This is a TED talk given by Philip K. Howard, a lawyer and founder of Common Good, a drive to overhaul the US legal system. In this talk Howard discusses how the “land of the free” has turned into a legal minefield that has infilitrated society so extensively that people are hesitant to do anything in fear of being sued. Howard uses the medical field and the education system as prime examples of this problem. Doctors are afraid to speak and act candidly because they don’t want to be liable for anything bad that happens to their patients. Teachers are restricted in what they can do within their classrooms and what activities they can subject the children because of potential liability issues. Howard suggests 4 ways the system can be fixed:
- Judge law mainly by its effects on society, not individuals.
- People must trust the law. Distrust skews misbehavior.
- The law must set boundaries to protecting freedom, not restrict it and intercede in all disputes.
- Simplify the law, humanize it. Restore authority to judges and officials to interpret the law.