Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wall Street Journal on Plaintiffs' Lawyers Hired for Contingency Fee by State of Pennsylvania

Editorial in the Wall Street Journal -- The State Lawsuit Racket: A case study in the politician-trial lawyer partnership.  Here's an excerpt:

State Attorneys General regularly hire private plaintiffs lawyers on a contingency-fee basis to prosecute cases. The trial bar returns the favor with campaign donations to state office holders. And despite the inherent conflicts of interest and questionable ethics of the practice, corporate defendants have rarely challenged such arrangements. Which is why a motion pending before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is so remarkable -- and deserves more public attention.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the state of Pennsylvania over Janssen's antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The state alleges that Janssen has improperly marketed the drug for off-label uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Janssen denies the accusation, but the merits of the case -- which hasn't gone to trial yet -- are not what's at issue in the motion before the court.

Rather, what's at issue is the fact that the civil action against Janssen is being prosecuted on behalf of the state by Bailey, Perrin & Bailey, a Houston law firm. And it turns out that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's Office of General Counsel was negotiating this potentially lucrative no-bid contingency fee contract with Bailey Perrin at the same time that the firm's founding partner, F. Kenneth Bailey, was making repeated campaign contributions totaling more than $90,000 to the Democratic Governor's 2006 re-election bid.

BGS

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2009/04/wall-street-journal-on-plaintiffs-lawyers-hired-for-contingency-fee-by-state-of-pennsylvania.html

Aggregate Litigation Procedures, Ethics, Lawyers, Pharmaceuticals - Misc., Products Liability | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef011570099077970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Wall Street Journal on Plaintiffs' Lawyers Hired for Contingency Fee by State of Pennsylvania:

Comments

Post a comment