Bob Dorigo Jones

CFA Senior Fellow

 

Let's Be Fair! Commentaries in 2012

Bob Dorigo Jones, Senior Fellow at Center for America, is a leading spokesperson about abuses in the civil justice system and what we should do about them.  For more than two decades, he has been educating the public about how families, communities, and job providers are hurt by out-of-control lawsuit abuse.

"Let's Be Fair!" is broadcast weekly on more than 600 radio stations nationwide, including the Cumulus Network.  The dynamic and entertaining commentaries are heard by tens of millions of Americans each week, making "Let's Be Fair!" the widest-reaching and longest-running legal reform media program ever.

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LBF Archive:  2014    2013   2011

 

Feds Sue Over Fed-Funded Program

Only in America would the federal government sue a library system for doing what it was funded to do – provide eReaders to enable more people to access books! The program is now threatened, with layoffs and furloughs to follow, even though the feds provided the funds for the eReader program!

 

Christmas Tree "Not for Human Consumption"

Wacky warning labels abound, especially during the holidays – the 2013 annual Contest is underway with cash prizes for the wackiest warning labels!

 

Morning Sickness: U.S. Stands Alone

Britain’s Princess Kate is battling morning sickness with access to an amazing, safe-tested drug available across Europe and elsewhere – but not in the U.S.! Why? Meritless lawsuits made it too costly for the maker to offer it in America.

 

Bad Press: Threatening Lawsuit

A moving company threatened to sue an unhappy customer when she posted an unflattering review online, which turned the episode into a major black eye for the company when the story went viral.

 

The Streisand Effect

Named for singer Barbra Streisand, the “Streisand Effect” is the phenomenon when lawsuits bring unwanted public attention to an issue that was insignificant - a key for people to understand that lawsuits are not the best ways to resolve all conflicts.

 

Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of 2012

A Buffalo Bills fan has filed a class action lawsuit against the team for sending him “too many” text messages, which he signed up to receive! Worse yet, the fan made no effort to resolve the question without litigation, a sign that America continues to be the land of “sue first, ask questions later.”

 

Lest We Forget ...

On Thanksgiving, we honor the contributions of Native Americans who helped early settlers get started. Now, a federal judge has ruled that a university sports teams can no longer use the Indian nickname, which the tribe wanted to keep – and they fear that Americans will forget about them.

 

NY Public Hospitals and Lawsuits

One week before Hurricane Sandy devastated the northeast, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani described another form of devastation – frivolous lawsuits against New York’s public hospitals costing hundreds of millions of dollars, at a time when storm recovery resources are scarce.

 

Dog Bites Lady, No Lawsuit

A lady contacted Bob about a dog bite incident when she was jogging – one lawyer, then two, sent her letters encouraging her to file a lawsuit; she decided to share the story to inspire others to resolve disputes in ways other than lawsuits.

 

Judges "Mere Machines"

Thomas Jefferson wrote that judges should be a “mere machine” – following the laws as written by lawmakers as long as they’re constitutional, which is a perfect lesson for today’s judiciary to avoid the traps of politics on the bench.

 

Know Your Judges

During election season, the often-overlooked candidates are judges, who play a pivotal role in shaping the law and our lives. Take the time to get to know the judges in your state before you go to the ballot box.

 

Judge As Juror?  Yes

A high-profile judge recently made news by serving on a jury, a good reminder that our civic duty says that anyone can – and should – serve when called to ensure representative jury pools.

 

Lawsuits:  "Last Resort, Not First"

The longest-serving state attorney general in U.S. history, Michigan’s Frank Kelly, famously said at his retirement, “There is too much litigation, which should be a last resort, not a first response.”

 

McGovern and Kemp Agree

During the 2012 political season, we remember a TV ad from a decade ago featuring liberal icon George McGovern and conservative hero Jack Kemp who share their mutual concern about the dangers of lawsuit abuse.

 

The Whole Tooth, Nothing But ...

