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No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America Paperback – December 22, 1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (December 22, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375752587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375752582
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,829,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The most controversial section of this ringing denunciation of corporate law is that on tort reform, which Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate and 1996 Green Party Presidential candidate, and Wesley J. Smith denounce as "tort deform" measures sure to further insulate corporations from the damage wrought by pollution and dangerous products. But Nader has never shied from controversy, and this series of case studies attacks confidential settlements in injury cases, state ethics boards, and links between high-power corporate lawyers and government officials with an equal measure of indignation and reformist zeal. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Corporate attorneys are at the center of trends that have increased corporate power in the past 20 years, declare consumer crusader and 1996 presidential candidate Nader and lawyer Smith (coauthors of Winning the Insurance Game). Their book is rambling but important, as it uses case studies to illustrate what they see as unfair situations and potential avenues for reform. For example, confidential settlements in injury cases deprive others from safety warnings; judges can refuse such settlements, and some states have begun passing anti-secrecy laws. Though the American Bar Association recommends that one-third of the members of state ethics boards be non-lawyers, that goal is mostly ignored, and disciplinary boards are notably lax in punishing lawyers who obstruct opponents, destroy evidence or overbill. In strong words, Nader and Smith attack tort reform proposals that would limit manufacturers' liability, calling them "tort deform" measures that would further protect corporations to the detriment of individual consumers. But they don't acknowledge that in some cases?such as the way it can distort medical care?our tort system does need reform. Along with political reforms, the authors find hope in efforts by Harvard Law School alumni to form the Appleseed Foundation, which will establish new centers for law and justice that focus on systemic change, not just legal aid for individuals. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Charles A. Walton on March 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
No Contest book by Ralph Nader and Wesley Smith.... In their book No Contest by Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith, the authors give a series of examples about law at the corporate level. Many of their examples deal with wronged individuals suing a corporation. Frequently the plaintiffs are frustrated by a series of delays, misrepresentations, intentional misunderstandings, and multiple appeals. The judges do not discipline the lawyers, at least not to any effective extent, and the judges do not throw out frivolous motions. The judges tend to side with big law firms and with clever lines of reasoning, and not with the plaintiff. The original plaintiff injury, such as a wrongful death due to negligent corporate behavior, is forgotten in the mire of lawyer activity, and the judges fail to consider the need for relief of the plaintiff, without further anguishing delay. The plaintiff is faced with interminable costs and tedious delays without relief. There is no doubt reform is needed. ................

For a remedy, authors Nader and Wesley suggest an Appleseed Foundation, formed of local community volunteer groups, together with some overseeing coordinating committees. They mention Harvard graduates as playing a prominent behind the scenes part in overseeing reform. ..............

The problem with this approach is: first, volunteerism, presumably without pay, is insufficient motivation to overcome such entrenched and profitable bad habits. Second, it is not clear just what specific steps these groups should recommend, other than complain, and point out injustices of which many persons are already aware. . Third, there are already volunteer groups (I have a list of over 20) around the country who are angry with their treatment by the law and yet who have not been able to bring about a change in habits.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By STEVEN B. MCCRARY on July 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Beware of the multinational corporations. Not only do they stick it to the taxpayers in forms of bailouts, tax "incentives", and other similar accounts recievable, they are quite willing to stick it to citizens in court and screw up the meaning of the word "due process" in America and the world. A sad commentary on our justice system but a MUST READ.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
A detailed and methodical look at corporate lawyer's corruption of our legal system. The book explains all relevant terms, cites numerous fascinating examples, and suggests ways that the public and the Bar can improve today's legal system without tipping the scales of justice toward those with the most money. An easy read
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