As if we didn't have enough problems.

You know how we all have those relatives we invite to the reunion, the one's we can't disown who drink too much, hit on your cousin's new wife, and generally do things you shouldn't do in polite company? Even worse they do it in front of your boss, associates, who of course tar you with the same brush and assume, your just like he is, just hiding it better.

Well, today's Wall Street Journal editorial page takes on the Milberg Weiss accusations.

Now of course I have zero inside knowledge of this whole situation, which revolves around the accusations that one of the most visible personal injury class action firms allegedly paid kick backs under the table to a friend who agreed to be lead plaintiff in a variety of class action shareholder suits brought over the last decade or so.  If true, and i'm sure the facts will come out pro or con, this is just the last thing trial lawyers need blasted all over the pages of the Wall Street Journal and other national publications. It will be the poster boy case of why "tort reform" is so crucial, and how all these wonderful corporations were harmed by this fraud.

Never mind there were probably a lot of merits to the cases, and they would have been brought, tried or settled and paid in the same fashion with out this alleged fraud. Never mind that there is NO TORT CRISIS in this country. The only crisis is the distorted misinformation campaign directed by insurance companies and manufacturers who have bought my republican party and sold them a bill of goods with millions of lobbying dollars.  No, now they will take this awful situation, generalize that ALL trial lawyers do it, distort the picture and drive more bogus tort reform down our throats and strip American's of a few more of their rights to civil justice.

Let me point you to an interesting paper just published in The Journal of Empirical Legal studies that studies malpractice claims and costs in Texas since 1988. Their conclusion is the system has flaws, but increasing expenses and verdicts isn't one of them, and in fact that small claims of merit have been squeezed out by caps and legal fee caps, causing less access to the court for poor injured victims. The point is that there is NO crisis, Tort reform is a bogus issue, and trial lawyers need to police their own members to prevent these ugly, press releases like the one in the WSJ, or it will used as an excuse for over kill with the people getting harmed being the poor and average citizen seeking justice in a civil court of law.

Posted on July 7, 2005 .