"[S]hopping should be done for clothes and automobiles, not for legal outcomes in either criminal or civil matters. The concept of attorneys shopping for plaintiff-friendly county courts is offensive and stands contrary to the basic notions of fairness and blind justice. If a class-action lawsuit or any other kind of lawsuit possesses enough merit to be filed, it ought to have sufficient merit to withstand scrutiny in any jurisdiction and not only a select few."

Editorial, Chicago Daily Herald, September 12, 2006

Accusations of 'Double Dipping' Surface

"When Roger Redditt died of lung cancer in 2002, there seemed no great mystery as to why. Though only 50, he had smoked all of his adult life. ... Then lawyers got involved, and four years later Redditt's cause of death remains a point of contention. ... Attorneys for his widow, two sets of them, filed lawsuits blaming others for Redditt's cancer. One claimed exposure to asbestos led to his death, and Debra Redditt has already collected settlements from some of those defendants. The other set of attorneys point to a long-ago employer as the real cause of his death by exposing him to crystalline silica. ... Attorneys for a handful of silica defendants say the cigarettes surely killed him - and insist his case is a classic example of abuse of the tort system." Houston Chronicle, September 9, 2006
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Law Firms' Ads Don't Comply With Bar Rules

"Three ads in yesterday's Lexington Herald-Leader from lawyers trying to contact family members of the 49 people killed in Sunday's plane crash failed to comply with state advertising rules for lawyers. Two of the ads were pulled from today's paper by the law firms, and the third was pulled by the Herald-Leader after the law firm failed to respond to an inquiry from the newspaper, said Publisher Tim Kelly. ... Attorney General Greg Stumbo said he referred to the bar association and the U.S. Attorney's Office yesterday a dozen inquiries from people concerned about the legality of the ads. The media have the legal right to run such ads, Stumbo said, but he finds them 'rather tasteless' and believes they 'call into question both state and federal law'. ... Public reaction to the ads was generally critical, and other media outlets were divided over whether they would publish or broadcast similar ads." Lexington Herald-Leader, August 31, 2006 Read More »

Lawsuits Could Lead to Sanctions

"A complex case involving railroad workers suing CSX Transportation for exposure to asbestos has taken another unexpected turn. Earlier this summer . attorneys representing the railroad company uncovered evidence that at least one plaintiff may have committed fraud by submitting medical documentation signed by a physician who is not licensed in West Virginia and operates at an address that does not exist in Huntington. Now, a Northern Panhandle judge is allowing CSX to investigate the suspected fraud rather than simply dismissing the lawsuit for lacking merit." The State Journal, September 7, 2006 Read More »

The Stats

90: Percentage of net income from respirator sales that U.S. respirator manufacturers spent on litigation costs in 2004 alone. Decades of litigation has decreased production and availability of respirator masks, the types of which would be crucial if pandemic flu hit. Coalition for Breathing Safety, September 19, 2006

32: Percentage of Florida medical students who considered becoming an OB-GYN but ranked fear of being sued as one of their top two reasons for deciding against pursuing the practice. This trend only worsens an already dire situation of reduced access to care with Florida already not having enough OB-GYNs and other high-risk specialists to meet the needs of patients in the state. Florida Obstetric and Gynecological Society, August 2006

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