Thursday, May 6, 2010
Lawyers Compete in Class Action
A recent story in the Wall Street Journal described the competition among plaintiff's personal injury lawyers to become the lead counsel in the class action filed against Toyota for unintended acceleration defects in Toyota cars. The judge in the case is going to decide who gets that position and the monetary rewards which will accompany it. The interested lawyers, hundreds of them, have filed applications reciting their achievements. One application is over a hundred pages and describes every positive moment in the lawyer's life. Another mentions the lawyer's donation of his kidney to help someone. They are all designed to convince a judge to appoint them to head up the multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Toyota. Should we have this type of lawyer lottery where the winner stands to earn legal fees of hundreds of millions of dollars? Does a legal system that encourages this type of lottery need change?