SOURCE: Jonathan B. Wilson

July 12, 2005 10:56 ET

Atlanta Attorney Says Litigation System Is "Out of Balance" in New Business Book

"Out of Balance" Identifies the Economic Incentives for Frivolous Lawsuits, Tallies the Cost for the American Economy and Outlines Simple, Fair and Effective Solutions for Policy-Makers

ATLANTA, GA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 12, 2005 -- The American litigation system is the most expensive in the world, consuming approximately 2.4 percent of America's total economic output, according to author and Atlanta attorney Jonathan B. Wilson.

His latest book, "Out of Balance: Prescriptions for Reforming the American Litigation System," describes for non-lawyers how the American litigation system creates economic incentives for parties to pursue weak and even frivolous cases. "These kinds of cases generate nearly $300 billion in costs every year," says Wilson.

"Out of Balance" surveys competing proposals to restore balance to the litigation system.

One of Wilson's proposals included in 2005 Georgia reform legislation involves a procedural rule that allows a party to shift its attorneys' fees onto the opposing party if the opposing party refuses a settlement offer but ultimately recovers less than the amount of the offer.

Wilson's offer-of-judgment proposal is especially interesting to lawmakers in other states as a method of reducing excessive litigation.

"I am impressed," says Mississippi Senator Charlie Ross, chair of the Mississippi Senate Judiciary Committee. Wilson's "suggestion of a fee-shifting procedure has a great deal of merit. [It] is far superior to some of the alternative ideas that have been tried."

John H. Sullivan, president of the Civil Justice Association of California, says, "["Out of Balance" shows] how the American justice system front-loads scanty information, unpredictability, and the certainty of escalating legal costs to leverage weak or non-meritorious cases and victimize defendants of every kind."

DaimlerChrysler attorney and litigation reform leader Steven Hantler says that "Out of Balance" is "a behind-the-scenes user's guide for reform-minded business advocates and lawmakers who want to fight back and win."

James R. Copland, managing director of the Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy, encourages all his readers to "check out this thought-provoking read."

"Out of Balance: Prescriptions for Reforming the American Litigation System" (iUniverse Publishing Co., June 2005; $17.95). ISBN: 0-595-34717-7. Format: Paperback (6x9). Pages: 202.

About the Author: Jonathan B. Wilson is an attorney and general counsel of Interland, Inc. in Atlanta, Ga. Full biography at www.jonathanbwilson.com.

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