They Can’t Afford Our Fees So We Loan Them the Money

We’ve got a post up at Point of Law documenting the latest spin from the American Association of Justice defending the $1.6 billion tax break to encourage trial lawyers to front their clients the money to sue people and businesses. (Front, as in loan their clients the money not necessarily expecting the loans will be repaid.)

Latest spin? First spin, really. AAJ had been trying to sneak the legislation through quietly, attached to some other piece of legislation. But the news has been dribbling out, so the new strategy represented by the statement is to defend the tax break as “fairness.”

Strange argument, though.

“The tax legislation will treat the trial attorney profession like every other small business in this country, allowing them to deduct their expenses in the year incurred. Currently, trial attorneys pay all case costs from their own pocket when representing Americans that cannot afford exorbitant hourly fees. These attorneys must wait to deduct their expenses until the case concludes. This legislation will allow the IRS to treat this profession as every other small business.

(Our emphasis.)

So, what the AAJ’s Linda Lipsen is saying about the AAJ members is this: “Sometimes we lend clients the money because our usual hourly fees are so exorbitant.”

Strange admission.

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