What Richard Scruggs and AG Jim Hood and others did with the claims against the tobacco companies is interesting and in a way, unusual. I must say, however, it is not really that unusual. One could see the genesis of the complaint, of the actions, in the asbestos litigation and the approach used in the asbestos litigation.
The "personal injury lawyer" is a dime a dozen. Ron Motley, the guy on the cutting edge of the asbestos cases, was nothing unusual. He was an entrepreneur -- in the field of personal injury law.
He was successful and we love success in the USA. Do we ever, we bend over backwards to advance THEIR causes, advance the causes of the gamblers, the great "Legal Eagles" -- how extraordinarily banal. And the causes, well, the "great causes"are really quite limited. And, when they are successful the "little guys" end up paying the damages, and, the attorney's fees and costs.
But things are worse than one might imagine. When have you ever heard of a PI lawyer taking a case with questionable liability, of questionable proximate cause? Let's be honest, the lawyers of the the great trial lawyers associations are good, mostly, at culling cases. The cases taken are those which have clear settlement value.
By the way, the lawyers on the other side were not much different in terms of opportunism. They were the apparatchiks of the "establishment." The exemplars of the Bernie Madoff style of success -- good name recognition, acceptance at the most prestigious country clubs, a likable, calm, confident. A pillar of success. The appearance of success.
The tobacco case and the various state AGs and their "retainers" in the case (I should not have said that, in the personal injury plaintiff's bar) were ready to be picked, plucked. To be culled into the "great case."
Washington state was no different than any other state -- Government Party AG (her name is Chris Gregoire) tied into the "big" litigation with "big" lawyers. Vanity law, one might call it.
And, were successful! So successful, every poor soul who smokes, and more and more poor souls who become smokers, and as they become poorer and poorer (the new effort of ruling class to make use of the poor while they say they are trying to help the poor), are now, and will be, paying for the damages and the attorneys' fees the tobacco companies have agreed to pay.
(We are all so content with our liberalism. So narcissistic we fail to realize the people whose causes we so vehemently champion are the ones who are paying for our "gosh we are so good liberalism," our "good politics.")
All thanks to PL Blake and his newspaper clipping services.
But let us face it, "we are a collection of fools, a covey of dissimulators. We are people who lie and who kid ourselves into thinking we are really good people. Good people because -- well, because "we care, and we on the right side." And we think we are making the rich suffer. And, we are too naive and self-satisfied to think, to know, the poor are paying for the satisfactions of our vanities.
It is all so complicated. But, the truth be told, there are bad people at work in all of this. And, I suspect the bad people who exist are also aligned with the good people we think exist.
Right now I am thinking PL Blake made his $50 million because of his Washington D.C. and Mississippi and the South political connections. PL Blake inherited something, he inherited a network of power. Who did he inherit it from? Maybe it was his own, but I have yet to know of a professional football player who had the talent to create a power network such as that which PL Blake must have been using. Something else is there, something to be found out.