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Lawsuits over coffee burns, playground injuries, even bad teaching: litigation ""horror stories"" create the impression that Americans are greedy, quarrelsome, and sue-happy. The truth, this book argues, is quite different. What Thomas Burke describes in ""Lawyers, Lawsuits, and Legal Rights"" is a nation not of litigious citizens, but of litigious policies - laws that promote the use of litigation in resolving disputes and implementing public policies. This book is an account of how such policies have come to shape public life and everyday practices in the United States.;As litigious policies have proliferated, so have struggles to limit litigation - and these struggles offer insight into the nation's court-centred public policy style. Burke focuses on three cases: the effort to block the Americans with Disabilities Act; an attempt to reduce accident litigation by creating a no-fault auto insurance system in California; and the enactment of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. These cases suggest that litigious policies are deeply rooted in the American constitutional tradition. Burke shows how the diffuse, divided structure of American government, together with the anti-statist ethos