Whatever the outcome of the legislative special sessions for civil justice reform, any plan that does not address the concerns of Mississippi’s business community will be unsatisfactory.
And while one hopes that lawmakers will make progress on resolving one of our state’s most pressing issues, legislative action is simply a small step forward in fixing the problems that plague our courts.
While the judicial process has its flaws and weaknesses, of far greater concern should be our society’s shift away from valuing personal responsibility and fostering community concern and mutual respect.
The “I’ll sue!” mentality holds us hostage. It has become the fix-all for any situation or slight — real or imagined. It is not hyperbole to imagine a few hurt feelings leading to litigation.
Mississippi needs tort reform, but so do Mississippians. Our courts can be a model of justice — resolving conflict in a meaningful, respectful and dignified way — but only when the selfish interests of a few give way to the greater good of protecting and rewarding the truth.
Suing one’s way to success and wealth represents one of the great failures of our time. It is up to all of us — business, industry, trial lawyer, physician, legislator, consumer — to fix the mess.