Thomas Campion, products liability partner in Florham Park, and Kenneth Murphy, products liability partner in Philadelphia, authored an article for Financier Worldwide, “It Started in 1938.” They explore the current iteration of American litigation that is fairly accepted to have started in 1938 when the Federal Rules of Procedure established the discovery process, allowing adversarial parties to see each other’s documents, obtain witness testimony and other evidence. The discovery process has had significant effects on American litigation because of the time, effort and cost expected in seeking or defending these discovery efforts.

Tom and Ken examine why most lawsuits in the United States never go to trial, writing, “[The percentage of lawsuits] have become small because of early settlement, pretrial dismissals by active trial courts or – and this may be the most important fact of all – de facto abandonment by the lawyers prosecuting the cases.” The cost, burden, inconvenience and often unfairness of the discovery process have put litigation at risk. They recommend that courts should adopt protocols to participate in cost-efficient behavior.

Read “It Started in 1938.”

Source: Financier Worldwide
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