Walter Olson

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Walter K. Olson (born August 20, 1954) is an author and blogger who writes mostly about tort reform. Olson is a senior fellow of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C. Formerly, Olson was associated with the Manhattan Institute in New York City. He founded several websites, including the Manhattan Institute's scholarly, and continues to run, a more popularly oriented website focusing on tort reform and alleged overreaching by lawyers. He has published three books on the American litigation system: The Litigation Explosion, The Excuse Factory, and most recently Schools for Misrule.

The Washington Post has dubbed Olson an "intellectual guru of tort reform."[1] He has testified to Congress numerous times, and has written articles for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Reason, and The New York Times. His work is often discussed in the press and has been cited in court opinions.[2][3]

Olson is a graduate of Yale University[4] and an atheist.[5] Despite being a legal pundit, he lacks a law degree.[6]


Olson has said that while he campaigned for George W. Bush in 2000, he did not support his re-election in 2004: "Foreign policy and defense blunders aside, the last thing I wanted was an administration combining aggressive social conservatism with uncontrolled spending and big new government programs."[7]



  1. ^ Torry, Saundra (September 14, 1992). "Walter Cronkite Video Helps Stir Up Debate Over Tort Reform". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  2. ^ Alice Jansen vs. Packaging Corp. America, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 95-3128 123 F3d 490 / Kimberly B. Ellerth vs. Burlington Industries, Inc., 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 96-1361 123 F3d 490 [1]
  3. ^ Doe v. City of Belleville, Illinois, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 94-3699 119 F3d 563 [2]
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  7. ^ "Election roundup: the White House". OverLawyered. 2004-10-26. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 

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