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I could be more paperless if there were less class action lawsuits

By November 19, 2010websites

Screen shot 2010-11-19 at 10.57.23 AM I've been completely paperless for many years now. And when I say “completely paperless” I mean, as in “I very rarely come into contact with pieces of paper.” I'd like to come into contact with less pieces of paper, except I live in this place called the Real World. In this world people send me something called “mail”, which used to be a very useful way of communicating with other people. Now, it only serves three purposes: (1) a way to send bills; (2) a way to send advertising flyers; and (3) a way to notify people that they're part of a class-action.

Most of the bills I receive I have already set up to be paid automatically. The one-off bills I receive from, say, a magazine subscription (of which I receive few, because I try to only subscribe to things that have digital editions that I can receive on my iPad) are annoying, but I can pay those online. The advertising flyers and other junk mail I immediately deposit in my garbage can without opening them.

That leaves me with the class-action notices.

I’m sure someone has done a study of the increase in class actions and calculated the increase with some kind of precision. I’m not sure how they did the calculation, but, to me, the easiest way to do the calculation would be to measure the number of class-action notices that a typical family receives each year.

I remember the old days it was a big deal to get class-action notice. Even if you were a lawyer, and accustomed to the pompous formatting of a legal document, you took a class-action notice seriously. Nowadays we all understand that, even if you’re part of a class-action, you're not likely to actually get anything of value. Class actions are simply a way for lawyers to aggregate a bunch of small cases into one large mass for which they can receive a lot of money. And a way for the rest of us to receive a lot of class-action notices.

I think we can all agree that class-action notices are now basically a species of junk mail. Very few people actually read these notices because, unlike other forms of junk mail, they aren't written in a language that ordinary humans can decipher. 

I heard the other day about a special anti—matter engine that will blast spacecraft to distant galaxies. I can imagine that one day we'll actually be able to build such a device and make it widely available. However, I can't imagine a day when useless class-action notices are no longer blasted out to disinterested citizens, no matter what galaxy they might have travelled to.


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One Comment

  • liberal elitist says:

    Wow. I always thought the ‘Americans are litigious’ stereotype was exaggerated, but I’ve never received a class-action notice. Seems they’re mostly advertised in newspapers here in Australia.

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