CO Trial Lawyers Climb Back Down Pike’s Pique

By May 7, 2008Briefly Legal

Wisdom has prevailed for the moment in Colorado. From The Denver Business Journal:

Trial lawyers in the state and a group proposing to severely restrict the ability of plaintiffs to bring contingency fee civil lawsuits have agreed to withdraw competing ballot issues aimed for the November ballot.

John Sadwith, executive director of the Colorado Trial Lawyer’s Association (CTLA) said the decision was made late Tuesday after continuing talks with the group promoting the restrictions on how much lawyers could collect in successful civil actions.

“We didn’t think it was the best interests of working people in the state” to go forward with gathering signatures and putting the measures on the November ballot, Sadwith said.

Oh, for the working people, is it? We have another theory: National political and legal figures called Sadwith, saying, “Are you nuts? With the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August, the national media will be all over this story, confirming the public’s prejudices against trial lawyers as greeding, grasping, avaricious and vengeful characters. Our critics among all those doctors, real estate agents, business owners, homebuilders, farmers, everybody…they’ll have a heyday. It’s a public relations nightmare. KNOCK IT OFF!”

The lawyers’ nine initiated measures would have, among other things, capped compensation by CEOs — unconstitutional — revoked licenses of some doctors sued for malpractice, limited commissions for real estate agents, gone after homebuilders and tapped federal farm subsidies of certain farmers. No working people among those groups.

Still, more than 100 initiated measures have been proposed. Earlier post here.

UPDATE (1:55 p.m.): More from the Rocky Mountain News. The Trial Lawyers news release is here.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Cindy says:

    Don’t confuse homebuilders, etc, with “working people.” These are large well funded and politicaly connected industries with their own lawyers, PR firms, and lobbyists, and a legal defense fund if a court case were to ever threaten to set a precedent of holding builders accountable for their work. Hillman’s tort reform type initiatives came first, followed by a predictable reaction from trial lawyers. When it’s YOUR case, your financial future, your kid, your house, whatever, everyone wants the baddest trial lawyer in town. But when it’s someone else, they vilify the same lawyers. And, no I am not a lawyer. I am a consumer who does full time volunteer work for a consumer org. We get thousands of complaint every year about severely defective new houses, and it was “trial lawyers” who last year restored some consumer protection rights for home buyers, that had been eroded by the builders lobbying and campaign contributions. When it comes right down to it, the industry side out-spends us all on shaping our laws.

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