‘Litigation Nation’ Review: Actionable Behavior

America’s litigiousness is a form of civil combat that refines the law through the forces of social change and legal doctrine.

America is awash in litigation. Considering noncriminal cases alone, private parties across the country file millions of lawsuits every year. Some decry this phenomenon, arguing that it represents social decay in a country where conflict cannot be resolved without recourse to robed philosopher kings. Others see in the easy availability of legal redress the American sense of equality. Lawyers (at least according to Alexis de Tocqueville, who devoted some pages in “Democracy in America” to their role) form a new kind of democratic aristocracy, trained in the idea that justice is not at the whim of an elite but available...