The piece’s subtitle: “How greed, hubris and high-stakes lobbying laid waste to the $246 billion tobacco settlement”. Without necessarily endorsing every point in the piece — this is the ABA Journal, after all — it’s still striking how what was once a lonely critique of the settlement has now been accepted as history’s verdict:
The only big winners in the litigation appear to be the tobacco companies, the state treasurers and the lawyers who represented both sides….
…$15 billion has been awarded to the private lawyers hired by the state attorneys general. That’s the largest attorney fee award in history. More than $100 million — Big Tobacco won’t say precisely how much — has been paid to the lawyers defending the companies.
“The tobacco litigation was a failure of historic proportions,” says Linda Eads, a law professor at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas. “A complete and utter failure in every sense.”
(Mark Curriden, “Up in Smoke”, ABA Journal, March).