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Distorting the Law : Politics, Media and the Litigation Crisis - William Haltom

Distorting the Law

Politics, Media and the Litigation Crisis

Paperback

Published: 1st October 2004
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In recent years, stories of reckless lawyers and greedy citizens have given the legal system, and victims in general, a bad name. Many Americans have come to believe that we live in the land of the litigious, where frivolous lawsuits and absurdly high settlements reign.
Scholars have argued for years that this common view of the depraved ruin of our civil legal system is a myth, but their research and statistics rarely make the news. William Haltom and Michael McCann here persuasively show how popularized distorted understandings of tort litigation (or tort tales) have been perpetuated by the mass media and reform proponents. "Distorting the Law" lays bare how media coverage has sensationalized lawsuits and sympathetically portrayed corporate interests, supporting big business and reinforcing negative stereotypes of law practices.
Based on extensive interviews, nearly two decades of newspaper coverage, and in-depth studies of the McDonald's coffee case and tobacco litigation, "Distorting the Law" offers a compelling analysis of the presumed litigation crisis, the campaign for tort law reform, and the crucial role the media play in this process.

"This is an excellent study and should assume its rightful place in the pantheonnn of law and society studies."--The Law and Politics Book Review

Preface
The Social Production of Legal Knowledge Part One: Contesting Legal Realities
Pop Torts: Tales of Legal Degeneration and Moral Regeneration
In Retort: Narratives versus Numbers
ATLA Shrugged: Plaintiffs' Lawyers Play Defense Part Two: Reporting Legal Realities
Full Tort Press: Media Coverage of Civil Litigation
Java Jive: Genealogy of a Juridical Icon
Smoke Signals from the Tobacco Wars
Law through the Looking Glass of Mass Politics
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226314648
ISBN-10: 0226314642
Series: Chicago Series in Law and Society (Paperback)
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 332
Published: 1st October 2004
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 14.9  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 2