New York Post: Facts Are Optional
As my time on AR is limited thanks to a must-pass ethics exam this weekend, the best I can do with regard to the ongoing saga surrounding the accusations against Herman Cain is point you toward an excellent piece at The New York Post by civil litigator and #caring Twitter personality Kurt Schlichter. Click on the link above to read the full piece. In the meantime, however, here is a small taste:
Lawsuits are so expensive to defend that it makes good business sense to settle even the most frivolous cases. And businesses do.
TV and movies would have you believe that most lawsuits end up with a jury hearing the evidence and rendering a verdict. That almost never happens. Close to 97 percent of civil cases never see a courtroom. The vast majority settle, with the business paying good money to end the nightmare — money that could have gone to hiring struggling young people, buying new equipment or expanding.
And, as Herman Cain has learned, you never really can buy your peace. The accusers apparently signed nondisclosure agreements so that Cain and his company could put the accusations behind them. A lot of good that did. Whether it was the accusers or others who revealed the claims, the effort to buy peace now looks like wasted money.
In the world of sexual-harassment law, the accusations are bad enough. You’re guilty until proven innocent. The law is skewed toward the plaintiffs — it’s hard to get even the silliest charges tossed out, and even then it often costs upward of six figures to do so.
Businesses almost never collect their legal fees back after defeating frivolous claims, but a winning plaintiff usually does. And when the lawyer is working on a contingency, taking 40 percent or more of the haul and fronting the costs of the suit, there’s little incentive not to march down to the courthouse and file even the flimsiest case.