March 31, 2009

Lawyers seek to make suing easier

Trial lawyers are seeking to keep their revenue streams healthy by attracting new clients and pushing to make it easier for people to sue, observers say.

Legal Newsline reported Tuesday that amid the U.S. economic downturn, the nation's trial lawyers are pushing to broaden product liability laws and ban mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts.

The group is not necessarily a litigious group. They fight their battles and there are a lot of battles on the table right now, said Harlan Schillinger, vice president and director of marketing for Network Associates, the nation's largest lawyer advertising agency.

To help law firms keep a steady flow of clients, Schillinger said attorneys are taking to the airwaves, noting that law firms' advertising and marketing expenditures have increased 11 percent over the past year.

What they are focused on are finding legitimate cases that have meaning, Schillinger said.

However, proponents of tort reform say the plaintiffs' lobby's only interest is helping their industry make more money.

The bottom-line is that trial lawyers are about money and profit. It is not about victims. Victims are simply a vehicle for them to attain their financial goals, Tom Scott, executive director of Californians Against Lawsuit Abuse, was quoted as saying.