Beginning in the late 1970's and continuing even today, there has been intense criticism in the media and elsewhere that Americans are too litigious, that people and institutions are too frequently going to court against one another. While the criticism may be partly merited, when considered from a more personal perspective, what seems remarkable is not how much litigation there is, but how little. For example, most members of society suffer harms, inconvenienses, and injustices that infringe on their legal rights and could be, if they chose, grounds for legal action. Most individuals recognize, however, that if they made a practice of using the courts to enforce every possible legal right, they would soon be consumed by litigation. Life is too short for people to spend it litigating over every harm or offense that comes their way.



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