Trial Run


In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, Reason contributor Wally Olson considers John Edwards' record as a litigator and finds it less alarming than the list of the vice presidential candidate's financial supporters. The not-very-reassuring response from Edwards' campaign to critics who said he was too cozy with trial lawyers: "We have no problem if 100% of our money came from trial lawyers."


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  1. Yup, they’re not giving an inch on the lawyer-bashing fight. Given the cowardly rolling that’s characterized the Dems over the past 3 years, they must be pretty sure of their footing.

  2. If businesses want to end the Business bashers railing against them, how about sendind me a correct cell phone bill for a change!?!? 5 straight months of errors and I have to pay a $150 termination fee to get out of the contract!

  3. just a rant,

    I feel your pain! Now the key is, do you want to only recover your $150 termination fee from the phone company, or do you want a million bucks for the ‘pain and suffering’ 🙂

  4. Olson’s last 2 lines had that great Angela Lansbury Manchurian Candidate feel…”closer to the center of power than they’ve dared to dream.”

    Olson’s right…but bashing trial lawyers is a dumb move as a strategy to hurt Edwards/Kerry. Dems will spin (and the media will lap it up) about Edwards “helping the little guy.”

    I’m sure Edwards has a dozen stories about little Bobbie Jo Redneck who had some bad apple juice and was hospitalized and her parents were too poor to do anything about it, until Avenging angel John Edwards made Mott’s PAY for their crimes.

    The New York Times adores shit like that.

  5. Small (and large) business people & health care professionals across the US will freak out about John Edwards. They will not want to see him within 3000 miles of the white house. These are people who vote, and understand that the legal system has become corrupt thanks to trial lawyers like Edwards.

  6. Joe,

    “…Given the cowardly rolling that’s characterized the Dems over the past 3 years,…”

    Dems have been a bunch of vicious SOBs the past 2 years (every bit as much as, or even more than) the religious conservatives were during Clinton impeachment. I don’t know one thing they rolled over on (except the compromised tax cut – and that is a great success, no matter what you class war veterans claim). Do you have any examples where they should have “dug in” more?

  7. o/t: J.A. Rant, would you please name your carrier, as a Warning to Others?

  8. Help me here. Do I have this right?

    1. Regulation bad. Enforcement of contracts good.

    2. Regulation bad. Free market in labor and services good.

    3. Trial lawyers assist aggrieved parties in pursuing enforcement of contracts for a fee.

    4. Trial lawyers are the natural market response to a demand for professional expertise in pursuing claims of damages in implicit contracts between consumers, producers and combinations thereof.

    5. Trial lawyers will therefore be a critical element of the Shining Libertarian World-to-Come.

    6. John Edwards is a Democrat, so the hell with trial lawyers. And anyway, all that stuff about enforcing contracts? That’s just for cool people like big corporations. Or me and my friends in my Ayn Rand Discussion Club.

  9. Tom,
    I hope you are right. But I doubt it.

  10. There was a time when I thought that Hillary Clinton would be the most vile and despicable choice for Dem veep, but the more I read about Edwards, the closer and closer he gets to being just as bad.

  11. And this is why I may end up voting for Bush. I cannot stand the possibility of a trial lawyer anywhere near the White House.

  12. O, spare me. Has anyone else noticed that Democratic candidates suddenly turn into personally deplorable monsters the moment they actually start posing a threat to the power of the GOP? If Bill Richardson, Dick Gephardt, or Mickey Mouse had been the VP pick, Matthew, your reading material would have suddenly conviced you that he was the most vile and despicable choice.

    I recall the “Anybody But Kerry” position among National Review columnists when he was the early frontrunner, which then fell by the wayside the moment Howard Dean became frontrunner, and now we’re back to the poop cannon being trained on Kerry. Edwards steps into the picture, and poof, conservatives realize that he is the lowest of the low. Had Edwards actually pulled out the nomination, you would have suddenly realized he was the most vile and despicable choice months ago, with the help of the conservative media.

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