I have long been a critic of state and federal rules imposing costs on losing parties or those who turn down settlement offers, particularly when courts have little or no authority to waive costs. We previously discussed how a federal court ordering the family of a fallen soldier to pay $16,000 to the Westboro Baptist Church, an extremist organization that pickets the funerals of soldiers and Marines. Now the victims of the massacre at the Century Aurora 16 multiplex theater have been hit with a $700,000 bill to pay the defendant’s costs after losing their lawsuit. It is a variation of the “English Rule” where loser pays and something that I believe deters lawsuits against corporations and powerful individuals.
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