The American Illness: Essays on the Rule of Law is a new book from Yale University Press edited by Frank Buckley. Amazon's description informs that:
This provocative book brings together twenty-plus contributors from the fields of law, economics, and international relations to look at whether the U.S. legal system is contributing to the country’s long postwar decline. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between economics and the law—in such areas as corruption, business regulation, and federalism—and explains how our system works differently from the one in most countries, with contradictory and hard to understand business regulations, tort laws that vary from state to state, and surprising judicial interpretations of clearly written contracts. This imposes far heavier litigation costs on American companies and hampers economic growth.
Yale's site offers up these blurbs:
"Buckley has assembled essays by many, perhaps most, of the best economic and legal scholars in the Anglo-American world to consider seriously the ways in which the American legal system burdens our citizens and our economy and puts us at an international competitive disadvantage. The "rule of law" we so earnestly commend to other countries is clearly in need of serious reform at home. The rigor of these historical, economic, and comparative studies, and the logic of the framework within which Buckley presents them, make a compelling case for law reform scaled to our needs for the 21st Century."—Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, U.S. Court of Appeals and NYU Law School
"This book presents strong evidence of American hyper-litigiousness and the social costs it creates. The editor has assembled an impressive array of authors, who attack these issues with rich empirical evidence."—Eugene Kontorovich, Northwestern University School of Law
"This authoritative collection of essays draws a vivid portrait of a legal system that is out of control. The Rule of Law in America has become a kind of Frankenstein’s monster, bashing indiscriminately both good and bad conduct without proportion or self-awareness. These vivid essays let the facts drive you to this unavoidable conclusion: American law is indeed “exceptional”—but no longer in a way that supports either freedom or regulatory protection."—Philip K. Howard, author of The Death of Common Sense and Chair of Common Good
I was privileged to be one of those asked to contribute an essay to the project. My offering is entitled "How American Corporate and Securities Law Drives Business Offshore," a preview of which is available here.
I've been reading the other essays in the volume and each is a gem. Collectively, they are essential reading for anyone interested in how law is choking our economy and society.