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April 16, 2008 - Website Makes Suing Easy

A new website promising to simplify the lawsuit process by pairing lawyers with potential litigants is a bad idea, tort reform advocates say.

Critics contend that the SueEasy website encourages people to be litigious. The website allows users to post a description of their grievance online. Licensed attorneys can log on and browse the list of potential cases, bidding on the cases they wish to handle. The highest bidder gets the case and contacts the user. Users can also register to join existing and upcoming class action lawsuits.

A spokesman  for the American Tort Reform Association, said the site is the "latest distillation" of an attitude promoted by trial lawyers. "It's an attitude that runs against personal responsibility and seems to promote the notion that whatever negative happens in your life somebody else can be blamed and thus sued," said the spokesman.

On its website, Mountain View, Calif.-based SueEasy says its "primary concern is for you to register a genuine complaint or grievance as quickly and as simply as possible."

Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute Center for Legal Policy, said he worries about the quality of lawyers that might cull an Internet site for potential clients. "The main problem with this is quality control," Olson said.

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