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A way of examining the current "litigation explosion" is to consider the
kinds of cases and legal issues that litigation now involves and compare them
with what litigation used to involve fifty or one hundred years ago. Instead of
inquiring only whether there is relatively more litigation today in quantitative
terms, our inquiry can address the social and political characteristics of
what might be called the "new litigation." Such an inquiry can consider not
only the types of conduct directly involved but also changes in substantive
law that emerge from litigation, the impact of these changes in the law on
behavior patterns in the community at large, the relationship between legal
norms and behavior patterns, and the effects on the community's system of
authority considered as a whole.

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