The following article is reproduced with permission from Southern Exposure . This special investigation was published by Southern Exposure , magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies, on October 14, 2004. Subscriptions are $21 a year. Print copies of this investigation are available for $5. For more information, please contact Southern Exposure at P.O. Box 531, Durham, NC, 27702, or visit

"Tort reform," Lone Star style, by Stephanie Mencimer