Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Trial Lawyer's Campaign To
Clean Up Washington

by George Will - November 18th, 2007 -

John Edwards launched his slight public career -- one Senate term, two presidential candidacies -- with the money and reputation he made as a trial lawyer. Today he is the candidate of a small fraction of the electorate but a sizable portion of America's trial lawyers. Edwards says Washington is "corrupt." Well.

Within Edwards' lucrative trial bar constituency, there has been a flurry of criminal indictments. Their target has been what Fortune magazine calls the law firm of Hubris Hypocrisy and Greed. (See Peter Elkind's
jaw-dropping report in the issue of Nov. 13, 2006.) The real name of the nation's foremost securities class-action firm is Milberg Weiss.

It has been indicted as a "racketeering enterprise" that obstructed justice and committed perjury, bribery and fraud while collecting about $250 million in fees from about 250 cases using paid plaintiffs, which is illegal. Several of the firm's members, past and present, also have been indicted.

Since 1965, the firm has won, often by tactics indistinguishable from extortion, $45 billion from corporations -- more than $1 billion a year . . .

One of the truly corrupt practices of our corrupt law system is the use of our court system for extortion of businesses by the trial lawyers. Rarely do the practices get exposed since the trial lawyers do not often meet defendants who are willing to fight. Thus the extortion goes unreported. However some people are starting to fight, like the banks in the case that started the campaign to expose the corrupt practices of the huge law firm referenced in this article.

The Fortune report by Peter Elkind mentioned and linked in the article above is an education in itself. It repeatedly describes the "cover stories" used by lawyers who practice the same kind of corruption. The "cover stories" protect all of these criminals from being held accountable. It is especially outrageous that the justice department did not really want to prosecute this case and tried to make a deal. Only stupidity and stubbornness by the criminals forced them to proceed.

Note the amount that has been extorted. $45 billion. Does anyone have a shadow of a doubt that they have personally paid a few hundred of those extorted fees? Just remember that businesses always pass along their costs. You the reader have been extorted for a few hundred in the last few years through the practice of this law firm and all the others that are doing the same thing. How does it feel knowing that you have been robbed by the trial lawyers of America?


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