Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Look Who's Talking
"Should state Attorneys General be able to outsource their legal work to for-profit tort lawyers, who then funnel a share of the winnings back to the AGs? That's become a sleazy practice in many states, and it is finally coming under scrutiny--notably in Mississippi, home of Dickie Scruggs, Attorney General Jim Hood, and other legal pillars. ... The real issue is the way this AG-tort bar mutual financial interest created perverse incentives that skew the cause of justice. A decision to prosecute is an awesome power, and it ought to be motivated by evidence and the law, not by the profit motives of private tort lawyers and the campaign needs of an ambitious Attorney General. Government is supposed to act on behalf of the public interest, not for the personal benefit of trial lawyers. The tort bar-AG cabal deserves to be exposed nationwide", Editorial at the WSJ, 25 February 2008.
I'll get out my violin and crying towel. I might take the WSJ's position seriously when it inveighs against the corporate defense bar-(In)Justice Department cabal and notes "a decision [NOT] to prosecute is an awesome power" which is apparently regularly sold by DOJ empoyees. The DOJ frequently outsources investigations to the corporate defense bar. Where's the WSJ's complaint?