Tort “Reformers” Whine (Again) About Trial Lawyer Influence (#Hypocrisy)

In today’s New York Law Journal is another in a never-ending series of stock articles about big business whining about trial lawyer influence in the legislature.

This is the lede:

ALBANY – Bemoaning the clout of trial lawyers on New York government officials, a business-oriented group said yesterday that the lawyers spent nearly $20 million in the last six years to influence public policy.

The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York reported that personal injury law firms and individual lawyers made $8.2 million in campaign contributions while the lawyers’ political action committees chipped in another $6.5 million between Jan. 1, 2006, and Nov. 26, 2012. Additionally, the lawyers’ groups spent $6.3 million on lobbying.

Really? How pathetic.

Shall we now tally up the amount spent by massive health care conglomerates? Insurance companies? Real estate and construction companies?

The answer, of course, is yes!

But I don’t have to really write a post about that, because I already did it earlier in March of this year:  Trial Lawyer Lobbying in Albany (A lot or a little?)

It would be nice if the press, when faced with these silly press releases from big business, that parade as news, would actually try to do a little apples-to-apples comparison of political contributions. Because if they did so, they would see that the forces of the big business and the Fortune 500 swamp those of consumer groups.

This is one of the two graphics I used in my piece from March. Note that the lead contributor, the comically named Committee to Save New York, is a consortium of real estate developers. And also note that this is only lobbying money, and does not include campaign contributions from companies or political action committees:

 

 

 

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2 Responses Leave a comment

  • Raymond J. Mollica 2012.12.13 at 12:00 | Quote

    I would think that journalistic integrity would require the New York Law Journal to do a follow up piece on the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York and its president, Tom Stebbins. Therein it should seek to reveal to their readers who backs LRANY and Mr. Stebbins, and compare those monied interests to the numerous small businesses (in the form of law practices) it is avowed to legislate out of existence. Further, claims such as “construction insurance costs are 300 percent higher in New York than the rest of the country because of the [Labor] law,” should be investigated and verified.

  • Eric Turkewitz 2012.12.13 at 12:08 | Quote

    Ray:

    I’m likewise surprised at the shallowness of the piece. It resembles the re-printing of a press release with a few extra quotes from “the other side” to give it objectivity. But there doesn’t seem to be any real journalistic element to it by providing actual facts, figures and information that challenges the “Lawsuit Reform Alliance” that pitched the piece to them.

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