Pick One: A. Trial Lawyer Tax Break B. Earmark C. Bail Out

Or, as today’s Wall Street Journal’s editorial puts it, “A Bill Lerach Tax Cut“:

Taxes are going up in January for millions of Americans, but that means it’s even more important to have friends in Washington. And nobody has friends in higher places than the plaintiffs bar.

The American Association of Justice, or the trial bar lobby, is meeting in Canada this week to raise money for Senate Democrats and plot new openings for its legal raids on business. According to Legal Newsline, AAJ director of federal relations John Bowman told attendees the awesome, fabulous, wonderful news that he expects the Treasury Department to soon issue an order giving a tax break for contingency fee lawsuits.

The AAJ announced its new president for 2010-2011 yesterday, C. Gibson Vance, a stockholder in the poiltically connected Alabama law firm of Beasley Allen. So here’s his first challenge, handling the crisis PR: Will he choose to be upfront, open with the media, explaining why the news accounts of the Treasury action are wrong or, alternatively, why the $1.6 billion tax cut to stimulate litigation is necessary?

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Legal News Line, a Chamber of Commerce-backed publication, broke this story. Love this detail from its follow-up: The White House referred questions to the Treasury Department, which declined comment.

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