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Tigercub33
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Why is it so common for Trial Lawyers to be Democrats/Liberals? This is not sparked by anyone or anything in here - but I was reading a couple stories about how Trial Lawyers have formed up with Unions and other groups to push for liberal agendas within this new Congress.

I just never understood what drove this particular group towards this particular political ideology (further more this subgroup of Lawyers as a lot of teh Corp. Lawyers I know tend to be Conservative). Do Doctors have a similar political pigeon hole - or are they more wide ranging?

I would normally feel a bit embarrassed about asking this - but I have never dealt with them as a group, mainly a very select few here and there.

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Why is it so common for Trial Lawyers to be Democrats/Liberals?

I don't know if that is true, but possibly the perception of that is they make it look to be the small poor person up against this giant evil corporation which may give an outsider the belief they are more on the liberal side.

I've had business law twice, once at Macomb CC where I had a trial lawyer teaching the class, Richard Dorman I believe, it's been awhile. Then I had it again at Wayne since they wouldn't accept the class. I don't remember who my teacher was at Wayne except he hated me, filled the class with his liberal thoughts, and generally didn't teach anything.

My Macomb teacher, who had no trouble telling us about his 'slip and fall' cases or 'people getting bit by dog' cases, presented both sides of case and most of the time, I agreed with him for pursuing the case. It's just easy for the news media to tout the horrible results of a case becaues someone slipped on the ice and won $400,000. But after you've heard that the company had many close calls before where no one got seriously hurt and knew they better start salting their entranceway, but still refused to and then some person is going to walk with a limp the rest of their lives and the $400,000 settlement is pretty much going to their medical bills anyway, it no longer sounds like the business got screwed by a trial lawyer.

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Most lawyers I know are Republicans.

The trial lawyers of which you speak are mostly plaintiff's lawyers. They don't want caps on jury verdicts because it restricts their income.

Just like doctors don't want universal health insurance that might restrict their income, or caps on their salaries that might restrict their income.

Just like insurance companies want caps on jury trials because that would dramatically enhance their income (which is through the roof anyway, despite the evil trial lawyers).

And even defense lawyers don't want caps on verdicts, because those would decrease their income too.

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my dad is a prosecuter

prosecuter represent the government and are usually republicans

most big time lawyers sue big companies and/or represent the plaintiff, and they are the ones who get the big money and people know. They are the ones that are democrats. THats why it seems most lawyers are democrats

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When I say Trial Lawyers - I am talking about those who are represented by the Trial Lawyers PAC and that give LOADS of money to Democrat candidates.

So evidently it all comes down to lawsuits and $$$? I, for some reason, thought there was some idealogical thing that tied them together. Plus, I thought "Trial Lawyers" were like defense attornies and people like that. Interesting.

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When I say Trial Lawyers - I am talking about those who are represented by the Trial Lawyers PAC and that give LOADS of money to Democrat candidates.

So evidently it all comes down to lawsuits and $$$? I, for some reason, thought there was some idealogical thing that tied them together. Plus, I thought "Trial Lawyers" were like defense attornies and people like that. Interesting.

The guys giving to the democratic party are the guys who are making a bunch of money suing mcdonalds because their coffee is too hot and stuff like that. They are getting big money and dont want republicans coming in putting caps on frivelous law suits and the amount of money that can be awarded as compensation

it also has a lot to do with the type of judges appointed(like i said earlier), because that effects their daily life and republicans and democrats pick different types of judges

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The guys giving to the democratic party are the guys who are making a bunch of money suing mcdonalds because their coffee is too hot and stuff like that. They are getting big money and dont want republicans coming in putting caps on frivelous law suits and the amount of money that can be awarded as compensation

it also has a lot to do with the type of judges appointed(like i said earlier), because that effects their daily life and republicans and democrats pick different types of judges

Just as an aside, but that McDonalds case was only one big verdict, which was cut down on appeal. Just sayin. Most of the outlandish cases and verdicts are exceptions, not the rule.

"Frivolous" lawsuits never make money. Only once in a blue moon.

The theory that trial lawyers argue about - other than their own pocket books - has to do with denying a man his day in court. We have a trial by jury system. If 12 jurors give someone a verdict, who are we to put a cap on that? That's the system. Also the call for a "loser pays" system or the banning of the current "33 1/3 lawyer share of the verdict contingency system" would close the courthouse to most poor people.

