When Lawyers Sue Lawyers

By April 11, 2007Briefly Legal

There’s something terribly appealing about the idea of reaching into the deep pockets of John Edwards, presidential candidate and mansion-living trial lawyer, and his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, for unkind, elitist remarks she made about her new neighbor. But Monty Johnson is showing restraint.

Monty Johnson was heading home Monday with a cooler full of catfish when he learned his new neighbor had turned him into a minor celebrity.

The first calls on his cell phone came from two lawyers asking to represent him in a slander case. Elizabeth Edwards, they told him, had called him a “rabid, rabid Republican.” That wasn’t all. The Democratic presidential candidate’s wife also told The Associated Press she didn’t want her children near Johnson because, she said, he once pulled a gun on workers investigating a right of way on his property.

Johnson, a 55-year-old retired landscaper with arthritic knees, said he’s not interested in suing.

“I’d just like to know why she has such hard feelings to me,” he said. “They say they’re for poor people.”. . .

In a world of rabid, rabid litigators in search of “jackpot justice,” a tort system that costs Americans billions of dollars annually, to decline even a longshot chance at cashing in — why, that’s just a solid thing to do. The kind of neighbor you’d love to have.

(Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds.)