“Should Trial Lawyers Make Terror Policy?”

by Walter Olson on September 12, 2007

Ted has a new essay out by this title in AEI’s Liability Outlook series (Sept. 11). To quote from the conclusion:

One can debate the appropriate role for each of the three branches in the post-9/11 world in coordinating domestic and foreign policy in responding to terrorism. But one matter should be beyond debate. Individual litigants in individual cases should not be able to use the combination of civil liability rules and the power of the civil courts to interfere with larger national policy. Congress can disagree with the executive branch, but should do so through legislation, rather than abdicating its responsibilities to trial-lawyer proxies. Civil liability is a poor tool for deterring suicide bombers, and civil anti-terrorism laws are bound to have their greatest effect when used against innocent parties.

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The costs of universal jurisdiction
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1 thorckmorton 09.12.07 at 9:49 am

Something that continues to worry me is that the head of the FBI is not a former agent or even an alalyst, rather he is an attorney. FBI agents at present now have an additional level of attorney oversight at each level leading to the term “Washington Post Test” before they can act on any possible terror case.

2 Supremacy Claus 09.12.07 at 2:02 pm

Excluding the lawyer from all terror policy, including removing those embedded in the military at the tactical level, is good for the lawyer profession.

If a major terror attack recurs, the lawyer will be scapegoated, with unforeseeable consequences.

3 Alternate Reality 09.12.07 at 11:24 pm

Here’s why we need trial lawyers making foreign policy:
1) The people who make anti-terrorism policy should be those who are most American
2) Who is more American that trial lawyers?
3) Trial lawyers are the perfect candidates to make anti-terrorism policy

4 Insomniac 09.13.07 at 7:30 am

Here’s why we need trial lawyers making foreign policy:
1) The people who make anti-terrorism policy should be those who are most American
2) Who is more American that trial lawyers?
3) Trial lawyers are the perfect candidates to make anti-terrorism policy

Posted by: Alternate Reality | September 12, 2007 11:24 PM

Alternate reality, indeed.

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