Philip K. Howard, “Life Without Lawyers: Liberating Americans from Too Much Law”

by Walter Olson on January 12, 2009

George Will raves about this new book by the well-known author on topics dear to this site. I’m much of the way through my review copy and I can say if you like this website, you’ll almost certainly enjoy this book. Author/lawyer Philip K. Howard (The Death of Common Sense) is also a very skillful writer, and, with his organization Common Good, a longtime friend of this site. So why not order a copy today?

P.S. Canadian law student site Law Is Cool interviews Howard. And — equal time dept.: — plaintiff’s lawyers Ron Miller, Max Kennerly, and Brooks Schuelke offer very different views.

{ 1 trackback }

Philip Howard, “Life Without Lawyers”, cont’d
01.26.09 at 9:20 am

{ 2 comments }

1 Max Kennerly 01.12.09 at 9:18 am

I’ll try to reserve judgment, but I remember The Death of Common Sense raising a multi-chapter stink about NYC not permitting Mother Teresa to open one of her “hospitals” merely because she refused to permit the installation of elevators in it.

Well, NYC was right. A hospital without elevators is useless. A hospice without elevators is useless. She was being unreasonable and NYC was correct to prevent her from establishing the same horrendous “care” facilities in America that she had set up throughout the world. See Christopher Hitchens’ book for more.

Since then I can’t take Howard seriously. His central example was not just wrong, but comically and dishonestly so.

2 Rufus 01.12.09 at 12:10 pm

One of the examples Will cites from Howard’s book is misleading. Will references the case where the driver voluntering for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee ran a red light and the Archdiocese was sued for $17m. That suit did not concern the Archdiocese’s liability for the driver, it concerned whether the driver was entitled to insurance coverage under the Archdiocese’s auto policy. A vastly different issue. Howard’s an extremist and taking a few outlier cases and then dishonestly distorting the facts of some of them to doesn’t due the legitimate cause of tort reform any good.

Comments on this entry are closed.