Prisoner who came to prison with five teeth, loses another behind bars and sues – and appeals – as frivolous inmate lawsuits cost taxpayers $80 million a year just to defend.

 

Painless Needles:  Not in the U.S.

To avoid lawsuits that could put it out of business, the maker of a silicone-coated “painless” hypodermic needle won’t take the innovation to market.

 

"Open and Obvious" on Trial

Sitting on a hot bench in the Texas summer should be an obvious no-no without testing it first – or at least that’s what the old common law concept of “open and obvious danger” meant. Now a lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys for alleged burns received from a sun-drenched marble bench may turn that on its head.

 

Golden Rule in Schools

Half of all U.S. teachers and administrators have either been sued or threatened with a lawsuit – so parents are now signing waivers as kids return to school, giving parents a “teaching moment” to show kids that there are better ways to resolve conflict.

 

Lawsuits:  90% Believe "A Major Problem"

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new national survey shows that 86 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Republicans believe that lawsuit abuse is a major problem – showing that the word is getting out about the costly impact of America’s lawsuit culture.

 

Pillow Tags and Red Tape

Pillow tags are confusing and, it turns out, expensive, as Kerri Smith found out when she tried to sell her comfort pillow to other pregnant women – and the cost for complying with pillow tags in 15 states? $4000 – and nobody’s safer.

 

Doctor Shortage?  Two States

A tale of two states – NJ leaders fret over the loss of physicians due to high liability insurance costs, endangering healthcare access; in Texas, reforms have brought more docs and better access for all.

 

Buckyballs Fights Feds' Lawsuit

When a federal agency sued the wildly popular company, Buckyballs turned to the media to fight back – noting huge warning labels about dangers of swallowing parts.

 

Three Strikes on Little League Lawsuit

How many more strikes can the legal system take, as an 11-year old Little Leaguer is sued for big dollars because his errant throw struck a woman standing nearby – she and her lawyer weren’t satisfied with settlement offers from the insured League.

 

Iconic Company Driven Under by Lawsuits

America’s largest manufacturer of portable gas cans is going out of business and laying off 117 employees due to costly and frivolous lawsuits – tragic legacy for lawsuit-happy culture for an American iconic company that helped fuel American victory in WWII.

 

Can You Be Sued for Texting Someone?

Bob Dorigo Jones applauds a judge for doing the right thing in an unusual texting and driving lawsuit.

 

Defensive Medicine -- #1 Cost Driver

Defensive medicine adds as much as $126 billion to the cost of health care each year - and is missing from existing "affordable care" laws.

 

Health Care "Monster" -- Lawsuits!

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled on national health care, it’s time to take a serious look at the biggest cost driver in American healthcare – lawsuits, which make access to quality healthcare an endangered species for millions due to costs.  The Affordable Healthcare Act doesn't address out-of-control liability for medical staff and institutions, a serious oversight that needs to be remedied or lawsuit abuse may bankrupt the system.

 

New Docs Face Likelihood of Lawsuits

As parents celebrate graduations, new graduates going into medicine face likelihood of lawsuits, according to the NE Journal of Medicine – and American healthcare will suffer.

 

Wacky Warning Labels 2012 Winners

The 15th annual Wacky Warning Labels™ Contest national winners are in…and they’re wackier than ever. Ever shave while sleeping? Or navigate using a decorative globe?

 

Bob Cassilly, In Memoriam

Bob Cassilly was a hero twice – once for saving a priceless Michelangelo masterpiece, and again for posting the names of law firms that sued the famous children’s museum in St. Louis he founded, for which he became a hero of the lawsuit reform cause.

 

High Winds and Warning Labels

Does a warning label really need to warn us not to secure ourselves against hurricanes with a towel that has small weights for beach use? Apparently so. A California woman sues a Rotary Club after falling down in a strong wind because the club's tent did NOT have a warning label.

 

2012 Wacky Warning Labels Contest

Wacky Warning Labels 2012! The 15th annual contest kicks off this week, pointing to the lawsuit epidemic that creates America’s “warning label culture.”

