Wisconsin lawyer: I won’t represent GOPers since they voted to limit fees

by Walter Olson on December 20, 2011

“A Milwaukee lawyer who calls himself the ‘lemon law king’ is vowing to never take on a Republican client because of a new law limiting attorney fees in Wisconsin. … In a statement issued on Monday, [Vince] Megna compared Wisconsin to North Korea.” [ABA Journal]

{ 13 comments }

1 Walter Olson 12.20.11 at 11:33 am

As we know, Kim Jong WI is situated just north of Kim Jong IL.

2 doug 12.20.11 at 12:04 pm

money is money, he will. i have met few lawyers that have those kinds of morals. maybe he should live in the glorious workers paradise for a year or so, and then he could give us a good comparison.

3 Mike 12.20.11 at 12:24 pm

So, this atty would also support doctors who decided not to care for democrats because they dont vote for med mal reform…

4 Ron Miller 12.20.11 at 1:21 pm

I don’t like the current system of lawyers submitting legal fees in excess of the amount of the actual damages in the case. It rubs all of us the wrong way. I’m just not sure who to motivate lawyers to bring claims that should be brought where contingency fees do not adequately incentivize the claims. I don’t have an answer.

Kim Jong and I spent many hours wrestling with this problem.

5 mojo 12.20.11 at 1:48 pm

So don’t. See if I care.

6 Uno Hu 12.20.11 at 2:22 pm

It seems likely that most conservatives (who I assume his real ire is directed at) would not want someone of his persuasion representing them. Nonetheless, how does he propose to winnow those in his waiting room? I think Republicans stopped having an elephant tattoo place on their foreheads in 1922. And if he asked propective clients, will he require their voter registration card for verification? Short response to this rant:

“What an idiot.”

7 Alan K. Henderson 12.20.11 at 2:23 pm

“In a statement issued on Monday, [Vince] Megna compared Wisconsin to North Korea.”

A guy who belongs to the party of the incandescent light bulb ban has a lot of nerve saying that.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/dprk/dprk-dark.htm

8 Bob Lipton 12.20.11 at 4:08 pm

This will result in a small but doubtless significant shift in the relative quality of representation, as Republicans average better lawyers and Democrats worse.

Bob

9 Mannie 12.21.11 at 12:06 pm

I guess, by this mope’s logic, if a lawyer defends murderers, he is in favor of murder?

10 CarLitGuy 12.21.11 at 12:27 pm

WI residents don’t declare party affiliation when registering to vote. Its an empty promise by Vince.

The problem of attorneys advancing litigation in fee shifting cases, even where the defendent has offered to pay reasonable (and sometimes unreasonable) damages pursuant to statute, simply to generate fees, is not a new one.

Check out Belfour v Schaumberg Auto, No 2-9800948, in the Second District, July of 99.

Neither is the problem of inflated fee demands, which can serve as a significant deterent to reasonable settlement in fee shifting cases. As an example of how inflated, see Solomon Levy v Toyota Motor Sales USA, 4 Cal App 4th 807, from March 1992 – as the court there observed:

“In those cases, there is a growing practice for attorneys to exaggerate the amount of their fees, because they realazie that they are going to be awarded attorney’s fees The fees are never computed in these cases until after there has been a determination which would permit an award of attorney’s fees.
Clients are never billed for these amounts until after there is a determination which ensures attorney’s fees will be paid I find that the items that are submitted in support of attorney’s fees in this case are grossly exaggerated. I do not believe these items.”

There are dozens of similar, largely unpublished, decisions on appeal, and likely hundreds or thousands of similar decisions at the trial level which were never challenged – on both issues.

It appears that some counsel continue to pursue similar rent seeking strategies, in spite of the court’s admonishments, through the present day. Interested parties can easily find more recent examples of same – I’ve not identified them in an effort to preserve my anonymity. Sorry for the lack of links, I’m at the wrong computer today.

(Full Disclosure – I’m not an attorney, and I have done work for a major auto maker. Opinions above are my own, and should not be attributed to any of my employers.)

11 Smart Dude 12.21.11 at 4:11 pm

North Korea is the pinnacle of the socialism that is espoused by many democrats, so I don’t get it. It is a paradise for statists.

12 James 12.22.11 at 9:13 am

Smart Dude: please do not pollute what should be a discussion on this particular case with your slippery-slope partisan mud-slinging.

13 Ed 12.23.11 at 6:20 pm

Smart Dude: North Korea is not socalist; it is communist. There is a significant difference.

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