How Can Law Be Simplified?

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Fixing Our Broken Systems. Watch Phillip K. Howard's full TEDTalk — "Four Ways To Fix A Broken Legal System" — on TED.com.

"We've been trained to be fearful of ordinary choices." — Phillip K. Howard i i

"We've been trained to be fearful of ordinary choices." — Phillip K. Howard James Duncan Davidson/TED hide caption

itoggle caption James Duncan Davidson/TED
"We've been trained to be fearful of ordinary choices." — Phillip K. Howard

"We've been trained to be fearful of ordinary choices." — Phillip K. Howard

James Duncan Davidson/TED

About Philip K. Howard's Full TEDTalk

We laugh at America's warning-label culture — like the bag of airline peanuts that says "Caution: Contains Nuts" — but everyday acts of silence and loss promoted by the fear of being sued is troubling, and has repercussions. Your doctor may not speak frankly to you; your kids' principal might not feel he has the right to remove bad teachers.

Attorney Philip K. Howard says the Land of the Free has become a legal minefield, especially for teachers and doctors. Their work has been paralyzed by this fear. What's the answer? A lawyer himself, Howard has four propositions for simplifying U.S. law.

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About Philip K. Howard

Philip K. Howard founded the nonpartisan group Common Good to combat the nation's culture of fear and reform several key areas of our legal system. Among Common Good's suggestions: specialized health care courts, which would give lower but smarter awards, and a project with New York City's board of education and the teachers union to overhaul the disciplinary system in public schools. He recently founded New Talk, a project that fosters productive, nonpartisan discussion on even more tough issues like economics, health care and government. His latest book is Life Without Lawyers.

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