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Alabama, sunlight or subsidy?

Walter noted on Tuesday that the powerful Albama trial lawyer Jere Beasley has announced his choice for governor, U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, a Democrat. Coincidently, we had just been reading up on one of the bills sponsored by Rep. Davis, H.R. 2519, a tax deduction for expenses and court costs advanced in a contingency fee case -- in effect, about a 40 percent tax benefit for trial lawyers to stimulate the filing of civil suits.

You could see how Rep. Davis might be Beasley's guy.

Davis' bill is the companion legislation to S. 437, introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter in his Republican days. Last year, Ways & Means Chairman Charlie Rangel tried to include the same language the energy and tax extenders bill last year (Section 311 in H.R. 6049). As we noted earlier, The Wall Street Journal called the provision, "The Bill Lerach Tax Cut."

The disinfecting sunlight of public attention killed the provision in 2008, and one hopes for a similar heliofatal blow this year. Victor Schwartz and Chris Appel of Shook, Hardy & Bacon help aim the light in a recent Washington Legal Foundation piece, "Federal Government Bailout For Trial Lawyers."

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.