Business agreements in the U.S. typically run to several hundred single-spaced, typewritten pages; in Switzerland, the same documents might be 10 pages. Charging that American law has become "the world's thickest instruction manual," New York City attorney Howard blasts excessively detailed, rigid government regulations that leave no room for judgment or discretion. He cites as examples occupational safety rules that fail to distinguish among different workplace situations, environmental laws that prove counterproductive and a "drive toward mandated perfection" that has stymied affordable day care and housing. He also lambastes overly complex procedural rules that stifle individual initiative, whether the task involves repairing a bridge, hiring a new employee or fixing a lock in a public school. A cogent brief for legal common sense and balance.