“Perhaps America’s leading authority on over-litigation”. That’s what Investor’s Business Daily has called Walter Olson, whose books and writings have helped set the terms of debate about the excesses of the nation’s civil justice system. Olson’s book The Litigation Explosion was reviewed favorably in the New York Times by the late Chief Justice Warren Burger and subsequently cited by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in a major Supreme Court opinion; the Washington Post dubbed Olson an “intellectual guru of tort reform”. The Excuse Factory, his book on litigation in the workplace, was met with accolades everywhere from The American Lawyer (“engaging, witty and provocative”) and the London Times (“riveting”) to the A.B.A. Journal (“wittily scathing”) and The American Spectator (“devastating and eloquent”). His new book The Rule of Lawyers has already been hailed in the American Lawyer as “wry, amusing” as well as “provocative and enjoyable”.
A former senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, the think tank in New York City, Mr. Olson is a frequent contributor to the magazine Reason, and his writing appears regularly in such publications as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has appeared numerous times before Congress, federal agencies and state lawmakers and has approximately 300 broadcast appearances under his belt, including “Crossfire”, “MacNeil-Lehrer”, “Oprah”, “Donahue”, and NPR. His website Overlawyered.com, launched in 1999, has won wide acclaim for its mix of entertaining and serious commentary.
Before joining the Manhattan Institute in 1985 he spent five years with the American Enterprise Institute, and worked before that on Capitol Hill. He speaks regularly before professional, business and student audiences. A Yale graduate, he resides in the New York area.