Tonight’s 20/20: Stossel on extortionate attorneys

by Ted Frank on April 4, 2008

John Stossel has a WSJ op-ed and tv special tonight on the problem of extortionate attorneys. Overlawyered previously discussed the Selbin case and I’ve written about Bill Lerach’s extortion of banks in the Enron case.

{ 2 comments }

1 Todd Rogers 04.04.08 at 11:01 am

As a free-market guy, I get chaffed when I read about judicial economic redistribution of these sorts; attorneys (and sometimes their clients) essentially capitalizing via exploitation of the process. Certainly our legal system was not designed, nor would the creators approve of those who grossly enrich themselves while operating within the boundaries, albeit right up to the line, of the law. And, let’s face it, rare is the case where in such cases one can find a fragment of public benefit. Certainly it’s there from time to time. But, when the bars on the jail cells slam shut on these scoundrels, they’re still capitalists trying to make a buck, and on some level, I have to hand it to them for figuring out a way to make a fast (or not so fast but surely BIG) buck; too bad it’s at the expense of so many people. Give a guy a set of rules, and over time, he’s going to find the cracks, exceptions, opportunities, and infuse his wallet with cash. Work in B2B sales, and you will surely learn how to find or “create” opportunities for yourself.

Laughably, on NPR, Lerach referred to himself and his kind as one more check in the balance of power within the free market.

2 Anonymous Attorney 04.07.08 at 12:00 pm

I tuned in for this, and it was (almost) worth waiting through the prior segment. Mr. Stossel’s work has always been a nice libertarian refresher to an otherwise gubmint-lovin’ media. The husband-and-wife attorney couple came off looking pretty crappy (as they should), though I don’t think Stossel should have indulged their request to include their side in writing only. If you file the suit, have the guts to go on camera and explain yourself.

Comments on this entry are closed.