Thursday, March 20, 2014

Nobody wins when state officials deputize trial lawyers

Washington Examiner | MARCH 19, 2014

 America's civil legal system is too frequently abused by trial lawyers filing lawsuits in hopes of extracting quick settlements no matter the defendants' guilt or innocence. Worse, these same lawyers often become wealthy through such litigation while the purported victims of wrongdoing ultimately get only token compensation. Most Americans understand this, but how many of them realize their state and local governments may also be promoting this crooked system?
In the 1990s, the landmark tobacco settlement made multimillionaires out of a small group of trial lawyers who were permitted to represent individual states. It has since become increasingly common for state, county and municipal governments to lend their legal authority to private lawyers working on a contingency basis.  . Such outsourcing supposedly lets state governments pursue cases they might not otherwise. But this is also part of the argument against it. The practice allows litigious mercenaries, cloaked in a borrowed mantle of government authority, to advance novel legal theories designed not to redress wrongs, but rather to enrich themselves and set precedents for future litigation. A decade ago, for example, some of them sued gun manufacturers for the mere act of manufacturing guns that worked properly. Congress prevented this, but trial lawyers have since pursued similar silliness in other areas.....To Read More....

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