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American Litigiousness, Distilled

From the Journal's story on the declining fortunes of the wealthy (about which more later): "At law firms, billings ballooned earlier this decade, and law-firm salaries accounted for 1.5% of all U.S. salaries in 2007, twice the share in 1980, according to"

Actually, while part of that increase was surely the stuff of conservative legal nightmares, I'm guessing a big (bigger?) chunk was boom-related. Financial engineering requires legal work, lots of it.