Some day do an inventory of the "rights", protections and other niceties of civilized society that you enjoy and then do a little historical background check on what role lawyers and jurists/judges played in creating, fashioning and protecting them from attempts to destroy, subvert or deny you access to them. The line "First, we shoot all the lawyers" was uttered by someone intent on establishing a dictatorship.
You want to see what societies without a vital legal system look like today? Ones where they really got the "lawyer are bad" rhetoric down really good? You don't have to look that far. Just find a dictatorship, military government or iron-fisted highly "centralized" (quasi-dictatorship) government. If you prefer that model go for it. With the right attitude you might even make it as a leader . . err . . boss.
The ADA was and is a sound piece of legislation that offers, as a last resort more often than not, access to the judicial system. Like any piece of legislation there may be attempts to extend it to contemporary circumstances, especially in a world where technology changes processed (shopping, now online) but not principals (accessibility). There may even be attempts that go so far that some or many will say "That's an abuse". Welcome to the free world. It's people pushing the envelope - and not getting thrown in jail - that lets your know you're in a society that values rational dialogue and debate.
I've been to court likely a few more - more likely a 1,000 more times than you have - and I can tell you from rather extensive experience that one of the first statements or questions any jurist worth their robe presents to the litigants is "Tell me about settlement. Where do things stand?" Very few folks who routinely work with or in "the system" want to see wasteful or frivilous litigation. There simply aren't the resources within the system to afford wasteful or stupid litigation. So "the system" has erected all manner of defenses, such as motions for summary judgment, frivilous claims statutes, motions for sanctions, etc.
Anyone who actually knows how the system works, based upon something a bit deeper than chance encounter or what they see on television, knows that the people within the system also see litigation as costly and inefficient. This is why most disputes do not end up in court, because I - like most of my peers - advise people against litigation for those very reasons.
Litigation is often a sign of failure, of someone behaving intransigently. IF it's so obvious that the person sitting on their hands is entitled to sit on their hands - instead of playing the more classic "We will wear 'em down by delaying and denying and overwhelming 'em" - that person or company will, more often than not, get the case dismissed.
From my own experience I'll offer this bit of insight: Litigation often IS a failure, but it's the type of failure surely beats the alternative of either dictatorship, rule by arms, or rule by simple economic power.
[edited by: Webwork at 7:13 pm (utc) on Oct. 3, 2007]