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Examiner on trial lawyer money in politics



The second week of the Examiner's series "Lawyers Gone Wild" is now out, with a focus on trial lawyers' political clout. Included are: "Lawyers use campaign cash to buy friends in high places"; "Donations from lawyers sometimes spell trouble"; and "Main target: Congress is chief beneficiary of Liability lawyers� money". An excerpt from the "Congress" article:

During the past decade, AAJ has spent more than $30 million lobbying Congress and federal executive branch officials, National Journal reports.

Since 2005, AAJ has tripled the size of its communications staffs at the national and state levels, created a Clinton-esque �war room� to coordinate public-relations campaigns and brought in some heavy hitters from the top ranks of Democratic campaign professionals.
...[including campaign strategist Chris Lehane]. Lehane is a well-traveled campaign expert who has specialized in opposition research. The New York Times said Lehane �is such a shrewd practitioner of what one admiring strategist called �the political black arts� that lately, when a negative story appears, rivals point to him.�

From the "High Places" article:

�We are now in attack mode,� Chris Mather, AAJ�s vice president for communications, told National Journal earlier this year....Such contributions [to sponsors of the proposed Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007] help explain why Alabama trial lawyer C. Gibson Vance so confidently told a Washington think tank seminar right after the 2006 election, according to National Journal, that �we are going to get things done.�

 

 


Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.