Results matching “edmondson”

Another activist AG bites the dust - PointOfLaw Forum

Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute recently released a report, "The Nation's Worst State Attorneys General," identifying the six worst AG abusers of the rule of law. The list:

1. Jerry Brown, California
2. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut
3. Drew Edmondson, Oklahoma
4. Patrick Lynch, Rhode Island
5. Darrell McGraw, West Virginia
6. William Sorrell, Vermont

On July 15, Patrick Lynch dropped out of the Democratic race for the gubernatorial nomination in Rhode Island, no doubt anticipating the CEI dissection of his career.

On Tuesday, after 16 years as Oklahoma's AG, Drew Edmondson lost the Democratic nomination for governor, barely edged out by Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.

It's a good start, Hans!

UPDATE (1:45 p.m.): The Wall Street Journal examines Mississippi AG Jim Hood at length today as he again attempts to exploit the "plaintiffs bar-attorney general nexus," to bring BP oil spill litigation into state courts. It's a nicely thorough editorial, "Mississippi Justice on Email." But not a top six offender? Well, he'd make the top ten, Bader reports.


Around the web, February 4 - PointOfLaw Forum

Around the web, August 20 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • More setbacks for lawsuits seeking to tie autism to vaccines [Kathleen Seidel and more]
  • So cute: AFL-CIO's online shop is selling "Wobbly" t-shirts. Do they know much about the violent record of the historic IWW? [Wood, ShopFloor]
  • Northwestern's Searle Center has a program that educates state AGs on economics, related policy [Rizo, Legal NewsLine]
  • Oklahoma AG Edmondson tells his side of the story in regulation-through-litigation suit against poultry farms [AP; earlier here, here, etc.]
  • When you're in the forensic accounting biz, inability to manage your own books is a credibility-sapper [Chicago Business h/t Francine McKenna]
  • A global ADA? U.S. signs U.N. Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, push for Senate ratification expected soon [Mark Weber/Workplace Prof Blog]

Oklahoma can't seek damages in chicken suit - PointOfLaw Forum

Now we find out dept.: a judge says it's because the entire land area in question is set aside for the Cherokee nation. Injunctive relief is still a possibility, but Arkansas Attorney General says the setback for fellow AG Drew Edmondson's suit is "devastating". [Washington Post, Tulsa World, Feedstuffs; earlier]

"Chicken farmers feel threatened by Oklahoma suit" - PointOfLaw Forum

An Associated Press account is surprisingly sympathetic to the poultry farmers whose livelihood is threatened by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson's big-ticket suit. Trial is set for Sept. 21.

We've covered the suit several times as an example of the coziness of alliances between some state AGs and powerful private trial lawyers:


  • 7/19/05: suit flying mostly under the radar; per AP, in earlier suit by Tulsa "city received only $200,000 of the $7.5 million settlement, with the bulk going to lawyers. Edmondson says Oklahoma's contract with lawyers in the latest case states that fees and expenses won't toll more than 50 percent."
  • 10/6/05: per Will Wilson, AEI's AGWatch, "Edmondson has farmed out the litigation for the suit to campaign contributors; one-third of the booty from the case will go to firms whose letterheads coincide happily with the Edmondson donor list (Riggs, Orbison, Turpen, Neal)";
  • 4/30/06: famed non-Oklahoma firm Motley Rice gets finger-lickin' one-third contingency share;
  • 3/9/08: more on hiring of lawyers;

And more on Edmondson here, here, and here (running for governor).

Edmondson running for Oklahoma governor - PointOfLaw Forum

A regular mentionee on this site, Drew Edmondson is presently serving as the state's Attorney General, from which post he has launched controversial lawsuit campaigns against the poultry industry and others; he can expect plenty of trial lawyer support in his race. [Durant Daily Democrat, NewsOK]

Around the web, August 28 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Should New York replace neurologically impaired infant litigation with no-fault fund? [Barringer/Berkowitz, NY Sun via Common Good]
  • Fifth Circuit denies Paul Minor's request for prison release [YallPolitics]
  • Federal judge sanctions attorney John Aretakis for "hijacking" pro bono tenant case to advance "scurrilous" vendetta against Roman Catholic Church [NYLJ]
  • U.K.: Should companies be legally obliged to retain records of old liability insurance, the better to facilitate asbestos litigation? [Times Online]
  • Plan administrators had better watch out, Supreme Court is expanding individual right to sue under ERISA [Motzenbecker/WLF on LaRue, PDF]
  • Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, often criticized in this space, "leaning" toward run for governor in 2010 [Tulsa World courtesy U.S. Chamber]

Lead paint and the AGs: notable by their absence? - PointOfLaw Forum

This spring sixteen state attorneys general filed an amicus brief with the Rhode Island Supreme Court in support of the state's public nuisance suit against former lead paint manufacturers, a dubious cause if there ever were one. The roster of signers includes quite a few AGs whose closeness to trial-lawyer interests has caused us unease in the past, including Drew Edmondson (Oklahoma), Darrell McGraw (West Virginia), Beau Biden (Delaware), Dustin McDaniel (Arkansas), Jack Conway (Kentucky), and since-disgraced Marc Dann (Ohio). Rounding out the sixteen are William Sorrell (Vermont), Steven Rowe (Maine), Gary King (New Mexico), Hardy Myers (Oregon), Robert Cooper (Tennessee), Mark Bennett (Hawaii), Mark Shurtleff (Utah), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada), and Alicia Limtiaco (Guam), along with one from whom we certainly would have expected better, Bill McCollum (Florida).

