First, fine all the lawyers

Those scales of justice are going through a balancing act in California.

One side of the scale is being weighted down with tons of expensive lawsuits, suits that could cost someone or their company $100,000 to defend even though they’ve done nothing wrong. There are simply too many attorneys and litigious people in this state, and now so many citizens are fed up that they’re attempting to solve the situation through proposition.

But what one person considers a frivolous case may be another person’s idea of seeking justice. The public’s access to its day in court is a right to be protected. So, on the other scale are the thousands of people, both rich and poor, who feel they have been wronged and that the courts are the only possible remedy.

The problem is that the legal system is being abused; even most lawyers would agree with that. A trial attorney recently told me that taking a complicated case through the initial stages and on into appeal would cost a half-million dollars in California, much of it going to legal fees.

There reportedly have been “professional plaintiffs” who have filed 50 lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act, each time claiming they were personally injured. Then there’s the example of the abuse of the “Unfair Competition Act” that created lawyer mills churning out suits against small-business owners. The motivating factor there is greed. But some people use the courts for venting. One woman in Los Angeles has filed 200 lawsuits of all kinds.

The obvious solution is to go after the lawyers and their clients who have no good reason to drag situations into court and give them the bill. So, now the courts are listening, and the legal system is attempting, in some instances, to assess fines for what are considered frivolous cases (“Obstruction of justice”). Perhaps one day soon the scales will balance.