DON'T YOU THINK THIS BILLBOARD IS UGLY AND OBNOXIOUS? . . . Here's a photo of the billboard that the Unnamed Associate wrote about last week. Her post, titled "Complaining About Those Who Falsely Blame Lawyers," has now generated 74 comments, more than any other post on this weblog. (Click to enlarge.)
If you ask me, I think the billboard is ugly and obnoxious. Even so, I'm sure it was based on all sorts of expensive market research by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which even ran the graphic in USA Today last week. Sometime soon, you'll probably be hearing commercials based on the new ad slogan in your own city--unless, that is, the legal jurisdiction in which you live is already tipped in favor of big business.
If the Unnamed Associate's post was "controversial," it was probably because Ted Frank complained about it at Overlawyered and directed some of his own readers to this weblog to gawk. I wish I could say all of them possessed razor sharp minds, quick wits, and a desire to ratchet up the quality of the debate, but that's not exactly what happened in the comments. Meanwhile, I'm trying to see the humor in the billboard with its depiction of a lawyer gagging on dollar bills, but I'm having a hard time. Keep in mind that the intended recipient of the message is not lawyers, but jurors. The message is that they should vote no the next time they're on a jury, so as not to feed the trial lawyers.
Some members of the public don't realize this message might come back to haunt them if they ever get injured and seek redress. When I talk to potential clients about the effects of tort reform on their cause of action, I usually hear this refrain: "I know all that, but my case is different. I really am injured."
Maybe so, but when it's time to fill out the verdict form, there's only one way to keep from feeding the trial lawyers--you've got to rule against the plaintiff.
UPDATE: Ted Frank has linked to this post from Overlawyered, adding this note: "[I]f you do visit Evan's site, please be polite, even though the plaintiffs' lawyers who comment there may be rude to you personally." I guess Ted is right about that; some of the commenters at this site--even the plaintiffs' lawyers--are rude from time to time. I am too sometimes, but I agree with Ted that polite is better. I'll do my best to lead by example.
UPDATE II 4/13: There's more from Ted Frank at Overlawyered today that has led to something no one really wants to see--a lawyer's cage match.