Search Results for ‘drew edmondson’

New York Times on the AG-trial lawyer alliance

The close working relationship between some state attorneys general and private trial lawyers — in which the AGs hire the lawyers to represent their states for a percentage fee of the haul — is not a new topic to us here at Overlawyered, but it’s nice to see it getting aired at length in the Dec. 18 New York Times piece by reporter Eric Lipton. The title gives a good introduction: “Lawyers Create Big Paydays by Coaxing Attorneys General to Sue” and in fact the private lawyers who commonly pitch the suits are themselves sometimes former state attorneys general, such as Michael Moore of Mississippi (of longstanding fame here), Patricia Madrid of New Mexico, Patrick Lynch of Rhode Island, Drew Edmondson of Oklahoma, and Peg Lautenschlager of Wisconsin. A few excerpts:

  • Law firm donations to AGs or “party-backed organizations that they run” “often come in large chunks just before or after” inking contracts to represent the state. A sidebar chart, “Political Gifts from Plaintiffs Lawyers,” confirms that most of the money flows to partisan attorney general associations ($3.8 million to Democrats and $1.6 million to Republicans over a decade) or state parties ($1.5 vs. $445,000) as opposed to candidates directly ($2 million vs. $240,000, not counting AGs running for governor).
  • When various AGs signed a brief to the Supreme Court supporting the plaintiff’s side in a securities litigation case, it was after being sedulously cultivated to do so by the lawyers.
  • “…at least three former attorneys general are pitching painkiller abuse cases to states nationwide, although no state has yet publicly signed up.” More on the Chicago and California-county painkiller cases here.
  • Yes: “‘Farming out the police powers of the state to a private firm with a profit incentive is a very, very bad thing,’ said Attorney General John Suthers of Colorado, a Republican and a former United States attorney.”

Full article, again, here. Michael Greve has further commentary on why it’s often AGs from small states who take the lead and whether business really started it all.

“Worst state attorneys general”, cont’d

Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute informs me that Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal has in a sense won his recount after all: a recalculation taking into account a bit of overlooked data has now moved him up from #3 to #2 on this year’s list, though he’s still essentially tied with Oklahoma’s Drew Edmondson. In first place: California’s Jerry Brown, while perennial favorites Patrick Lynch of Rhode Island and Darrell McGraw of West Virginia fill the #4 and #5 places, and a newcomer, William Sorrell of Vermont, makes an appearance at #6.

More: Bader in the Examiner on the selection process.

March 31 roundup

Oklahoma AG Receives Lesson on the First Amendment

The problem is that he refuses to learn from it. Drew Edmondson (D), Oklahoma’s Attorney General who seeks to become Governor in the 2010 election, disagrees with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals that circulating petitions for a ballot initiative limiting government spending is “core political speech,” protected for “outside agitators” (or whatever Edmondson calls them) as well as Oklahoma residents.  Edmondson has announced that his quest to imprison Citizens In Charge head Paul Jacob and two others for hiring non-resident signature gatherers will end in the Supreme Court.  That one’s rights to free speech and to petition government for redress of grievances don’t end at a state line is elementary constitutional law, the sort of thing 2Ls should know.  But then there are many things that Oklahoma’s aspiring Governor seems not to know.

Oklahoma AG: I wasn’t familiar with short-selling

“I have recently been made aware of a market practice known as ‘short selling’ and am amazed that it is legal,” Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson wrote the Securities and Exchange Commission last year. That’s one of many tidbits to be found in a column by the L.A. Times’s Mike Hiltzik about politicians’ ties to Oklahoma-based Pre-Paid Legal Services, a multilevel marketing (MLM) enterprise that has been the subject of a fair bit of controversy and litigation over the years (Mike Hiltzik, “Lockyer Not Above a Little Legal Aid”, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 18). Oklahoma AG Edmondson’s bio lists him as having been born on “October 12, 1946” rather than, as one might assume, “yesterday”.