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Asbestos: send in the prosecutors?

Prof. Lester Brickman of Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law, a noted legal ethicist and the leading academic critic of the asbestos litigation, has a devastating new 137-page article out in the Pepperdine Law Review. His contention: mass attorney solicitation of claimants has combined with willfully unreliable medical screening and witness-coaching by law firms to generate hundreds of thousands of fundamentally fraudulent claims which are obtaining unjustified payouts in the billions and even tens of billions of dollars. The only likely catalyst for reform at this point, he argues, would be a full investigation by a grand jury armed with subpoena powers. (Stuart Taylor, Jr., Dec. 31; Paul Hampel, "Many asbestos suits are fraudulent, professor says", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jan. 13). The article, not online but available to those with LEXIS access or in law libraries, is Lester Brickman, "On the Theory Class's Theories of Asbestos Litigation: The Disconnect Between Scholarship and Reality", 31 Pepp. L. Rev. 33. For our coverage of asbestos, see, e.g., Nov. 12, Oct. 24, Sept. 25, and earlier posts.

[cross-posted from Overlawyered, where it ran Jan. 21, 2004]

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.