The deep-pocketed trial lawyers' lobby is mounting a major drive to prevent the bill from moving forward. The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) has been raising millions of dollars to combat the medical malpractice proposal and has hired additional congressional lobbyists to keep the pressure on lawmakers to reject the president's plan. [...]
Quick passage of the class-action bill, which Bush signed into law Feb. 18, was "both good and bad news," a senior business lobbyist said. It was good for industry that class-action legislation passed at all, he said, because it represented a small but meaningful victory over the hard-to-defeat plaintiffs' bar. But it was bad news, he added, because many lawmakers are loath to whack the powerful trial-lawyer lobby more than once in a single year.
(Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and John F. Harris, "President's Proposed Remedy to Curb Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Stalls", Washington Post, Apr. 3).