TLR remembers Lincoln as tort reform champion

By Sherry Sylvester, Texans for Lawsuit Reform

On this President’s Day, Texans for Lawsuit Reform again honored the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, for his strong stand against frivolous lawsuits and his expressed belief that such suits waste time and money and are rooted in greed. 

Always counted among our greatest and most visionary presidents, Lincoln saw more than a hundred-fifty years ago that lawsuit abuse was detrimental, not only to the legal profession, but to society as a whole. 

In his “Notes on a Law Lecture," written on July 1, 1850, Lincoln said:

"Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this. Who can be more nearly a fiend than he who habitually overhauls the register of deeds in search of defects in titles, whereon to stir up strife, and put money in his pocket? A moral tone ought to be infused into the profession which should drive such men out of it.

"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser -- in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough."


Lincoln’s complete “Notes on a Law Lecture” can be found at:

Texans for Lawsuit Reform, the state’s largest civil justice reform organization, is a bipartisan, volunteer-led coalition with more than 17,000 supporters residing in more than 869 Texas communities and representing 1,253 different businesses, professions and trades. For more information, visit


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