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06/28/2009 03:59 PM ID: 79375 Permalink   

Litigation Reform: Australia Moves to Crack Down on Moneyed Might Beating Right


The Australian government has introduced draft laws aimed at reforming the legal system so it doesn't, in the words of Charles Dickens, give the "monied might the means abundantly of wearying out the right."

The reforms aim to have appeals and litigation resolved quickly and efficiently. They would give the Federal Court power to impose time limits, witness limits, submission length limits, and to penalise deliberately inefficient parties and lawyers.

"These reforms are essential in enabling federal courts to deliver a fair, effective and affordable service to litigants," said Attorney-General Robert McClelland. The improved efficiency should also save the taxpayer a great deal of money.

    WebReporter: ixuzus Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  The problem I see  
Taking the US patent system, for example.

In the Eastern District of Texas, the patent courts have an 18 month time limit to decide jurisdictions. The problem here is that it favors the offense. The plaintiff spends months/years gathering evidence and preparing before they sue, and the defendant only has 18 months to defend itself. It's one of the reasons the Eastern District is the most popular court for patent trolls.
  by: syoware   06/28/2009 04:27 PM     
My understanding is that in this case the law doesn't actually impose any time limits but allows the courts to do so if they see fit. It appears it is targeting situations like when a company is liable as hell but uses every delaying tactic in the book in the hope that a terminally ill plaintiff will die before the matter goes before the courts, etc.

I'll see if I can pull up the legislation tomorrow.
  by: ixuzus     06/28/2009 05:45 PM     
that I support

Btw, have we seen any of the billions of dollars Exxon is supposed to have paid for the Oil spill 20 years ago?
  by: syoware   06/28/2009 06:34 PM     
  This is a good move  
Far too long have companies and wealthy people milked the system.
Knowing that the poor guy with a legal case can't keep paying his legal team forever and a day.
I will give you an example of how it is.
Joe buys a home and land package from Better homes.
The house is a violation to building codes and sub standard.
Joe seeks to get his money back through the courts while paying a mortgage for a house he cant live in while still paying rent and now legal fee's.
Better homes delays court dates due to any number of reasons.
Joe is struggling to meet mortgage and rent and his lawyer is costing $300 an hour plus incidentals.
This will go on for awhile then Better homes may file for bankruptcy and Joe and who knows how many others loose everything.
  by: thinking   06/28/2009 09:37 PM     
Joe and Better homes in my example are just fiction.
Just an illustration and not directed at any company or person that may use those names.
  by: thinking   06/28/2009 09:44 PM     
  Sounds like a great idea  
Too bad this could never happen in the U.S.
  by: Ben_Reilly     06/29/2009 07:55 AM     
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