What Donald Trump’s case teaches us: Litigation takes forever | The Hill

Forget for a moment whether former President Donald Trump deserves to float or sink amid the waves of lawsuits washing over him. Consider instead what this sea of trouble teaches us about the state of our legal system.

Jan. 6, 2021, is more than two and a half years behind us. Yet only now are we seeing decisions about prosecuting Trump. The federal and state indictments of Trump at this point are only the emerging tip of an enormous litigation iceberg surrounding Trump.

Not counting matters where he is only nominally a party as president, there are more than 100 Trump-related lawsuits that have languished in the courts since he became president. They include matters related to his finances and taxes, his media coverage, his disputes with Congress and a tsunami of suits surrounding his campaigns and elections. He filed many of them, if not most of them, himself.

Trump knows better than most that if you want to make a problem tread water, all you have to do is toss it into court. Some calculations show he has filed more than 4,000 business-related lawsuits over the years. Each of those lawsuits is swimming through a judicial system that drowns out the substance of disputes with a sustained stream of expensive and time-consuming formalities.

The contemporary lawsuit is a formalist lawsuit. Rather than getting…Read More


Thomas G. Moukawsher is a Connecticut complex litigation judge. He is a former co-chair of the ABA Committee on Employee Benefits, and he is the author of the forthcoming book from Brandeis University Press, The Common Flaw: Needless Complexity in the Courts and 50 Ways to Reduce It.

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