Results matching “hillyer”

Class-action transparency - PointOfLaw Forum

An editorial in The Examiner today praises Sen. John Cornyn's bill, S.3033, the Securities Litigation Attorney Accountability and Transparency Act.

The Cornyn bill responds directly to the core Lerach/Weiss abuses (giving illegal kickbacks to clients) and also provides for greater transparency and consistency in the judicial certification of plaintiffs. It further directs courts to establish competitive bidding by attorneys in most class-action cases, and encourages the U.S. Comptroller General to publish regular studies of how much money successful class-action attorneys make per hour.

The legislation also requires disclosure of all campaign contributions from winning attorneys to elected officials were are in a position to influence the selection of counsel for class-action plaintiffs.

The Examiner has been an editorial workhorse on the topic of civil litigation reform, reflecting the views of its owner, Colorado investor Philip Anschutz, cleverly dubbed a "media wildcatter" by BusinessWeek back in 2005, and ably represented on the opinion pages by editors Mark Tapscott and Quin Hillyer. Good things going on at The Examiner, too, including a new Sunday edition beginning July 13. Also, today is the first day at The Examiner for Mary Katherine Ham, who will oversee the paper's upcoming, reworked website,

So, more profile for tort reform issues. Good all the way around and congrats to The Examiner.

Examiner: lawsuit reform has worked - PointOfLaw Forum

The newspaper's Quin Hillyer takes a look at the positive results of lawsuit reforms in medical practice and other areas. Sidebar stories cover improvements in Alabama, and the powerful effect for better or worse that can happen when the composition of the bench changes, as in Wisconsin.

Milberg Weiss Prosecution: Harm, Foul - PointOfLaw Forum

The American Enterprise Institute sponsored a talk yesterday by law professor Michael Perino of St. Johns University, who presented his new paper, "The Milberg Weiss Prosecution: No Harm, No Foul?" The Examiner's Quin Hillyer was on hand, and his summary in today's editorial hits the highpoints:

Class-action lawsuit fraud is not a victimless crime. At the very least, it harms the clients on whose behalf the lawyers are supposed to be working. So concludes respected St. John's University law professor Michael Perino in a new data-driven analysis that shows a clear correlation between the incidence of corruption within disgraced law firm Milberg Weiss and higher fee requests and fee awards by and to the firm. Of course, if a law firm receives a larger portion of a court settlement, the firm's clients receive proportionally less -- which, in Perino's words, is indeed "a real economic harm" to those same clients.

Ted Frank hosted the event and AEI's Peter Wallison interlocuted. The paper and related materials are now online:

Trial Lawyers Inc. -- Asbestos makes more waves - PointOfLaw Forum

This weekend the Boston Herald weighed in with a strongly worded editorial based on the report's findings:

What is also needed, and rarely discussed, is a way to make judges control these cases rather than sit back and watch the plaintiff bar effectively extort cash from the defendants because it's cheaper to settle for a few thousand dollars each than to investigate thousands of cases filed at once.

And to correct a misimpression left by my earlier post: while Jim Copland was the one at the Manhattan Institute who directed the report's preparation, its principal author was John M. Wylie II, who had earlier investigated asbestos-suit scandals for the Reader's Digest (Jan. 2007 issue). Now Wylie contributes the latest "Think Tank Town" column to the Washington Post:

...Tragically, real victims -- workers who actually face serious future health problems due to asbestos exposure -- are often duped into signing away future rights for a pittance in order to pad current attorney fees, and are then left with no recourse if they actually become sick. And workers falsely diagnosed as sick face a lifetime of worry and problems getting insurance.

This project has been gut-wrenching for me. As a lifelong Democrat, I long have harbored grave doubts about many tort reform measures because I believed they hurt working men and women. In this field of the law, however, the need for reform has become blatantly obvious. ...

[Both mass screenings and new filings declined after the widely publicized episode in which Judge Janis Graham Jack exposed bogus claims in her courtroom] But when no prosecutions, disbarments and serious sanctions for the lawyers materialized, new attorneys predictably decided to get into the game. In the past six months, a Texas law firm has conducted two new mass screenings in my native Oklahoma. More are sure to follow.

When a few key doctors are stripped of their medical licenses and jailed, when a few key attorneys are disbarred, when a few overly compliant judges are voted or kicked out of office, it will send a strong message. Until then, lawyers have little incentive not to return to the business model that has earned them billions before.

And Quin Hillyer is covering the study for the Examiner, with sidebars on fast facts, recommended reforms, and the views of Stanford lung specialist Dr. David Weill .

Around the web, January 29 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • California court hears appeal by Santa Clara County of Judge Komar's landmark ruling restricting contingency-fee outside representation in public nuisance suits [UCL Practitioner; earlier]
  • "Subprime feeding frenzy" seen for big law firms [ABA Journal]; Ohio AG Marc Dann files shareholder suit against federally sponsored Freddie Mac [same]
  • First of its kind? Pioneering U.K. class action wins damages for consumers in "football shirt rip-off" case [Times Online]
  • Construction-defect suits still rage in California [L.A. Times]
  • Journalist Quin Hillyer, often heard from on litigation-reform issues, joins Washington Examiner [a commentary]
  • Since 1998 class actions led by Illinois's Stephen Tillery have taken in at least $1.8 billion [MCRecord]

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