Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lawyer Malpractice

Do you know personally anyone who has successfully sued a lawyer? Can you even find a lawyer willing to sue another one? You may be surprised how difficult that can be. Try (courtesy of ABA) your state bar association's referral service. See LAW.COM: there are many examples including this one of legal malpractice, but it is difficult for plaintiffs to prevail according to NJ malpractice lawyer Glenn Bergenfield, who actually published a few legal malpractice FAQs.

Now think of medical malpractice, and ask the same question: Do you know personally anyone who has successfully sued an MD? Remember, undisclosed out-of-court settlements count as successes for LAWYERS and plaintiffs only. Can you even find a lawyer willing to sue an MD? Unless you are a lawyer or a politician your answers are more likely to be "YES" here than in the former paragraph. When would you say "Acts of God" are more likely to come into play, with the work of MDs or the work of lawyers?

Regardless of your opinion on the death penalty, how often have we heard politicians, usually of the trial-lawyer governed party, the Dems., say that too many men on death row (any number greater than 1) are probably innocent? I stipulate that some have later been found innocent. Well, how did the jury and judge conclude their guilt? If MDs can be sued for malpractice when the outcome goes poorly for the patient, why do lawyers seem to be exempt when the outcome goes poorly for their clients?

Even Clinton's and Nixon's lawyers could not prevent their disbarment. Why did they not sue their lawyers, then? Are relationships with lawyers warmer and friendlier than patient relationships with MDs can professionaly get? I rather doubt that, although Nixon (NY) and Clinton (AK) probably relied on trusty friends to defend them.

As long as lawyers continue to disproportionately dominate all three branches of our government meaningful regulation of lawyers, which increasingly is needed, will be unlikely.
MDs are regulated by malpractice threats and professional oversight. Lawyers now are subject to relatively nil malpractice threats and professional oversight that more and more merely excuses or condones their bad behavior. See KINGPINS Part II: Pablo Escobar or Members of the Bar, for examples. What can we do? Keep trial lawyers from elected offices other than judgeships, which the legal profession already and permanently owns (one whole branch of government). Our founders never intended 36% of the House and 55% of the Senate to be held by law school graduates. I am independent: political corruption is not limited to one party, but one profession looks increasingly like it is perfecting a lock on our government from inside all three.


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