April 17th, 2009

Who Lobbies for the Victims?

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:

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


January 2nd, 2008

Presidential Politics and the Iowa Caucus

I don’t understand why the whole country kowtows to Iowa. I mean really, they have just 1% of the nation’s population with 2.9 million people, of which 150,000 – 200,000 will likely turn out. Every four years we get this same nonsense with huge expenditures of time and money for a state with very few actual electoral votes.

Sorry for going off topic here, but this is a stupid system. Logic dictates a system of primaries that are grouped by region; New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, you get the idea. Just divvy the country up into 10 or so regions and have regional primaries a few weeks apart. The candidates and staffs can then travel much more easily from place to place, see the most numbers of people, and financial resources can be pooled with the regional ad purchases. The order of the contests is chosen by simply picking the regions out of a hat. This isn’t rocket science.

America doesn’t benefit from all the sound and fury coming out of one small farm state. I’ve got nothing against corn and wheat, but the idiotic system skews the political promises to the detriment of all. Except, of course, Iowans, who benefit from the political tourism and the promises. But let’s face it, all urban areas, who have much different concerns and vastly larger populations, get the shaft.

There is no rationale reason for the politicians to continue this. The importance of Iowa (and New Hampshire after that) is merely a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s important because it is first, not because it is actually important. That is a dumb way to run a nominating process.

OK, so having now opened the political can of worms, which I avoid unless it deals directly with the issues of this blog, let me prognosticate on what we will see on election day 2008.

Reps: McCain/Romney
Dems: Obama/Biden
Indep: Bloomberg/ Gary Hart (who correctly predicted an attack like September 11 and tried to warn)

As much as this New Yorker would like to see Clinton v. Giuliani v. Bloomberg, neither Hillary nor Rudy will get their party nominations.


November 14th, 2007

How Many Lawyers Showed Up In New York?

According to an AP report, there were 200 lawyers at the rally yesterday to support Pakistani lawyers who have been manning the barricades for restoration of the rule of law.

But according to the New York Law Journal, the number was 700.

What’s going on? Now it’s true that inflating and deflating crowd numbers is a time-honored tradition among those that support/oppose any particular rally. But those are news organizations, not advocates, and estimating in the hundreds is not nearly as difficult as estimating in the tens of thousands.

My own estimate, based on many years of playing “guess the attendance today” at Shea Stadium was 300-400, which I stand by. And as I mentioned yesterday, a number much higher than I had expected.

See also:


November 13th, 2007

New York Lawyers Rally By Hundreds In Support of Pakistani Lawyers

Hundreds of New York attorneys tuned out at 1:00 today to rally in support of Pakistani lawyers that were arrested for demonstrating against the firing of the Pakistani Supreme Court. Some news reports have estimated that 25% of Pakistan’s lawyers are now in prison due to protests against Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s new decrees.

I just returned from the rally, held on the steps of the historic New York County Supreme Court building, moments ago, so this is likely a first report on the web.

By my eye, the crowd looked to be about 300-400 lawyers, well in excess of what I had anticipated. Attorneys filled the steps of the courthouse and spilled out onto the sidewalk below.

The rally had been organized by the New York State, New York County and New York City bar associations, and supported by others.

Speakers included a New York Pakistani lawyer whose father has been imprisoned.

An email was read from students at Pakistan’s Lahore University about this rally, and they were grateful to see that American lawyers had taken notice and were showing support.

(Photo: This photograph that I took may be used without obtaining permission so long as attribution is given. It may not, however, be used for a commercial purpose.)

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)

Links to this post:

message for pakistan…
snapshot of a rally organized by the new york state, county and city bar associations yesterday expressing solidarity with the thousands of lawyers in jail or protesting pakistani president gen. pervez musharraf’s decision to suspend

posted by njcom @ November 14, 2007 4:40 PM

not impressed yet by us lawyers re pakistan
you may recall that the f/k/a gang called last week for the american legal profession to demonstrate its support for the brave pakistani lawyers, who have been standing up in the streets against president pervez musharraf’s suspension

posted by David Giacalone @ November 14, 2007 10:42 AM

update: new york lawyers rally in nyc
click the photo below to read the breaking recap of today’s rally, provided by eric turkewitz of new york personal injury law blog. (photo courtesy of eric turkewitz). ny-rally-pakistan-716586.jpg.
posted by Kia Franklin @ November 13, 2007 2:21 PM