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Greater Justice, Lower Cost: How a Loser Pays Rule Would Improve the American Legal System

Tuesday December 2008


Marie Gryphon Senior Fellow, Center for Legal Policy

Marie Gryphon, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy, is releasing a new report exploring the likely effects of adopting a “loser pays” rule for attorneys’ fees in the United States. Loser pays, sometimes called the “English rule” but actually, in essence, the rule in place in the rest of the world, refers to the principle that parties who lose in litigation must reimburse the winners’ legal expenses, including attorneys’ fees. This study argues that loser pays could be an important part of a larger effort to reduce litigation costs, better compensate prevailing litigants, and better align tort law with its goal of deterring socially harmful conduct.

A panel of legal experts will react to Ms. Gryphon’s proposal, and award-winning ABC journalist John Stossel will discuss the broader public implications of the policy proposal.


10:00 AM Registration
10:30 AM Introduction
James R. Copland, Director, Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute
10:40 AM Report Presentation
Marie Gryphon, Senior Fellow, Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute
11:00 AM Panel Discussion
Ted Frank, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Mark Geistfeld, Crystal Eastman Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
Philip K. Howard, Founder & Chairman, Common Good; Vice Chairman, Covington & Burling
Walter K. Olson, Senior Fellow, Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute
12:00 PM Reception Break
12:30 PM Luncheon
1:00 PM Keynote Address: John Stossel, ABC News Anchor, 20/20
2:00 PM Adjourn