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Copyright (c) 2014 Wake Forest Law Review Association, Inc.
Wake Forest Law Review

THE LAW AS VIOLENCE: ESSAY: LITIGATION AS VIOLENCE

Fall, 2014

Mercer Law Review

49 Wake Forest L. Rev. 677

Author

Vincent Cardi*

Excerpt



A lawyer in his prime, well-known regionally as a successful litigator, successful at least by the standards of generating business, income, and sizable recoveries for his clients, once told a class of first-year law students that when he takes a case, he "sues everybody and then figures out later who is liable." Although this statement raised the question of how this lawyer skirts Rule 11, 1 it also raised the question of how a prominent member of the legal profession could speak so blithely about casually suing another person. Maybe in response to this lawyer's statements, I began to think about how filing a lawsuit is serious business - that the person being sued is going to be hurt, even if the likelihood of losing the lawsuit is small. At some point early in my first-semester contracts course, I began to take time away from the day's assignment to ask my students, "Would you rather be slapped hard in the face by a stranger as you walked with your friends down a crowded Main Street, or be sued for $ 100,000 more than your insurance coverage for a traffic accident that the evidence will clearly show you did not cause?" The responses vary from year to year. Yet, even though I instinctively felt that being sued was worse than being slapped hard in the face, I still did not think of a lawsuit as a "violent" act, or that the suit and resulting worry, aggravation, time, and money ...
 
 
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