From a Booklist review of the book:
By demonizing trial attorneys and exaggerating high-profile litigation
awards -- the famous McDonald's hot-coffee case -- campaigns for limiting
damage awards threaten to jeopardize the American right to civil jury
trials guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Investigative reporter Mencimer
examines the Republican campaigns for tort reform that would protect
large corporations from "frivolous lawsuits." The campaigns carry the
dual benefit of supporting the interests of corporations that are major
Republican campaign contributors and hurting trial lawyers, who are part
of the contribution base of Democrats. Mencimer criticizes the media for
their lack of understanding about civil litigation, willingness to
swallow reports of litigation abuses, and failure to understand that
Republican tort reform will also limit the ability of news organizations
to sue for information. Drawing on national data and scrutiny of
individual cases, Mencimer defends the civil justice system and its
reliance on jurors, average citizens who are the same people who vote.
This is an eye-opening look at an important issue for readers concerned
with the civil justice system.
From the Booklist review:
However disliked lawyers have become, they have played an essential role
in the development of the American democracy, assert legal scholars
Strickland and Read. Taking aim at media critics -- left and right -- who
blame lawyers for a host of social ills, Strickland and Read debunk
several popular myths about lawyers. They begin with the notion that
there are too many lawyers and lawsuits, citing statistics to put things
into perspective, and they point to the benefits that have come from
lawsuits, including increased consumer protection from faulty products.
But they concede the need for reform in a chapter that calls for major
research into alternative legal mechanisms. Finally, Strickland and Read
look toward the next generation of lawyers and outline the
characteristics most essential for the practice of law: competency,
responsiveness, and integrity. They emphasize that it’s not what lawyers
bring to the law but what they give that makes a difference. This book
is not likely to stop lawyer jokes, but it is an insightful look at a
 - http://www.amazon.com/The-Lawyer-Myth-American-Profession/dp...
"The Lawyer Myth: A Defense of the American Legal Profession"
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