Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Time to cap all civil suits, or just Orville's?

Is Orville Seymer, the Citizens for Republican, er, Responsible Government guy, out of line in suing Milwaukee County for $1-million? Bruce Murphy, editor of Milwaukee Magazine, thinks so.

Seymer is upset because County Board Chair Lee Holloway had him thrown out of a meeting for lipping off. He says his First Amendment rights were violated. Maybe, maybe not. But Seymer has gotten about 100 times the attention he would have gotten if Holloway had let him speak, so I'd be inclined to call it even.

What worries me is that if Seymer is successful and wins his $1-million lawsuit, Wisconsin will be flooded with First Amendment lawyers from all over the country, filing lawsuits on behalf of anyone who's ever been told to shut up.

You know, kind of like we've seen those caravans of trial lawyers coming here because there is no cap on medical malpractice awards.

Maybe there should be a cap on all lawsuits. Murphy thinks $50 would be about right for Orville. That may be a little high, but I could live with it. Of course, the lawyer would get half of it, and that would just encourage them to file more suits. Maybe the cleanest, most efficient solution is to simply shut down the court system for civil suits and just use it for criminal cases.

(Before the right wing blogosphere seconds the motion, I was just kidding. OK?)


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