This book draws upon economic and political theory as well as recent history in examining the legal system's role in American society. By demonstrating the evolution legal institutions have undergone since the nation's founding, the author provides a view of modern-day judicial and regulatory processes which is both unexpected and disturbing. Due to this evolution, the courts and regulatory agencies have become the predominant forums for addressing societal disputes whether or not those disputes are amendable to legal resolution. Non-legal dispute resolution alternatives are undergoing steady diminution as political and economic power accrues to a legal aristocracy which seeks profit-maximization and the capture of influential policy-making roles. Contents: Introduction; Foundations of the American Legal System; The Evolution of Legal Standards; Minimization of Risk Through Law; Judicial Government; Social Impacts of the Legal System; The Law Industry; Toward a New Legal Paradigm; References.