Following yesterday agreement by Melvyn Weiss to plead guilty to conspiracy charges, the latest in a string of high-profile tort lawyers caught for their corrupt ways, a theme emerges…
From The Wall Street Journal, “The Felony Bar“:
In the wake of the felony admissions of Weiss and Lerach and last week’s bribery plea by Dickie Scruggs, where are the cries in Congress to crack down on these wealthy wrongdoers who abused their positions of legal trust? Weiss’s corner of the tort bar has enriched itself for decades on the backs of shareholders who took home a pittance while the lawyers became megamillionaires.
From The Examiner:
It is impossible not to wonder what else might have been false in Milberg Weiss cases. The answer to that question is critically important because Milberg Weiss pioneered the securities class-action suit and for decades has provided the template for other plaintiffs firms. And Lerach, who enters federal prison today, said he paid kickbacks because “everybody was paying plaintiffs.” Doesn’t anybody in Congress wonder about copycat crimes?
From Darren McKinney, communications director, American Tort Reform Association:
“There’s never a shortage of rhetorical outrage, hastily scheduled show hearings and promptly proposed reform legislation on Capitol Hill whenever executives of energy, pharmaceutical or insurance companies are accused of wrongdoing.
“But when it comes to rich, powerful plaintiffs’ lawyers committing crimes in order to rig our courts and make themselves even richer, Congress apparently sees no reason to get involved. That should make it clear that trial lawyers comprise one of Washington’s most powerful special interests, and the trial lawyers association should just own up to that obvious fact once and for all.
And from Shopfloor.org:
It is time for high-profile investigations and oversight hearings from Congress into the lawsuit industry, demanding accountability from these spoilers. Let’s investigate their impact on the economy, the abusive model that Milberg-Weiss established, and the harm their predations do to the children. Make the witnesses take the Fifth, if it comes to that. At the very least, the public shaming will serve an educational and deterrent effect.
Of course, we made that argument last October 30th.
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