Loser pays or you pay your own?

Posted by: logtroll

Loser pays or you pay your own? - 12/28/18 01:14 AM

If you are familiar with the American civil court system, you know that usually each party pays its own legal expenses no matter who loses. In Britain and Australia the loser pays. Obviously, there would be a lot fewer lame lawsuits if the plaintiff knew they’d be paying for the attorneys of the other side if they lose. I am in the loser pays camp - what do others think?
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: Loser pays or you pay your own? - 12/28/18 11:19 AM

I say stick it to the losing attorney! They should know better than to file a losing lawsuit or fight a justified suit against their defendant without settling.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: Loser pays or you pay your own? - 12/28/18 01:48 PM

One of the arguments I have heard against loser pays is that there is already Rule 11, which sanctions frivolous lawsuits. However, in my experience, and told direct from the mouths of local lawyers and judges, Rule 11 is rarely invoked as it would "create a hostile environment and chaos" amongst the barrister class.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: Loser pays or you pay your own? - 12/28/18 02:37 PM

If a poor guy gets screwed by a rich guy the odds are already against the poors going to court. You have a right to the system but money is the deciding factor. You can throw money at attorneys knowing the other side can't sustain that kind of prolonged fight. A lot of crooks in business operate this way. They have no problem signing contracts and making promises on paper if the ripoff pays more than the legal fees.
We have a master practioner of this game now in the White House.
It seems that the threat of added legal fees would produce an even more lopsided advantage to money in this legal system we have.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: Loser pays or you pay your own? - 12/30/18 02:02 PM

That's one possible scenario, but I have never seen it. I have had people sue me for things I had no part in, and they wouldn't listen to reason. The frivolous lawsuit test seems to be easily gotten around by a bit of lying, and once in court, the messy slog begins. One neighbor, the owner of a funeral home who basically dug a hole and built his business in it downhill from my shop, got flooded during a 3" in 20 minutes
rainfall. He sued me for, and this is no shitte, "Increasing the rainwater fall," with a side rationale that the water that went into his building (which didn't meet drainage code) came from my property. It dragged on for four years...

In my three encounters I always "won" in the end, yet still lost financially. You also don't get to value your own effort and lost time.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: Loser pays or you pay your own? - 12/30/18 05:08 PM

Hmmmmm... That sounds like a legal mugging attempt Logtroll. Bummer!
Yes, it does happen the way I outlined it. A mentor that started out as a business relationship in one of my vocations had an apx. 10k ft/2 manufacturing facility had been awarded a contract on a large university. The plans were explicit and the scope well defined. Long story short the architect got it wrong and somewheres around 2000Pr. of slides got installed one way, an even greater amount gor installed another way (dormitory mill work package).Clearly labeled and prints. Didn't matter. The Architect firm wasn't about to admit mistake and dug in with a 'you should have requested a verification, shoulda known position. Legal language started getting used and the upshot is getting paid on a whole package while fighting over retainage or increased labor and material costs are going to cost you to collect. Often more than the cost of loss. Not worth it. The stakes would get even higher if there is a chance that the architect firms attorney should prevail and your forced to pay, god knows what, white shoe legal firm.
I've billed and had counter billed and got down to lawyers. One GC (keep your hand on your wallet at all times!) had been timely pay. Not good but timely and in the world of subcontracting, sometimes timely beats good. Especially in a slow down period be it seasonal or geographical.
For a few years I provided millwork for his lucrative water front projects. The last project I did was for a set of built-ins with custom stair steps leading to the top bunks. The stair steps had built in dovetailed drawers and the top bunks received mission style guard rails in finished red oak. The entire cost of the project was the insanely low price of around $2400.00 and that included install!
But hey. that was during the height of the housing bust and you were just trying to stay alive. And boy howdy did that run the gamut! Did the GC pay? Absolutely not. Mumbling something about having only $1200 in the job for it, etc,etc
Long story short, I knew I was getting ripped off but there was no way I was going to challenge it. This guy was as crooked as a corkscrew and I was his next victim. He spends way to much time in courts and, the last I read in the local papers, was getting sued by some distraught homeowner over on a fancy lake the Clintons occasionally party on. This guy savages in both directions. The clients and the subs. He keeps his attorneys on a hair trigger and continues to escape major prosecution. His victims list grows by the year. His secret is a good attorney. His usual sayin was 'the guy who wants it more is gunna git it' and for him that means it all coming down to money and attorneys. He and the President are cut from the same cloth. They do the same play.
Admittedly I don't know what you can do to stop from being sued without cause and many lawyers made a good living doing it. They also make a good living helping people get ripped off. It's a tricky thing for sure.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: Loser pays or you pay your own? - 12/30/18 08:06 PM

Then again, that's a fool's bet: You can screw over 99 people but the 100th puts you in the lake with concrete overshoes. Or maybe the 10th guy, you never know. A certain percentage of people are actually functional psychopaths, and are willing to go that extra step in a conflict.

You can be an ass-hat in business, but there's always a bigger dog, so to speak. A good businessman makes sure that all parties to a deal are satisfied they didn't get screwed. They may have made decisions, bids, contracts, etc. that ended up losing them money, but they know that was their bad decisions.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: Loser pays or you pay your own? - 12/31/18 12:10 PM

Actually, most of our economy now is screwing the guy beneath you. Wether that's in wages, tax breaks or contracting.
Clearest evidence is the fact that we have a POTUS in the White House that is Technically the biggest dog and has risen to that spot on a pile of corruption and rip off's.
Now how do you suppose that happened?