Surely Congress could spend just a small percentage of its investigative energies on reviewing the crimes, economic waste and injustice perpetrated by the trial bar. Don’t you think?
Sherman “Tiger” Joyce of the American Tort Reform Association cites the new study, “Trial Lawyers, Inc.: Asbestos,” which details the abuses of the trial bar’s shakedown/business operation, to renew his call for hearings: ““Whether one considers the findings of a federal judge in Texas who condemned lawyers and their physician accomplices for introducing phony medical records, a New York federal grand jury’s ongoing investigation into similar asbestos and silica fraud, or any of the countless related incidents reported by the media – such as the non-existent doctor who supposedly signed off on a claimant’s diagnosis in a West Virginia asbestos case against CSX Transportation – one can only conclude that Congress should spend less time worrying about problems in professional baseball and football and more time worrying about the integrity of our civil justice system.”
Dan Popeo of the Washington Legal Foundation says the legal profession should do a much better job of policing itself and instilling an ethical code, and with Congress, “the silence is deafening.” Still: “Unfortunately, nothing will really change until the legal establishment admits that too many other Lerachs, Scruggses and Spitzers are still out there using ‘justice’ and ‘consumer rights’ as a cover for their own aggrandizement.”
More from Walter Olson at Point of Law on Trial Lawyers, Inc. He observes that the study “makes a compelling case that our legal system has failed badly to curb the various devices — from mass screening resulting in medically dubious diagnoses, to mass forum-shopping in search of favorable courts, through group trial and mass settlement of cases — by which some law firms convoy spurious claims of asbestos injury to victory along with the genuine.” Good summary.
And more from the ABA Journal on the Manhattan Institute report. You know, the American Association for Justice, i.e., the national trial lawyers group, normally is quick to respond with an overheated news release attacking the motives of the legal reformers.
Nothing so far. UPDATE: They did. The news release wasn’t on the homepage, and we missed it. Same old rhetoric, though. Don’t respond to the substance, just attack your opponent and change the subject. Where do they learn that? Maybe they’re too busy.