Milberg Weiss: Motivations, Money and More

By March 21, 2008Briefly Legal

The Examiner newspaper in Washington, D.C., continues to do necessary and effective spadework in the fertile fields of the plaintiff’s bar, reporting done under the rubric, “Lawyers Gone Wild.”

Today’s contribution is Quin Hillyer’s analysis of campaign contributions made by the disgraced attorneys of the Milberg Weiss law firm, “Strongest lawsuit abuse reform opponents in Senate received the most Milberg Weiss cash.”

Hillyer made good use of the National Association of Manufacturers’ voting tallies going back to the 106th Congress, finding that Senators who voted more often against the NAM’s preferred position on legal reform issues also received the largest contributions from Milberg Weiss attorneys.

Now, we don’t suggest any direct cause-and-effect relationship between contributions and votes. Like-minded legislators and constituency groups support one another in many ways.

But we definitely think Milberg Weiss’ activities are often unjust and anticompetitive. And as keen political observer Michael Barone says:

This is part of the whole trial lawyer orbit. On telecom immunity [in the national security wiretaps debate], they were voting to enrich their trial lawyer contributors — and if some of those trial lawyer contributors are actually under indictment, that makes it look even more fishy.

The Examiner’s Thursday story on the campaign contributions to the presidential candidates — Obama and Clinton — is available here.

BTW, anyone is welcome to analyze and break down NAM voting records, the summaries of how members of Congress voted on key issues, those that directly affect the manufacturing economy. In the case of tort reform and many other issues, you have to go combine multiple years and their votes to develop an informative sample.

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