The importance of how we frame issues
I appreciate readers who share ideas and Ronald V. Miller has sent me a link to his website dealing with framing and his use of a George Bush line in arguing for lost wages for his injured client. See Mr. Miller’s website and an explanation at http://www.marylandinjurylawyerblog.com/2009/02/trial_tactic_tips_from_george_w_bush.html
Of course, the Rockridge Institute is one of the major websites for information on framing and should be consulted on this subject. http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org/projects/strategic/simple_framing/
Let’s not overlook the infamous Frank Luntz and his Words that Work. His grasp of the significance of how to frame issues was a major factor in the Republican strong hold on American attitudes and support of the Bush disastrous administration. To give you an idea of how Luntz would create "talking points" for politicians see the blog The Agonist at
http://agonist.org/cyrus_dugger/20061129/frank_luntz_s_tort_reform_talking_pointsAs this blog notes, here’s part of Luntz’s advice on how to discuss tort reform. This explains the success of big business, insurance companies and Republicans in convincing the American people to limit the remedies of injured people. Here’s what Luntz advised:
"Ending lawsuit abuse. Please, please, please STOP saying tort reform. For too many Americans tort reform has something to do with a French pastry. Tort reform is legalistic, bureaucratic and definitely impersonal. But while a large segment of Americans don’t know what tort reform actually means, virtually all Americans know what lawsuit abuse reform does TO THEM.
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LAWSUIT ABUSE WORDS THAT WORK
“As a matter of principle, companies should be spending less money on litigation and more money on innovation. The single greatest disincentive for America businesses to do business here In America is the absurdity of our legal system. We have become the lawsuit capital of the world. Some companies actually spend more money fighting off frivolous lawsuits than the gross national product of countries that belong to the UN. Other countries use their legal system only when necessary. In America, too many people see the legal system as a loose slot machine, and too many personal Injury lawyers see it as a potential jackpot.”
20) It’s not just the legal system. It’s the people who are abusing the system for their own financial gain. Once and for all, it’s time to take on the PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS. Those on the outsourcing kick have personalized and demonized America’s CEOs. To some degree that’s a smart (though highly unjustified) strategy because it puts a human face behind the condemnation. You need to practice exactly what they preach — and the personal injury lawyer is the perfect foil. The truth is, GREEDY personal injury lawyers have cost more jobs than any CEO through their reckless abuse of the legal system.
WORDS THAT WORK: PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
“Everyone deserves their day in court, but the aggressive nature of the personal injury attorneys and their gaming of the system have ensured that companies spend almost EVERY day in court.
There is simply too much fraud and abuse within the legal system thanks to the unholy alliance of greedy personal injury lawyers and their irresponsible clients. Together, they are ratcheting up the cost of doing business in America while simultaneously driving down the integrity and consistency of our judicial system. As a result, the cost of doing business becomes so expensive that first the jobs go elsewhere, and then the company goes elsewhere.”