I am always shocked by the number of times I hear the words "greedy" and "trial lawyer" mentioned in the same sentence. After all, trial lawyers are people who represent disadvantaged, injured or disabled citizens, those being mistreated or cheated by large corporate interests. These lawyers do so, receiving no money from the client; the lawyers must spend their own, hard-earned money on the case. They must match, dollar for dollar, a huge corporate Goliath, which is spending more money than is reasonable, to prevent the disadvantaged plaintiff from receiving a fair recovery for his/her damages. Maybe, just maybe, if the trial lawyer prevails, he/she receives a fee, a reasonable share of the lawsuit proceeds. If the case fails, the trial lawyer loses the money he/she spent on the case and receives no fee. Does this sound "greedy" to you?
Corporate interests, insurance companies and the US Chamber of Commerce have done a great public relations job; they have successfully pulled the wool over the public’s eyes. The damage that these corporate interests have done to the cause of civil justice and to individuals who have been cheated out of fair resolutions is immeasurable. We will all pay for this in increased taxes and fees, while the corporations that caused the damage escape with their billions intact, their officers laughing at all of us. How did they do it, you ask? Using terms like "frivolous", "jackpot justice", and "lawsuit abuse", they have portrayed trial lawyers as the "bad guys"; by arguing that lawsuit recoveries increase the cost of goods and services. They have successfully argued for lawsuit reform in many states. Never mind that their conduct and their products, are killing, maiming and disabling our citizens. According to them, this is, simply, the real cost of development, the cost of doing business. The public should pay to care for those left in our wake, not us, we are the job-creators. Unbelievably, that is their attitude.
For those of you reading this who suggest: "Bello is aligned with the trial lawyers; what do you expect him to say?" I offer you this: There is a foundation; this foundation is made up of people who care about America and individual Americans. It is comprised of lawyers who work on behalf of disadvantaged, disabled, injured citizens and groups of citizens, absolutely free. There is no "greed" here because there is no profit motive to the foundation.
The Public Justice Foundation (Public Justice) takes on the corporate Goliaths in the best interests of the public, for no charge. So, to those of you who think lawsuits are caused by a few "greedy trial lawyers", lets take "profit" and "greed" out of the plaintiff’ side of the litigation. What’s left? Surprise, surprise! It’s "greed" and "profit" on the defense side of the lawsuit! You see, it is corporate greed and corporate profit that are the seeds of virtually every lawsuit filed in the United States.
Let’s examine some Public Justice cases in the United States Supreme Court:
Bruesewitz v Wyeth, Inc: The pharmaceutical giant is insisting that it should not be held responsible for defective vaccines that kill children. Public justice is opposing this position. If Wyeth gets a pass, here, who picks up the tab for all of these children and all of their medical and burial costs?
Williamson v Mazda: Auto companies are arguing that they cannot be sued for death and injury to child passengers caused by the companies’ refusal to install rear middle seat shoulder harnesses.
At&T Mobility v Concepcion: The Goliath phone company, other similar corporations and the US Chamber are arguing that these despicable companies can bar their customers from filing class action lawsuits against them, effectively enabling them to steal millions in junk fees from these customers
Pliva, Inc. v Mensing: Generic drug manufacturers are seeking a bar to all lawsuits against them for poor labeling of their products.
No matter how outrageous or egregious their conduct is, all of these greedy corporate interests want a free pass. Public Justice is fighting them, on our behalf, for free. Public Justice is also fighting greedy corporate interests in other legal battles, as well. For over 25 years, Public Justice has fought to preserve individual citizens rights to have their litigation pursued under the laws of their individual state, not in a pre-empted federal forum of limited rights. Public Justice has battled against forced arbitration provisions which deny consumers their access to the court system. Public Justice has fought to preserve the rights of citizens to ban together as a class and file a class action, a right that creates power to battle large corporate interests on a more even battlefield. Public Justice created Project ACCESS, an initiative against seals and secrecy in our nation’s courts. How can lawsuit prevent future conduct if their results are sealed? How do these "greedy" corporate interests learn from their mistakes if the public remains unaware of them? Public Justice is also at the forefront of an effort to eliminate the policy of insurers that requires citizens to reimburse them for medical expenses paid, before these disadvantaged citizens can receive compensation from those who caused their injuries.
All of these battles are being waged by Public Justice, absolutely free, against "greedy" corporate types. Remember, all of us are just one instant, one accident, away from being one of these injured, disabled, disadvantaged citizens. Is this how you wish to be treated by corporate America when you find yourself in these situations?
So, if you oppose lawsuit greed, on either side, then you owe it to yourself to support the Public Justice Foundation. You can join Public Justice or make a contribution here. I urge you to get involved; learn all you can about our civil justice system. Learn how your state and federal votes effect the cause of justice for all of our citizens, yourself included. Over the past few years, we have been slowly ceding our civil rights to greedy corporate interests who care only about corporate profits and nothing for individual citizens. In my state, Michigan, the public has just, blindly, re-elected a Justice who has voted against citizens and for corporations almost 90% of the time; this inexplicable behavior has been repeated, in recent history, throughout the country. There is no logical explanation for this voting behavior except to say that the electorate is uninformed, buying into greedy corporate rhetoric, or is not voting. Citizens: It is time to take back our courts.
Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Experienced attorney, lawsuit funding expert, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series. The series features super-trial lawyer Zachary Blake handling "ripped from the headlines" legal and political issues of the day. The series currently consists of Betrayal of Faith, Betrayal of Justice, Betrayal in Blue, Betrayal in Black, and Betrayal High, with a sixth Zachary Blake novel due out later this year. To learn more about these topical social justice legal thrillers. please visit markmbello.com. Mark is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.