Shakedown: How Corporations, Government, and Trial Lawyers Abuse the Judicial Process
(Cato Institute, 2004)
Baseless lawsuits encourage the notion that individuals can engage in risky behavior, then force someone else to pay for their mistakes. That's the premise underlying litigation against manufacturers of cigarettes, guns, lead paint, fatty foods, and alcoholic beverages. Meanwhile, our antitrust laws have been co-opted by frustrated competitors who curry favor with bureaucrats to attack market leaders such as Microsoft. In effect, antitrust is now a subsidy used to promote the parochial interests of politically favored companies. In his new book, Shakedown, Robert A. Levy uncovers the worst abuses of a judicial system run amok, then offers concrete proposals to fix the problems. Walter K. Olson, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The Rule of Lawyers, will join us to comment on Levy's book and debate the question whether federalism and tort reform can coexist.