Jethro K. Lieberman

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The Litigious Society

Basic Books, 1981, 212pp.
Harper Colophon, 1983, paperback edition
Toshiaki Hasegawa Publishers, 1993, Japanese translation

Surveys the major areas in which litigation has mushroomed in recent years: suits to compensate for defective products, medical malpractice suits, environmental litigation, suits that challenge the practices of institutions like mental hospitals, and, increasingly, suits against government employees. Although critical of some recent excesses, the book concludes that much of the litigation serves a necessary function, for without it, the only alternative would be still more government regulation.

Winner of the 1983 Silver Gavel, the American Bar Association’s top literary prize.

From the reviewers

"Lucid and balanced. Mr. Lieberman takes special pains to illustrate the difficult legal, social, and moral issues that often underlie seemingly outrageous litigation."
Neal Johnston, New York Times Book Review

"Lieberman backs his argument with substance and discrimination ... Few books on law achieve his careful discipline and accessibility."
David Jonathan Cohen, The Washington Post

Selected Works

A retort to friends who thought it was time to thin out the bookshelves.
A critique of hypotheticals as a tool for judging the thought of others.
For students studying constitutional law: what it's about, how to learn it, in language easy to grasp.
Political Theory, Government
Resuscitates liberalism as a practical political doctrine.
On writing clear, readable, and persuasive prose. 3d edition published January 2016
An article on the sins of scholarly writing — and a video to boot.
Constitutional Law
The meaning of the Constitution, and how it has changed over time, on the eve of its bicentennial.
Law and Society
The first book to seek the underlying causes for, and consequences of, America’s growing urge to sue.
A searching look at the moral disarray of the post-Watergate lawyers' code of ethics.
Terrorists take over the United Nations and commit a series of atrocities to free their imprisoned soldiers. An Israeli agent to the rescue. Sounds familiar, but this appeared in 1978, before some of the things imagined had ever played out.
Edited anthologies.
Articles in the popular press, pamphlets, and more.