What may actually be most interesting about this list is who's missing. No Andrew Cuomo (New York) or Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut). No Jerry Brown (California) or Lisa Madigan (Illinois) or Martha Coakley (Massachusetts) or Douglas Gansler (Maryland). Maybe there's some part of the story we're missing, and some or all of these AGs are still destined to weigh in on the wrong side. But assuming they won't, let's take this opportunity, for which there not that many occasions on this site, to congratulate the attorneys general of New York, California, etc. for their good sense and good judgment.

Oklahoma's Big Chicken case - PointOfLaw Forum

The Chamber-backed LegalNewsLine explores how the lawyers working for Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson got that job. Earlier here, here, and here.

Around the web, September 10 - PointOfLaw Forum

Around the web, June 6 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Prof. Bainbridge on global warming litigation [Examiner]

  • Oklahoma AG Drew Edmondson assailed for stance as state's plaintiff lawyer in chief [Spiropoulos in Edmond Sun, the newspaper's name being just one of those confusing coincidences]

  • Landry's Restaurants action against bondholders -- how'd it wind up in Galveston, exactly? [Kirkendall]

  • "Just a big ol' wet kiss": demagogic litigator Willie Gary profiled in moistly osculatory fashion [Mark Obbie on Miami Herald; another view of Gary]

  • "Off-label" pharmaceutical use sounds so cheap and sneaky, but it does happen to save lives [Beck and Herrmann]

More on Oklahoma reform veto - PointOfLaw Forum

The NAM's ShopFloor has reaction (here and here) to Gov. Brad Henry's veto of a comprehensive liability reform bill, and Brandon Dutcher offers some speculation about the possible logrolling origins of the veto (via BatesLine). Activist AG Drew Edmondson had urged such a veto, which Gov. Henry cited as a key factor in his decision. More: AJP interview with Oklahoma Senate co-president Glenn Coffee.

Poultry companies challenge Okla. AG - PointOfLaw Forum

Lawyers for Tyson Foods and seven other poultry companies are challenging Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson's hiring of three law firms (Miller & Keffer; Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis; and Motley Rice) to represent the state in its environmental action over river pollution, per the Northwest Arkansas Morning News. "The contracted law firms could win up to 50 percent of any settlement or damages awarded, according to the contract." Each of the three law firms is also a campaign donor to Edmondson. "Government lawyers are expected to do justice and they can't have a personal financial stake in the outcome of the litigation. That principal applies just as well to private law firms hired by the state as to attorneys working in Attorney General Edmondson's office," argued Tyson attorney Robert George of Kutak, Rock. Edmondson's lawsuit has stirred up ill feeling between Oklahoma and neighboring Arkansas. We've been covering the controversy for quite a while (here, here, here, here, and here).

Election results - PointOfLaw Featured Discussion

[This post will be periodically refreshed and updated to reflect incoming results.]

As of 12:05 a.m. Wednesday Eastern time, here are results on some races mentioned in posts above, winner in ALLCAPS:

U.S. Senate: Ct., LIEBERMAN/Lamont; Pa., CASEY/Santorum; R.I. WHITEHOUSE/Chafee.

House of Reps.: Iowa, BRALEY/Whalen; N.M., Madrid trails Wilson.

Governorships: Ark., BEEBE/Hutchinson; Fla., CRIST/Davis; Minn., PAWLENTY/Hatch; N.Y., SPITZER/Faso; Tex., PERRY/Bell; Wisc., DOYLE/Green.

AG-ships: Ark., MCDANIEL/DeLay; Del., BIDEN/Wharton; Fla., MCCOLLUM/Campbell; Md., GANSLER/Rolle; N.Y., CUOMO/Pirro; Okla., EDMONDSON/Dunn.

Judgeships: Ga., HUNSTEIN/Wiggins; Ill., STEWART/McGlynn and HYLLA/Weber (D wins), EVANS/Cueto (R wins).

Ballot measures: Ariz. Prop. 102 (no award of punitive damages to illegal aliens) passes; Calif. Prop 89 (campaign finance) loses; Michigan Civil Rights Initiative wins; N.D. Measure 3 loses; S.D. Amendment E defeated by 9-1 margin; "marriage protection" amendments lose 49-51 Ariz., win 52-48 in S.D., pass by larger margins elsewhere.

Misc.: Nifong re-elected Durham D.A.

