For a lengthy new article on how Texas Tort Reform has hit the plaintiffs' attorneys, check this out. I, amazingly, have been a lawyer for over 20 years. No where has there been a greater change in the legal atmosphere than in personal injury litigation. Back in the 1980s, people could get sued (successfully) for anything (an employer sued for sending a worker home who showed up drunk and then got in a wreck, an electric company sued for a kid touching an electrical line with a makeshift metal pole, etc.) and there were no statutory limits on how much they could collect. Moreover, the Texas Supreme Court was made up of ex-plaintiffs' lawyers and they never saw a claim or a dollar amount they didn't like. But all that is over now. Statutory tort reform limits recovery. And the all-Republican and conservative Texas Supreme Court is ready, willing and able to beeeyotch slap any claim that seems unreasonable or any award that seems too much. Just ask any plaintiff's lawyer if he'll take a "slip and fall" case these days. It's not a good time to be The Texas Hammer or The Tough, Smart Lawyer. And everyone is surprised to learn I've never been a big fan of personal injury law. In fact, my first five years out of law school involved working for two large law firms in the area of insurance defense. I really liked it. But, man, I was simply amazed at how much the system was out of control.
at 3:14 PM