Roger’s Rules

Your Own Private Tort Reform

Trial lawyers getting you down? Disgusted at the huge settlements they win, supposedly on behalf of the little guy, really for the sake of lining their bulging pockets with a third of whatever the insurance companies are made to fork over?

No, I don’t have a solution, other than to say if wishes were horses there would be an immediate cap on settlements and lawyers would have to make due with a much smaller contingency fee. But I do have, courtesy of a public-spirited friend, a simple, painless way to cause at least some law firms a modicum of inconvenience and expense.

You know those ads on Google? You search for “Peach Pie,” say, and running down the right side of the screen are a bunch of ads for recipes, peaches, and what not. All of those ads are paid notices. Every time someone clicks on them, Google gets a sum — quite a substantial sum, I understand, in the case of the ones near the top.

So here’s what you do. Search for something like “asbestos” or “mesothelioma” (an icky lung disease caused by exposure to asbestos) and up will pop a zillion articles about it and , along the right side, a bunch of ads for law firms angling for your business. Have a spare moment? Click on the top several. Do it more than once. Every time you click, they pay. No, it won’t make them go away, but it will register your irritation and, besides, anything that causes the trial lawyers inconvenience should be regarded as a public-spirited act. So go ahead: occupy an idle moment charging the trial lawyers. You’ll be glad you did. And encourage your friends to do likewise.

By the way, readers wanting to educate themselves about the costs and absurdities of our overly litigious society should be sure to check out the excellent web site overlawyered.com which, as its tagline puts it, chronicles “the high cost of our legal system.” After you peruse some of the articles there, you’ll probably come back to “mesothelioma” on Google and click a bunch more ads.