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Let’s Kill All the Lawyers Dept.

Hyper-aggressive plaintiff bar helps few, devalues honesty.

Hyper-aggressive plaintiff bar helps few, devalues honesty.

The issues surrounding abuse of the plaintiff bar and the ever-growing lawsuit culture in this country has always been a concern of ours. Overlawyering runs up costs, benefits lawyers primarily and devalues basic honesty, all the while promising  you “your rights.”

The similarity to the current crop of liberal political demagogues is pretty hard to miss.  Trial lawyers are essentially protected by the courts they ostensibly serve (read: “overburden”), harass businesses, particularly insurance companies, and encourage a general distrust of legitimate business. They encourage the idea that the individual should have nothing happen to him that isn’t someone else’s fault.  And they claim to be helping the “little guy” but are not required to take any responsibility for their own actions.  It is little wonder the profession supports the left wing in politics.  Their goals are roughly the same.

We believe that people who are legitimately injured by the negligence of others deserve redress of grievances. But what we have today is a legal profession that is actively looking for and even creating new types of grievances.  And with all the lawyers out there needing work, it’s necessary for them to constantly advertise for new clients, and actually convince people (many of which may have little or no cause to sue) to become plaintiffs.  Ultimately the attorneys are the ones who benefit most.

On television, particularly cable, trial lawyers abound, encouraging victims of one injustice or another to call immediately, even if the viewer isn’t sure he’s a victim or not.  If he’s lucky, there may be something in it for him. The complaint-du-jour appears to be mesothelioma, but once this well runs dry, something else will take its place. And the advertising will reflect that.

Keller & Keller, a law firm that operates in the midwest and New Mexico runs offensive advertising that encourages the viewer to show insurance companies “you mean business.”  Their TV spots feature a hard-ass spokesman who reminds us of a cross between John Housman and “Feech” La Manna, the aging mob leg-breaker played by Robert Loggia on The Sopranos.

Previously, the firm has run television ads depicting insurance company executives who become quaking, sweaty-lipped little weasels when they find out Keller & Keller is on the job. With ads like this, no wonder the public believes insurance firms, whose assumption of risk makes much of our capitalist system possible, are the perpetual bad guys. When businessmen are portrayed as evil cretins and your “defender” talks like a thug, what is the message being sent? It’s inaccurate, unfair and dangerous.

Keller & Keller is not the the whole problem, certainly, and we’re sure there are at least some responsible people working in the firm. But it’s a nagging symptom of a larger social issue.  Through its marketing, Keller & Keller (among many others) promotes a smirking, amoral, destructive lawsuit mentality.  People do need protection, but not like this.

For your information

From Shakespeare’s Henry VI

Dick the Butcher:
The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

Jack Cade:
Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o’er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings: but I say, ’tis the bee’s wax; for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since