For all the black robes and ceremony, the American legal system often operates more like a factory assembly line than a citadel of individualized justice. Ninety-five percent of criminal prosecutions end in plea deals. Many defective-product claims settle in mass pacts that benefit attorneys more than putative victims. Now a legal dispute within a plaintiffs' law firm that organizes massive torts is threatening to pull back the curtain on the mechanics of high-volume litigation.
It’s not a pretty picture.