Neither side is altruistic. They're both trying to save themselves some money.

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These frivolous lawsuits get played up by the media, and then legislators use them as leverage to put caps on lawsuits. It's part of the playbook.

The problem is, as Buddha points out, frivolous lawsuits are the exception. I personally know of two people -- my mother and a co-worker -- who have been screwed because of the caps Michigan put on lawsuits.

Usually "reforms" -- like "tort reform" -- are based on worst-case scenerios. And they almost always favor Big Business. Go figure.

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The guys giving to the democratic party are the guys who are making a bunch of money suing mcdonalds because their coffee is too hot and stuff like that. They are getting big money and dont want republicans coming in putting caps on frivelous law suits and the amount of money that can be awarded as compensation

The full story of the McDonalds incident. This is from a biased site, but feel free to try and discredit it.

http://www.hurt911.org/mcdonalds.html

After you read it, i'd like to know how many of you still believe it was a "frivelous" lawsuit.

Stella Liebeck, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was a passenger in a car when she was severely burned by McDonald's coffee in February 1992. Liebeck, 79 at the time, ordered coffee that was served in a styrofoam cup at the drive through window of a McDonald's. After receiving the order, the driver pulled his car forward and stopped so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee. Critics of civil justice, often imply that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was in motion when she spilled the coffee, however, NEITHER IS TRUE. THE CAR WAS STOPPED when Liebeck placed the cup between her knees and attempted to remove the plastic lid from the cup. As she removed the lid, the entire contents of the cup spilled into her lap. This could have happened to any McDonald's customer who picked up at the drive in window and parked on the side.

The sweatpants Liebeck was wearing absorbed the coffee and held it next to her skin. A vascular surgeon determined that Liebeck suffered full thickness burns (third-degree burns) over 6 percent of her body, including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, genital and groin areas. She was hospitalized for eight days, during which time she underwent skin grafting. McDonalds refused to pay the 79-year-old woman's initial medical expenses totaling $11,000. McDonalds actually countered with an offer of $800. And they also refused to turn down the heat on their coffee. Left with $20,000 unpaid bills, Stella Liebeck, a Republican who had never filed a law suit in her life, finally hired a lawyer. Liebeck sought to settle her claim for only $20,000, but McDonald's refused. A mediator later recommended the parties settle for $225,000. Again, McDonald's refused and the case went to trial.

McDonald's representatives lied to the court and jury about the existence of other claims, but documents showing that they knew of more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992 were admitted in to evidence. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebecks. This history documented McDonald's knowledge about the extent and nature of the intentionally created hazard. McDonald's even ignored a request from the Shriner's Burn Institute in Cincinnati to turn down the temperature of its coffee. McDonald's also said that based on a consultants advice, it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees.

Incredibly, McDonald's quality assurance manager testified that the company actively enforced a requirement that coffee be held in the pot at 185 degrees, plus or minus five degrees. He also testified that a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above, and that McDonald's coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat. The quality assurance manager admitted that burns would occur, but testified that McDonald's had no intention of reducing the "holding temperature" of its coffee. McDonald's also claimed that customers buy coffee on their way to work or home, intending to consume it there, however, the company’s own research showed that customers intend to consume the coffee immediately while driving. McDonald's also argued that consumers known coffee is hot and that its customers want it that way. The company admitted its customers were unaware that they could suffer third degree burns from the coffee and that a statement on the side of the cup was not a "warning" but a "reminder" since the location of the writing would not warn customers of the hazard.

Plaintiff's expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness (third-degree burns) burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus, if Liebeck's spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn.

3rd degree burn - third degree burn For information on 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns, click here

The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages. The jury reduced this amount to $160,000 because they found Liebeck 20 percent at fault for spilling the coffee (not because she was driving a car). The jury also awarded Liebeck $2.7 million in punitive damages, which equals about two days of McDonald's coffee sales. The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000, even though the judge called McDonald's conduct reckless, callous and willful. No one will ever know the final ending to this case. The parties eventually entered into a secret settlement which has never been revealed to the public, despite the fact that this was a public case, litigated in public and subjected to extensive media reporting. Such secret settlements, after public trials, should not be permitted.

