WSJ letter connects to probate abuse

A recent Wall Street Journal letter to the editor headlined Costs of Too Many Hungry Lawyers highlights the growing abundance of unemployed lawyers.  Sadly, this issue connects to probate abuse as many actions chronicled on the pages of Estate of Denial® are contrived or manufactured disputes – a practice “hungry lawyers” can find appealing as disgruntled family members and wannabe heirs willing to participate in such actions exist in equal abundance.

Here’s the letter:

Chris Fletcher’s “A Message to Aspiring Lawyers: Caveat Emptor” (op-ed, Jan. 3) highlights a disturbing trend: While law schools pump out 44,000 graduates per year, our economy only produces 21,880 new legal jobs annually. Mr. Fletcher fails to identify the dire consequences the glut of debt-saddled lawyers has on our economy.

America’s annual surplus of lawyers has made us the most litigious country in the world. Nationally, we spend nearly 2.2% of our annual GDP on tort costs, $800 per capita, up 800% from 1950.

But the growth of the legal profession has been constrained by one unfortunate detail—the rate of wrongdoing has remained relatively constant. So as the market becomes increasingly crowded, the opportunities for profitable lawsuits become more scarce.

So what does the lawsuit industry do? Like any industry, it focuses on creating new profit channels and finding new markets. One popular strategy has been to expand opportunities by lobbying state legislatures to change the law. Here in New York, the trial lawyer lobby spends millions annually to expand liability to more and more sectors of our economy for more and more presumed injustices.

Each day, it seems, we hear about some crazy lawsuit—a four-year-old sued for negligence or a basketball team sued for not playing its starting five. It is easy to laugh at these suits, but the very real effect of these lawsuits is no laughing matter. And with thousands of lawyers joining the ranks of the unemployed each year, expect to see more.

Thomas B. Stebbins

Executive Director

Lawsuit Reform Alliance of

New York

Albany, N.Y.

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