 

The ADA:  A Lawsuit Machine

Some laws become lawsuit machines, like the Americans with Disabilities Act in California, where 40 percent of all ADA lawsuits are filed – and now there’s bipartisan support for new laws limiting those costly lawsuits.

 

Community Action, Not Lawsuits

Legal synthetic marijuana poses huge threat to youth – community springs into action to make public aware when teen kills parent. Like MADD, grassroots action is often more effective than lawsuits and new laws.

 

Cyberbully Lawsuits

Cyberbullies beware – lawsuits will follow, like the 14-year old Georgia girl who wants others to know she is fighting back until laws are strengthened to better balance free speech against defamation.

 

May Cause Drowsiness!

Employers now can’t ask if employees are taking medications that cause drowsiness, thanks to a recent court win by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission – new dangers and lawsuits to follow!

 

Same Court Case, Different Rulings

Two federal judges issue different holdings in the same court challenge against NLRB “poster rule” – and now an appeals court overturns one, leaving further court action necessary.

 

Of Happy Meals and Lawsuits

A California lawsuit against McDonald’s is thrown out of court, but not before a year’s worth of bad press and costs that harm employers, investors, and do nothing to “improve” public health.

 

Internships Vanish Where Lawsuits Flourish

Internships give critical work experience on the way to a career. But employers, like TV's Charlie Rose and others, face growing number of lawsuits about internships and - as predicted - internships are no longer offered.

 

Never Promised a Rose Garden

A flower bed in front of a condo now costs thousands in legal fees, as the owner and condo association go at it in court– a trend that makes us less civil and more adversarial.

 

NLRB Poster Rule Ruling -- More Lawsuits?

A recent federal court decision on the NLRB so-called “poster rule” leave businesses scratching their heads and worried about a new round of frivolous lawsuits.

 

Girl Scouts -- 100 Years and Liability Costs

As the Girls Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary this month, 32,000 boxes of the famous cookies must be sold to pay for the liability insurance on the sale – and same for community groups across America!

 

California Lawsuit Lottery "Winner"?

The lawsuit lottery continues - a California jury awards $164 million for medical plaintiff and all but $4 million is for punitive damages and mental anguish, and patients pay that bill in higher costs.

 

Business Merger Lawsuit Mania

In 7 of 10 lawsuits challenging business mergers, shareholders get nothing, but lawyers get payday.

 

Sign Here, Then Kids Can Play

Parents signing waivers for play dates for their kids? A growing trend reflecting the sue first, ask later American lawsuit culture.

 

Beer Pong and Lawsuits

Beer pong means no dice for a drunk man who sues a pub after he strolls onto a highway – judge does right thing in dismissing claims in a victory for personal responsibility.

 

Lincoln's "Winners are Losers"

Lawsuit winners are nominal losers in wasted costs and time, said Abraham Lincoln in comments appropriate for today.

 

Email Disclaimers - Unnoticed, Unenforceable

Email disclaimers – the latest wacky warnings, which many lawyers believe are unenforceable; some are adding humor to the disclaimers to see if anyone notices – and they don’t.

 

How Many Prisoner Lawsuit Filings Are Free?

665 lawsuits filed by one prisoner in one year – and who pays for that? Taxpayers! Some states are cracking down – three lawsuits and the prisoner pays.

 

Convicts Robbing Taxpayers From Prison?

Prisoner lawsuits are clogging the courts with frivolous claims – too much time on their hands! 16 states are cracking down, but more need to follow.

 

What's the "Bike" Deal?

A woman sues a big toy store when a wheel falls off a store-assembled bike – rather than taking the matter to the store itself, raising prices and fostering the “lawsuit-happy” culture in the U.S.

 

Why Only One Percent of Lawsuits Go to Trial

New lawsuits are filed every two seconds in the U.S., and former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis calls that “too many and too costly” in her new must-read book, Rebuilding Justice.

 

Art Experts Sued Over Authentications

The new year brings threats of lawsuits against art experts who verify authentic works – leaving museums alarmed by potential impact on art world.

 

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