Litigation generally
(Walter Olson online writings by topic)
For regularly updated commentaries on this subject as well as outside links, see my site, launched July 1999.


What follows are links to some of my writings on topics like the cost to American society of our badly unbalanced litigation system; the case for loser-pays and other reforms in civil procedure; and a few pieces on famous or outrageous individual suits.  There is a separate category for legal ethics, another for jurisprudence and general legal principles, and yet others for particular areas of litigation such as product liability and safety, family law, discrimination law and employment law, all of which should be consulted for articles on those topics, as should my website, which contains most of my writings since 1999.

"The 'Runaway Jury' Is No Myth" (Florida tobacco case, punitive damages), Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2000.

"Selective Liability" (Clinton's legal legacy), The American Lawyer, March 2000.

"A Microsoft Suit With a Sure Winner", New York Times, Nov. 23, 1999.

"The Florida Tobacco Jurors: Anything but Typical", "Rule of Law", Wall Street Journal, July 12, 1999 (how jury selection worked in one famous case).

"Firing Squad" (federalism and firearms litigation), Reason, May 1999.

"Dentists, Bartenders, and Lawyer Unpopularity" (speech to Federalist Society 1998 national convention), Manhattan Institute Civil Justice Memo #37, April 1999.

"A Woburn FAQ" (skeptical view of A Civil Action), Reason, April 1999.

"A Legacy of Dirty Laundry" (brief contribution to symposium on harassment law), The Women's Quarterly, Winter 1999.

"Hollywood vs. the Truth" ("Civil Action" movie), Wall Street Journal, December 23, 1998.

"Their Own Petard: Fans of activist litigation discover the other guy can sue too", Reason, January 1998.

"Loser-Pays: Where Next?" (with David Bernstein), Maryland Law Review, v. 55, n. 4 (1997) (abstract).

"How America Got Its Litigation Explosion -- And Why Canada Shouldn't Consider Itself Immune", Fraser Forum (Vancouver), December 1996.

"A Small Canadian Firm Meets the American Tort Monster" (Mississippi jury verdict against Loewen Corp.), Wall Street Journal, February 14, 1996.

"Taming the Litigators: Why Not More Disclosure?", Manhattan Institute Civil Justice Memo #24, February 1996.

"Tobacco Analysts Meet the Plaintiff's Lawyers" (abuse of pretrial discovery), Wall Street Journal, August 30, 1995.

"Civil Suits" (case for loser-pays rule), Reason, June 1995.

"Juries on Trial", review of The Jury by Stephen J. Adler and We the Jury by Jeffrey Abramson, Reason, February 1995.

The New Chutzpah: Criminals Sue the City”, City Journal, Winter 1994.

"Some of the very bad reasons our legal system is well-known" (excesses of Texas litigation), Houston Post, February 20, 1993.

Sue City: New York’s Stake in Lawsuit Reform,” City Journal, Winter 1993 (and sidebars: "Those Crazy Cases" and "Professional Victims")

"A Country Named Sue", CEO International Strategies, October/November 1992.

"Lawyers Run Sue City" (urban stake in liability reform), Newsday, September 15, 1992.

California Counts the Costs of Lawsuit Mania”, “Rule of Law” column, Wall Street Journal, June 3, 1992.

"Slowing the Recovery: Too Many Lawsuits", San Diego Union Tribune, May 3, 1992.

"Sue City: The Case Against the Contingency Fee", excerpt from The Litigation Explosion, Policy Review, Winter 1991 [in two parts] [part one] [part two]

Excerpt from The Litigation Explosion, Medical Economics, September 16, 1991 [in two parts] [part one] [part two]

"How Greedy Can You Get?" (class actions; excerpt from The Litigation Explosion), Across the Board, July 1991.

"Suing Ourselves to Death" (excerpt, The Litigation Explosion), Washington Post, April 28, 1991.

"Let's Get Lawsuit Mania Off the Docket", Newsday, April 12, 1991.


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