Alablawg

Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tom Parker Hates Your Family

Have you seen the newest anti-Parker add? You can read about it, and see parts of it, here. Basically it says he hid donations made by trial lawyers to his 2004 campaign.

What bothers me is why the add says that is a bad thing. If they wanted to attack Mini-Moore for ignoring the reporting laws, fine. If the creators think concerns about vague and attenuated negative consequences for the economy should trump an individual's right to their day in court, and the adds are evidence Mini-Moore disagrees, fine. But what the add asserts is that trial lawyers are out to destroy families.

That is just plain stupid. First of all, let's get the terms straight. Just about every lawyer will end up in court some day. Hence all of them are potentially trial lawyers. Presumably, though, what dopes like the creators of this add mean by trial lawyers is lawyers who usually represent injured individuals in lawsuits against businesses.

But in that battle, who is anti-family? The attorney who represents the bread winner who got run over by the negligent truck driver? Or the guy defending the truck driver's insurer, who drags the litigation on as long as possible in order to pad his own bill and encourage the plaintiff to settle for less than the full value of the claim?

I am not saying civil defense attorneys are evil, all I am doing is pointing out the obvious: Every attorney will do things that could be labeled "anti-family." That is because our loyalties are to our clients, not to someone else's social agenda. No group of attorneys is more family friendly than another.

Sure, lawyers who typically sue businesses are bad for businesses. Opposing a candidate because he is unduly favorable to those lawyers is perfectly fine if you want to support the businesses. Just be honest about the reasons. Don't give us this crap about family values.