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As we prepare to again celebrate the founding of our Republic, it is a good time to reflect on one of our fundamental freedoms-the right to ask our neighbors to attend as a jury and sit in judgment of a civil dispute.

In many free countries there are limits on bringing a lawsuit, and of course in countries with limited freedom there may not be a right to bring a case at all. In America we need not ask a politician or law enforcement officer or government official for permission to seek redress of a civil wrong, rather we simply pay a fee and file a complaint. The ability to freely sue opens the courthouse door to rich or poor and the weak or strong alike.

The development of the contingent fee system of prosecuting tort cases was a natural outgrowth of the very American belief that justice is not the provenance of only the wealthy and powerful, but rather must be available to citizens of every station. Indeed, Abraham Lincoln made it a practice to take cases on a contingent fee basis, and a search of legal opinions from his era finds him arguing on behalf of a client maimed by the alleged negligence of a surgeon.

At Simonson Hess Leibowitz & Goodman we are proud to be following the tradition of pegging our fate to that of our client’s, with the knowledge that doing well for those who place their trust in us, allows us to do well for ourselves and the referring attorneys who put their clients in our hands.

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