After the trial and verdict, it was found that the temperature of coffee at the local Albuquerque McDonald's had dropped to a relatively safe 158 degrees Fahrenheit. This proves that law suits are the only effective mechanism which force companies to produce safe products. Additionally, the real story shows that the court system works. The jury reduced the verdict for the percentage of negligence attributable to the plaintiff. The jury felt that McDonald's actions were so disgusting and heinous that they awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages to punish McDonald's in an effort to stop this kind of callousness. The judge felt that this was too much and reduced McDonald's punishment to only $480,000. Reductions of jury awards is a very little know fact. Judges have the power to reduce a jury award and they do, frequently. Judges reduce awards whenever they feel the jury awarded too much, however, the media never, never reports the reduced awards. They only report the original verdict because, after all, $480,000 punitive award to McDonald's burn victim doesn't sell as well as $2.7 million punitive award to McDonald's burn victim!

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Just as an aside, but that McDonalds case was only one big verdict, which was cut down on appeal. Just sayin. Most of the outlandish cases and verdicts are exceptions, not the rule.

"Frivolous" lawsuits never make money.

I see you put the word "frivolous" in quotation marks. That's good, because the McDonalds case you cite was not frivolous at all, IMO. A lot of facts about that case never made it to the headlines.

McDonald's officials knew their coffee was way too hot. Between 1982 and 1992, there were more than 700 claims from people claiming to be burned by McDonald's coffee, according to discovery produced during the infamous trial.

The Shriner Burn Institute had warned McDonalds earlier not to serve coffee above 130 degrees. So the company knew there was a burn hazard -- but company officials admitted that, despite the numerous claims of people being burned, and the warning by the Shriner Burn Institute, they maintained their coffee a good 20-30 degrees hotter than most restaurants in order to maximize the coffee's taste.

The woman who got burned by the coffee? Well, she was hospitalized for eight days, undergoing skin grafts to repair the third-degree burns over six percent of her body.

The woman originally agreed to settle the claim for a mere $20,000, but McDonald's refused.

Twenty grand for eight days in the hospital for third-degree burns over your thighs and crotch? That doesn't sound too frivolous to me.

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To be fair, however, there are certainly frivolous lawsuits out there!

In Macomb County last year, a guy filed a lawsuit against a Big Boy restaurant, seeking more than $25,000 in damages because he said he found a big booger in his coffee. I actually wrote a story about it, but my editors thought it was in bad taste, so we didn't run it.

I thought the lawsuit was funny as hell, so I saved it. What was funny was the legal-eze in the suit, intermingled with the word "booger." Here's a passage from the suit:

Plaintiff ordered a coffee a the Big Boy located at xxxx. Plaintiff was drinking coffee when he noticed a large booger in the coffee. This caused Plaintiff to experience a violent reaction, leading to vomiting and hives. Plaintiff has since been unable to consume food from a restaurant because of fears of a similar incident occurring.

Defendent was negligent in the following, but not limited to the following, particulars:

a. In Defendent leaving a large booger in Plaintiff's coffee and serving the same to him.

Further, the Defendant breached its implied warranty of saftey and fitness for the coffee's intended use, namely human consumption, in having left within the coffee a large booger.

Now, that's frivolous! And funny!

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To be fair, however, there are certainly frivolous lawsuits out there!

In Macomb County last year, a guy filed a lawsuit against a Big Boy restaurant, seeking more than $25,000 in damages because he said he found a big booger in his coffee. I actually wrote a story about it, but my editors thought it was in bad taste, so we didn't run it.

I thought the lawsuit was funny as hell, so I saved it. What was funny was the legal-eze in the suit, intermingled with the word "booger." Here's a passage from the suit:

Now, that's frivolous! And funny!

Is it really frivolous? Such a settlement provides incentive for the company to meet basic regulations.

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Now, that's frivolous! And funny!

That's fantastic...lol. I will say I love trying to explain to people (usually my family) that it's very rare for a lawsuit to be effective without some type of expected and understood permanent injury. Another words, if you spin out on the Zilwaukee bridge which results in no injury or nothing that handicaps you....and blame it on the fact they don't put salt down on the bridge, you need to not only convince people that you are so afraid of that bridge that you won't cross it, but that its reasonable to believe that you shouldn't want to cross it. Personally for cases like this, I'd have enough confidence it putting an intern in charge of selecting a jury, let alone a professional.

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