In 10 days I head to Albany with other personal injury attorneys to lobby the legislature to keep the civil justice system open and available to New Yorkers. Why me? Well, if not me, who then?
You see the insurance companies have armies of lobbyists in state capitols around the nation. So do the massive health care giants, drug companies, and let’s face it, Fortune 500 companies all over the place. “Think tanks” and Chambers of Commerce that dream up ways to closde the courthouse doors to consumers don’t exist without money.
But those who’ve been victimized by the negligence don’t have those voices of influence at their beck and call. Victims become part of this group unwillingly, in unplanned ways. They have no organization. They don’t have access to the levers of power.
They only thing they usually have are the personal injury attorneys that are helping them with their case. Who also happen to be the ones that know about the problems with the laws that their new clients face.
For example, in years past I have written about:
- The problems with our No-Fault Laws (New York’s No-Fault Law Problem With “Serious Injuries” and New York’s No-Fault litigation mess (Do Our Judges Want Doctors To Go To Law School?);
- The problems of poorly paid judges (Where Are Our Judicial Pay Raises?);
- The inability of claimants to sue for grief (The September 11th Lawsuits And The Problem Of Compensable Grief in NY);
- The unsettled state of the law when it comes to medical liens (NY Court of Appeals Urges Legislative Action On Insurance Issues); and
- Counterfeit drugs (Counterfeit Drugs and My Appearance on Assembly TV).
So who fights for the injured? The people that represent them. Those of us who stand in the well of the courtroom to fight on their behalf. I’ll be heading up there with the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, of which I am a proud, card-carrying member, and have been for many years.
And if you are an attorney that deals with these types of cases, I have one question for you:
Are you lobbying your legislature? Because there aren’t any good reasons to answer no.
Links to this post:
what about the little guy?
big corporate industries are lobbying relentlessly against the interests of ordinary people, even while accepting our tax money as bailouts. that’s why i think eric turkewitz asks a good question in his recent blog, who lobbies for the …posted by Kia Franklin @ April 20, 2009 3:02 PM
Regarding your “grief” post, before I clicked the link I assumed you meant grandparents, cousins or aunts or other relatives outside the first first degree. Then I clicked.
If New York doesn’t permit surviving family members of the first degree to recover for emotional loss, that’s barbaric. I say that as a defense attorney who practices in one of the few remaining pure contributory negligence jurisdictions. It would be far easier to muster a defense for the “1%” rule than it would be to argue that parents should be limited to pure economic loss for the death of a preadolescent child.
Again, barbaric. Best of luck in getting the wrongful death law amended.
# posted by Anonymous Patrick : April 17, 2009 6:07 PM
This is, indeed, the state of the law.
And we appreciate your support. One reason I don’t write trashy commentary about “the other side” is that often we happen to agree with each other.
# posted by Blogger Eric Turkewitz : April 17, 2009 6:10 PM
Very good post covering the issues that all of us need to stand up for. Thanks for the reminder and the challenge.
# posted by Anonymous Mike Bryant : April 20, 2009 10:43 PM