Oklahoma, Arkansas AG races - PointOfLaw Featured Discussion

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, much criticized (here, here, and here; see also here and here) for hiring campaign-donor law firms and Motley Rice to pursue potentially lucrative chicken-lot-runoff lawsuits on a contingency fee, appears far ahead in his race for re-election, though Republican challenger James Dunn has campaigned on the issue. In Arkansas, attorney and state representative Dustin McDaniel, who in private practice sued gun manufacturers after the Jonesboro school shooting, is well ahead of a Republican rival; meanwhile, the state's current AG, Democrat Mike Beebe, is favored in a bid for the governor's office.

For Motley Rice, chicken every Sunday - PointOfLaw Forum

Assisting Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson in his legal battle over pollution runoff damage against Tyson Foods and seven other poultry companies with operations in Arkansas (see this post from last year) is none other than the S.C.-based law firm of Motley Rice, of tobacco, asbestos and lead paint fame, to name only the highlights. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in February profiled the firm, which Edmondson has cut in for a finger-lickin' one-third contingency share of the state's recovery. The percentage formula appears a little bit touchy as an issue: "Edmondson said he was disturbed in 2003 when attorneys received $7.3 million of a $7.5 million settlement in the city of Tulsa's lawsuit against Arkansas poultry companies and the city of Decatur over pollution in the Eucha-Spavinaw watershed." Attorney General Mike Beebe of Arkansas has suggested that Edmondson's use of Motley Rice will make it harder to resolve the conflict between the two states: "as long as it's monetary, it's much more difficult for farmers, the people in Arkansas and us to solve the environmental concerns. The more the South Carolina law firm is involved, the more difficult it is for us as a state, the more it's about the money and the less it's about the environment."

More on Edmondson here, here and here.

Update: AEI's AG Watch has more on the story, including links to national news coverage.

AGs profiled, scathingly - PointOfLaw Forum

Be sure to catch John Gizzi's lengthy article on state attorneys general in the September issue (PDF) of the Capital Research Center's publication Organization Trends. After sketching the changing role of state AGs in recent years Gizzi critically profiles several high-profile members of the club including Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal, Illinois's Lisa Madigan and (especially) Oklahoma's Drew Edmondson. He mentions New York's Eliot Spitzer in passing and has relatively favorable things to say about Michigan's Mike Cox. (He's also kind enough to quote me regarding the AGs' most dubious collective accomplishment, the tobacco deal).

While on the topic of Drew Edmondson, Will Wilson at AEI's AGWatch has some fun at the expense of the Oklahoma AG's lawsuit against Arkansas chicken farms on account of the pollution to interstate rivers occasioned by poultry droppings. He notes:

[Attorney General] Edmondson has farmed out the litigation for the suit to campaign contributors; one-third of the booty from the case will go to firms whose letterheads coincide happily with the Edmondson donor list (Riggs, Orbison, Turpen, Neal).

Okla. AG vs. Ark. chicken farms - PointOfLaw Forum

An AP story sheds light on another cozy AG-trial lawyer alliance flying largely under the national political radar:

...Decades of spreading chicken waste on the Ozark Mountains have turned the region [northwest Arkansas] a lush green, but a federal court lawsuit filed by Oklahoma's attorney general could stop the practice and, according to [farmer Gene] Pharr, gut an industry that over 75 years helped transform an isolated region into a vital part of the economy....

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson last month sued 14 poultry producers, including several owned by Tyson, alleging their waste is polluting scenic rivers across the state line. ...

Edmondson is using the same South Carolina law firm that handled lawsuits against tobacco companies....

[In a previous chicken-pollution case filed by the city of Tulsa,] the city received only $200,000 of the $7.5 million settlement, with the bulk going to lawyers. Edmondson says Oklahoma's contract with lawyers in the latest case states that fees and expenses won't toll more than 50 percent. ...

The Arkansas growers question why Oklahoma sued rather than seek more regulatory standards.

For some political reaction within Oklahoma against Edmondson's activities, see our Mar. 21 report.

Okla. lawmakers seek to rein in AG - PointOfLaw Forum

In a vote split 7-6 along party lines, with Republicans in favor, the Judiciary Committee of the Oklahoma House of Representatives has given its approval to a measure that would strip Democratic Attorney General Drew Edmondson of the power to file lawsuits without approval of the state's governor or in some cases its legislature. According to Edmondson himself and a second AP story, the move is a reaction to Edmondson's pursuit of a pollution lawsuit against poultry producers, a move that has riled the state Farm Bureau. The measure's future is uncertain, but if it passes, Oklahoma would apparently become the first state to rein in its formerly independent AG office in such a manner. The press release from the Oklahoma House is here. Private trial lawyers did especially well from the state's role in the 1998 AG-brokered tobacco settlement: see Jun. 7, 2000. For an indication that it might be prudent to keep Mr. Edmondson at a safe remove from involvement in securities litigation, see Overlawyered, Dec. 18, 2003.

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