Protecting victims from the lawyers in the Gulf oil spill

Bob Dorigo Jones Senior Fellow, The Center for America
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There’s an old saying that warns “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.”

It’s wise advice we need to follow when working to eliminate frivolous lawsuits.  Sure, changes are needed in our legal system, but we have to be careful to protect victims.  Sometimes, we even need to protect victims from the lawyers who are supposed to be helping them.

For example, let’s look at the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Thousands of people have been hurt, and lawsuits will be needed.  But courts have to make sure that those who were hurt get the money they deserve.

After Hurricane Katrina, trial lawyers negotiated suspicious legal settlements that earned them millions while leaving many victims with little compensation.  Now, some lawyers who want to cash in big on the Gulf oil spill are asking Congress to shift these lawsuits from federal courts to state courts.  Why?  They believe it will be easier to arrange sweetheart deals for themselves in state courts, but it’s bad for victims.

As a watchdog over the courts, we’ll be keeping an eye on this to make sure victims’ needs are put first.  Find out more at BobDorigoJones.com.