Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sleazy Profiteers

The ABAJournal is reporting on the efforts of the Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce to defeat the nomination of a lawyer to the US District Court because he is a "sleazy profiteer," (pic), in other words he was a "tort lawyer."

The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering the nomination of Motley Rice lawyer, John “Jack” McConnell Jr. for a US District Court appointment in Rhode Island. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal "Reform" is urging a no vote.  Opponents claim McConnell’s losing argument in public nuisance suits seeking to hold lead paint manufacturers liable for lead poisoning caused by their products should disqualify him for a judgeship! The Institute for Legal Reform refers to McConnell’s “controversial legal theories” and questions whether he can be fair to business defendants. The Moonie-owned Washington Times denounces McConnell as “one of those sleazy profiteers” who “chase big bucks” in civil actions.

I'm always amazed that this sort of crap is given any gravitas by business people and politicians.  The civil law exists for businesses and if anybody is making the big bucks its their lawyers at BigLaw where a recent report indicates that the average profit per partner at BigLaw firms was $1million dollars annually.  But let me say it again, civil and tort law exists for the BENEFIT of business and capitalism.  If tort law did not exist, these businesses would descend into anarchy, chaos and destruction the moment they blow, let's say an oil platform off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  Tort law is the rule of law, or put another way the orderly and predictable way to shift the burden of loss. 

People who call other people "sleazy profiteers," typically are sleazy profiteers--in my experience.


  1. Hey BL. I'm not sure if this would interest you, but its somewhat related. There is a documentary currently being produced about the McDonalds coffee case and the manipulation of the story (and other stories) by the media and insurance companies to push tort reform. I got to see 30 mins of the film through a local bar association. The website for the movie is I don't usually link drop, but I thought it was relevant and you might find it interesting.

  2. HOP--
    Thanks for the comment and the link. Not only will I check it out, there are those that read this blawg who rarely comment and aren't listed as "followers," but who will be interested.