Butler Testifies on Capitol Hill

On March 5, Professor Henry Butler appeared as a witness at a Capitol Hill hearing of the House Judiciary Committee Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee on "Excessive Litigation's Impact on America's Global Competitiveness."

With the focus of his testimony consumer protection laws, Butler made two main points: "First, optimal legal rules recognize the tradeoff between the costs of accidents and the costs of accident prevention. Second, excessive litigation can tip this balance, leading firms to make socially wasteful expenditures, which ultimately harms both their global competitiveness and consumers."

He concluded "that excessive litigation under something as benign sounding as a state consumer protection act can have serious adverse consequences for America’s competitiveness."

Also testifying at the hearing were Paul Hinton of NERA Economic Consulting; Rocky Flick of Miami, Oklahoma; and Neil Vidmar of the Duke University School of Law.