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What the trial bar's up to

Plenty, according to Atlanta government affairs specialist Todd Young, writing at pro-reform American Justice Partnership:

* In nearly every state surveyed, the trial bar is actively recruiting and funding political candidates for Governor, Attorney General, the state legislature, and � importantly � the state courts, particularly the state Supreme Court. The trial bar has learned that effective legal reform legislation can be undone by a trial bar-friendly judiciary.

* In every state in which the trial bar is engaged in political campaigning, the trial lawyers are outspending the legal reform and business communities by wide margins � in many cases, 2-to-1 or 3-to-1.

* In the majority of states surveyed, the trial bar is hiring lobbyists with conservative, pro-business credentials to influence Republicans and pro-business Democrats who would otherwise support legal reform.

That's aside from the large sums sunk by trial lawyers into "messaging" and p.r. campaigns, and the networks intended to identify promising cases in certain judicial districts that might serve as a vehicle to overturn liability restrictions. One longstanding problem:

Corporate and professional association leaders... tend to view the legal reform effort as a "battle," requiring one solid push to legislatively enact legal reform. As a result, the "battle" is often mistaken for the "war." The trial lawyer industry does not make that mistake � and they continue to fight on multiple fronts.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.