The general commentary on recent litigation patterns in the United States depicts a worrisome, and occasionally panicked, scenario often called the "litigation explosion."' The commentaries characteristically direct attention to a supposed "epidemic of hair-trigger suing" burying the courts under an "avalanche" of civil actions. 2 Moreover, judicial scholars proffer a myriad of purported explanations for the alleged prodigious growth in the number of civil lawsuits. The common theme throughout these explanations is that changes or disruptions in our social, economic, political-legal environments have caused Americans to become a contentious and overly-litigious people.



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