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Tart Taste of Tort Reform

MUDCAT FALLS -- Judge Aristotle Needlemensch was forced to clear a contentious courtroom from the bench yesterday when confronted with catcalls and cheers from advocacy groups as litigants in Dallas v. Tweed met for the first day of motion hearings.

Local attorney Steve Dallas filed a $250 billion class action suit against U.S. Senator Fritz "Kingfish" Tweed for employment discrimination, negligent representation, and legislative malpractice, resulting in the loss of livelihood as well as pain and suffering due to passage of the Class Action Fairness Bill of 2005.

"But I voted against that abominable bill," extorted the Senator with a fierce left hook in the defendant's direction, when Needlemensch denied Tweed's motion for dismissal of the suit. "You can't hold me responsible for those reprehensible Republicans."

Senate Bill S.5 passed 72-26 with two Senators not voting. President Bush signed the legislation into law on February 18, 2005.

The conservative group Curb Litigation Abuse Proliferation (CLAP), which supports tort reform and is funded by insurance companies, asbestos manufacturers, tobacco companies and the American Medical Association, alleges that the number of lawyers in the United States has increased at a rate which far exceeds population growth and that the plaintiff's bar made $40 billion in fees during 2001, more than twice the revenues of Coca-Cola.

On the other hand, the Center for Legal Access for the Public (CLAP) contends that real purpose of the proposed changes is to shield businesses, especially large corporations, from having to pay just compensation to consumers, patients and clients for damages incurred from fraud, negligence, medical malpractice or other legitimate tort claims.

"Tweed can run, but he can't hide. You ain't seen nothin' yet," said Dallas from the steps of the Calabash County Courthouse, nursing a bloody nose. "He's just as guilty as Philip Morris, Johns Mansville and Ford Pintos, and, if you think this is bad, you just wait and see how he's really gonna pay through the nose for this."

In a fit of schizophrenic jurisprudence, the local chapter of the ALCU filed an amicus brief on behalf of both the plaintiff and the defendant.

The trial, which will be broadcast live on Court TV, is expected to last several months.



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