Posts Tagged ‘The Rule of Lawyers’

Back from travel & award

I’m finally on web duty again following my trip to give a talk before the American Tort Reform Association gathering in Las Vegas. ATRA has two current projects that especially merit readers’ attention. One is its recent update of its “Judicial Hellholes” reports on local jurisdictions famed for unfairness to outsider defendants, such as Madison County, Ill., Jefferson County, Miss., St. Louis, Philadelphia, Miami and Los Angeles. Recent news coverage can be found here.

The other project is ATRA’s recent launch of what it calls the Legal Reform Champions List. The list is intended to address a widespread (and sometimes infuriating) phenomenon: many lawyers who make a career specialty of litigation defense quietly undermine their clients’ interests by working covertly or openly to block reforms that would curb the volume or cost of litigation, often mindful of their own self-interest in ensuring there are plenty of future lawsuits requiring their services to defend. ATRA’s new list takes a relatively positive approach to this problem: rather than denounce by name defense lawyers who operate as effective allies of the litigation lobby, it singles out for praise those who (often at a real cost to their strict monetary interest) work in the public policy process to combat excessive litigation. We wrote about this problem in The Rule of Lawyers (in a passage not online through conventional means, but available with registration through Amazon’s book-peek feature).

I am happy to report something I wasn’t expecting when I set off for the trip: at my Monday appearance ATRA was kind enough to give me its “Civil Justice Achievement Award” 2003. This seems to be the year for me to receive handsomely engraved awards (see Sept. 24). Thanks! (& welcome Ernie the Attorney readers)

On the Beeb, etc.

Our editor was interviewed at some length, particularly on pending gun and asbestos legislation, on the BBC World Service’s weekly World Business Review. (Accuracy of transcript not guaranteed.) There’s an audio link, too. Both links may disappear on Saturday when the BBC site updates to the next week’s show.

While on the subject of publicity, our editor’s book The Rule of Lawyers came in for a lengthy review from Neil Hrab of Canada’s National Post in the July issue of Organization Trends, a publication of the Capital Research Center in Washington, D.C. (“More Than Good Friends: Trial Lawyers and Nonprofits“, PDF format, scroll to p. 7). Also, thanks for very kind mentions lately to a number of weblogs you should know about: Ernest Svenson’s Ernie the Attorney, MedRants, Steve Pilgrim’s Rodent Regatta and Aaron Haspel’s God of the Machine (the most philosophical spin on fast-food lawsuits you’ll read this month — it’s not easily paraphrased, just go read it).