July 06, 2004

Bad Reputation

by PG

John Edwards seems like the sort of nice, upstanding young feller any Democratic presidential nominee, particularly one perceived as an elitist Yankee, would want as his running mate. Middle-class product of southern public schools; first in his family to attend college, where he worked his way through and graduated with high honors; still married to his grad school sweetheart, with three surviving children and a heartwrenching reason for becoming a politician.

But John Edwards has a dark secret.

OK, it's not exactly a secret; his own biography admits that he "earned a law degree with honors in 1977 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill," and "dedicated his career to representing families and children hurt by the negligence of others," which is a polite way of saying he was (da da da DUM) a plaintiff's attorney! The black-hearted scoundrel!

Sure, he tries to spin it nicely: "Standing up against the powerful insurance industry and their armies of lawyers, John helped these families through the darkest moments of their lives to overcome tremendous challenges. His passionate advocacy for people like the folks who worked in the mill with his father earned him respect and recognition across the country."

But Crossfire knows the real story: "Is middle America going to see John Edwards as the 'son of a mill worker', or, after the Bush-Cheney team is done with him, will they see an ambulance chasing multi-millionaire?"

Technically, can't one be the ambulance-chasing multi-millionaire son of a mill worker? They're not mutually exclusive.

In all seriousness, this is a depressing prospect for anyone who wants to join the plaintiffs' bar. Is every lawyer who specializes in torts tarred with the brush of "ambulance chaser"? (Although if anyone does have evidence of Edwards's having chased ambulances, please pass it along.)

July 6, 2004 01:54 PM | TrackBack

Without plaintiffs' attorneys, would there be any need for defendants' attorneys? What would happen to the large law firms if that were the case?

Clients are served directly by their attorneys. The public is indirectly served by these attorneys. I would suggest that would-be and entry level attorneys not be so glib about plaintiffs' attorneys. Consider the defendants' attorneys from the large law firms that advised Enron and so on and what they contributed to public. We have an adversarial system and have to work within it, unless you younger guys can come up with a better system.

With regard to ambulance chasing evidence on Edwards, perhaps to be fair and balanced your viewers might wish to pass along evidence that Edwards has not chased them and has obtained results for plaintiffs who were seriously injured. Edwards was not handling fender benders with dubious soft tissue injuries. Visit some other blogs that describe some of his cases. Perhaps then Edwards' accomplishments as a lawyer could be properly evaluated.

Posted by: Shag from Brookline at July 7, 2004 06:58 AM
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