ABA Journal on tobacco settlement

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).


  • Anyone with half a brain cell left would answer Linda Eads: “I knew that when it happened. I expected it before it happened. DUH.”

  • There is simply no scenario where it could be ethical for lawyers to earn those fees, especially when the retentions were doled out by government entities.

  • Ron,

    Ethics and the tobacco judgement never met.

    I’m not sure they’ve ever even been on the same planet.

  • […] consumers got ripped off by those settlements, how corrupt trial lawyers like Scruggs collectively received more than $15 billion (not million, billion) for helping to rip-off the public, and how states are misusing the money they collected under the settlements. addthis_url = […]