- Mechanics of high-volume injury litigation: “A disgruntled former law firm employee spills secrets on a mass tort factory” [Paul Barrett, Business Week] More on chasing clients: new Chamber Institute for Legal Reform research finds 23 of top 25 Google key words linking ads to user searches are for personal injury law firms; TV advertising by lawyer is projected to reach $892 million in 2015, up 68% from 2008. Yet more: Daniel Fisher/Forbes (“San Antonio car wreck attorney” goes for $670 per click on Google), Tampa Bay Times (“Highly groomed attorney duo …shown moving in slow motion on courthouse steps to a hard rock beat”);
- Flurry of other new papers by U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform, many connected with its annual Legal Reform Summit, include one on how the trial bar has been successful at lobbying the Obama administration. Plus a new edition of “101 Ways to Improve State Legal Systems”;
- In speech, Rudolph Giuliani recalls tort-law challenges he faced as NYC mayor [Corpus Christi Caller-Times]
- A quarter century later, trial lawyers’ initiative to take revenge against insurer adversaries continues to harm California insurance customers [Ian Adams, “The troublesome legacy of Prop 103,” R Street Institute, paper in PDF, summary]
- A story we’ve covered before: Mississippi attorney general Jim Hood and the flow of funds from and to private lawyers he hires [Steve Wilson/Mississippi Watchdog, quotes me]
- Most New York counties have passed resolutions calling for reform of the state’s unique scaffold law [Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York]
- You’d think indictment of Mikal Watts, Texas law major-leaguer with friends in high D.C. places, would be playing bigger in the press [Tim Carney]
I wrote the cover story in this weekend’s Washington Examiner magazine, about why the Northeast continues to elect Republicans as governor (and not to many posts other than that). The cast of characters includes newly elected governors Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Thomas Dewey, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, William Weld, George Pataki, Mitt Romney, and Christine Todd Whitman.
It’s a particular honor that political analyst Michael Barone wrote a piece riffing on my article and going into more detail about the reformist origins of the GOP tradition in states like New York, and its continued importance as a brake on both self-dealing and fiscal profusion:
Why have Northeastern electorates, so heavily Democratic in presidential and congressional elections, been willing to elect Republican governors so often? Because that’s the only way to prevent their heavily Democratic legislatures from taxing and spending their states onto the road to bankruptcy for the benefit of the public employee unions. That’s something that Thomas Dewey, a light spender unlike Rockefeller, would approve and understand.
Most of my essay is about politics and policy, but here’s a bit related to law:
Northwestern law professor and Federalist Society member John McGinnis says [New York Gov. George] Pataki’s “most impressive act” was one that was hardly noticed at the time and yielded no electoral benefits, namely his appointment to the state’s highest court of Robert Smith, who “became one of the great state court jurists of his time.”
Giuliani said at the Chamber’s Legal Reform Summit that almost every year he was mayor, the city’s tort bill for hospitals was $300 million because of all the malpractice lawsuits. “I would have to say without even worrying about being contradicted that half of that and more was just absolutely phony claims because we have a tort system in new York that is completely unfair, completely biased,” he said. …
As an example, Giuliani cited the case of a man who was fleeing from the police when he tripped on a pothole and became paralyzed. The man recovered a $70 million dollar settlement, he said. The number was reduced to $4 million–but it still made him the richest man his prison, he said.
Yesterday the Manhattan Institute unveiled a new study by my colleague there, Senior Fellow Marie Gryphon, entitled “Greater Justice, Lower Cost: How a ‘Loser Pays’ Rule Would Improve the American Legal System” (podcast; Pajamas TV video). It’s got an introduction by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose endorsement of the idea all by itself counts as a welcome news story, I think. I was part of the panel discussion held to welcome the paper, along with Philip Howard of Common Good, Ted Frank of AEI (and this site), and NYU law professor Mark Geistfeld. Some coverage of and reactions to the study: ABA Journal, AmLaw Litigation Daily, Quin Hillyer @ Washington Examiner, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Legal NewsLine, Jane Genova, and Jim Copland and Michael Krauss at Point of Law.