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May 31, 2003

Bad Consequences

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

In reference to a Monday news story from The New York Times, "One-third fee too much, lawyers seeking cap say":

Contingency-fee arrangements were designed to help ensure justice for those who could not afford legal representation. Unfortunately, the best of intentions have led to unintended consequences.

Legal consumers are often denied fair compensation because their personal-injury lawyer's fees and expenses consume nearly half of the damage award. In some cases, the consumer who "wins" sees less money than the lawyer who filed the suit.

Contingency fees have become one of the most common ways to exploit our legal system. For the sake of the legal consumer, our system of justice and our sense of justice, it's time to fix this problem.

President Bill Summers, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, Weslaco

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© Copyright 2003, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. All Rights Reserved.

CALA is a nonprofit, grassroots organization dedicated to educating consumers on the human and financial costs incurred when the legal system is abused for greed, harassment or publicity. More than 30,000 California consumers are CALA supporters.

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