Massachusetts tobacco fees: “Greed on Trial”

by Walter Olson on June 18, 2004

“The question before the jurors was not whether legal fees amounting to $7,700 an hour were ‘unreasonable.’ It was whether the lawyer-plaintiffs should get $1.3 billion more.” Detailed account of tobacco-fee buccaneering and the resulting courtroom antics (complete with “trained-seal” expert witnesses) in one state. When contemplating the tobacco crusade, the chief of litigation at Brown Rudnick said, “I had dollar signs in my eyes, even back at that early stage. And I know that they were large dollar signs.” (Alex Beam, The Atlantic, Jun.). For our coverage of Massachusetts tobacco fees, see Nov. 4 and links from there.