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Litigation as Profit Center

The next time you hear a tort reformer grousing that litigation is ruining the economy, you may want to consider the experience of Columbus, Ohio.  As this article describes, litigation -- or more accurately, the Franklin County Courthouse complex where litigation takes place -- has formed a profit center for the entire community. 

The Columbus Business Journal describes the range of different revenue sources that have developed around the Franklin County Courthouse.  For example, the courthouse sustains more than a half dozen bail bonds firms, including one family-owned company that has operated near the courthouse for nearly 50 years and has 11 employees.   And even though e-filing is reducing the need for bike couriers and messengers, Archive Courier Service in Columbus still derives 60 percent of its revenues from court business.  Even the parking meters around the courthouse are money makers, collecting nearly $124,000 in revenues in 1987.

The courthouse also feeds those businesses that feed court visitors and employees.  With 1.4 million visitors to the courthouse annually, hot dog vendors report that they earn as much as $120 or more during a busy lunch shift.  Court traffic also accounts for the success of the Subway franchise at the court as well as other area restaurants.  Hotels also benefit from lawyers in town to try cases who need to stay over for several days.

Ah, profiting off of litigation -- isn't that the American way?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on August 26, 2008 at 12:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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