign to rein in enormous lawsuits, class action reform was the low-hanging fruit that lawmakers picked off first (medical malpractice and asbestos faced more opposition and ended up going nowhere).

A class action reform bill passed in 2005, S 5, would reduce lawsuit costs by sending more state cases over to federal courts, where the stricter rules on class action suits tend to result in less favorable judgments.

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asbestos lawsuit bill

Bill in Brief

Everyone knows asbestos can make you ill - and deathly so for many Americans who have developed cancer from working with the construction material. But victims' lawsuits against corporations also can have a lethal effect on industry, having put as many as 70 companies out of business already (Rand - pdf).

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issue guide: Medical Malpractice

The Skinny

see also background & facts, pro & con, links

What's Up

All across the US, doctors are packing up their little black bags and heading to state capitals and DC to protest skyrocketing medical malpractice jury awards, which – they say – push up their insurance premiums, scare doctors off from higher-risk practices and raise health care costs for us all.

crime & justice overview


Once the bane of US cities, crime today barely figures on the radar screen of American worries (on the site, not one poll on national priorities even mentions crime). But although forgotten, crime is not gone. Here we give a statistical snapshot of crime and the government's role in fighting it.

Crime rates

Rate of violent crimes and property crimes - since '73

source: DOJ and DOJ (Note: The FBI's Uniform Crime Report
shows similar trends, but its numbers slightly different. In particular, the FBI numbers show an increase in violent crime in 2005 and 2006.)