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JPJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:16 PM
Original message
Here is my problem with Edwards
He may or may not be a decent person (and I'm totally inclined to think he's the most decent of human beings). However, I don't think he's a very good symbol of the solution to what is wrong with America today.

I think that trial lawyers are for ambulance bays, and I'm not convinced that America is so screwed up that it needs to elect one just yet. It's not like America has whiplash or repetitive stress injury. I'm totally willing to admit that I could be wrong about this. But I don't think we're in that kind of deep trouble yet, and I don't see someone getting elected president in a democracy based on the kind of popular sentitment that we are in that kind of trouble (I still think we need an FDR).

Also, as discussed yesterday, Edwards kind of set me off with his criticism of Clark's tax plan. Among other things, Clark wants to raise taxes 5% for income earners over 200K and Edwards wants to raise tax on income earners over $1.

Edwards made $60 million on cerebral palsy cases that scientists say had no merit. The value of the settlements shot up when Edwards channeled the voice of the fetus.

How can Edwards have much legitimacy on this issue if he's earning money this way and then pretending that a tax plan that charges the working poor is more progressive?

More significantly, how can he be a symbol of the solution to the runaway litigation problem when he has wrapped himself up in trial lawyer money in the last couple years?

For all I know, Edwards is a voice of reason. However, I just don't know how you can have legitmacy on these issues when you're so much a part of the problem.

I should note that I would happily vote for Edwards if he were the nominee. But I would by lying to myself if I said these things didn't depress me.

I suspect that, if pressed, I would back off on some of the harsher criticisms this post implies, but I just feel like I have to get this off my chest.
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. Paging AP, paging AP.
You're wanted in Ward D.
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disenfranchised Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Maybe you should read "Four Trials"
You might see things differently. As a lawyer, he sticks up for the little people against big corporations. That is what we need now more than ever. He also has a plan to take frivolous lawsuits out of the courts.

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JPJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Are Ob/Gyn's big corporations? n/t
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
52. The insurance co. which wouldn't pay up despite obvious negligence was.
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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. The book is just not about Edwards. . .
beating up big corporations it is about Edwards standing up for victims of medical malpractice and getting those victims compensated.
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Justice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. LOL
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Liberal_Andy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. my understanding was that Edwards would raise taxes > $200K also.
Edited on Tue Feb-10-04 07:31 PM by Liberal_Andy
yes, he's a trial lawyer. His biggest case was a young girl whose intestines were sucked out by a defective swimming pool drain. The manufacturer could have fixed it cheaply, but chose not to. The little girl faces lifelong very expensive care.

He is the polar opposite of Bush,

humble beginnings, worked his way through college (first in his family to attend), sides with the weak over the powerful.

What runaway litigation problem are you talking about? Look at the study- "Stable Loses, Unstable Rates" at-
http://www.insurance-reform.org
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JPJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Any Edwards supporters here...
who aren't lawyers? Check in.
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ngGale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Person checking in for Edwards and not a lawyer..n/t
n/t
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Common trait among Edwards supporters:
They were all on finacial aid and took out some college loans.

They're people who had to finance their entry into the middle class.

That's just what I've noticed.
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JPJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. But are you a lawyer? n/t
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SangamonTaylor Donating Member (537 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. not a lawyer.....yet
I've got my 60k in debt to look forward to when I finish law school!
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. sorry about your debt but very pleased you'll be an attorney!
I had quite a bit of debt when I finished school (not law school) also but it was worth every cent.
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
19. Student for Edwards!
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
25. HERE
I'm an Edwards supporter and not a lawyer...
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jpgpenn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
6. my problem with him is
Trial Lawyer with NO experience at anything when relating to the leadership of our great country!
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. Six years of Senate experence on multiple commitees is "no" leadership?
:shrug:
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tishaLA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #16
29. He's only been in the senate Five years
did he join the committees before his term began?
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #29
47. Cute.
But wrong. Edwards is on four committees: Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Intelligence; Judiciary; and Small Business.

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SangamonTaylor Donating Member (537 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. Leadership is not a matter of resume
It is a matter of character and integrity. JRE has more than proved himself capable as President. His leadership was never questioned when he jumped into four highly coveted Senate Committee seats. His leadership is not questioned when Democrat and Republican Senators refer to him as 'The Natural'.

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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #6
27. I second that
Edwards is not qualified to be Commander-in-Chief.
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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
8. the trouble with John Edwards
is that he done got beyond his raisin'.

That channeling the voice of the dead fetus was really beyond the pale; extreme bad taste and disengenuity. A brilliant ploy, however, for a trial lawyer; work that jury's emotions!
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SangamonTaylor Donating Member (537 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Your attacks do your candidate injustice
Edited on Tue Feb-10-04 08:15 PM by SangamonTaylor
The story of Jennifer Campbell's trial, which John described vividly in his book Four Trials.

You make me sick...sick when you say 'channeling the voice of the dead fetus'. John was describing the heartbeat of Elizabeth Campbell as she went nearly an hour and a half with a decreasing heartbeat before being delivered. Instead of performing a c-section and delivering Jennifer , the doctor (who was old fashioned and did not approve of c-sections) saw her heartbeat decreasing, knew that she was breached, and yet did nothing. The little tape that showed Jennifer's heartbeat was used thoughout the trial, because it was the only evidence of what was happening to Jennifer as she was being delivered. Each witness used that tape to describe the physical affects of Jennifer , and what she was going through.

The doctor settled out of court when the supervising doctor (who happened to be his close friend) testified in a deposition that any reasonable doctor would have delivered Jennifer by c-section nearly an hour and a half before Jennifer was delivered. The supervising doctor based his opinion on the heartbeat monitor of Jennifer , the reaction of the nurse (who complained to the doctor in charge)

The TRIAL was against the hospital and the way hospitals work. It created a sea change within the medical community by empowering nurses who feel that a patient's life is in danger. Previously, it was the doctor as the 'captain of the ship'. Nurses were afraid to 'pull rank' and ask a supervising doctor to intervene. Nurses feared for their job, should they ruffle a doctor's feathers. As a result of Jennifer Campbell's trial, JRE made hospitals' more than just a hotel, the hospital has a responsibility to care for all of it's patients.

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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. Surely those well-paid attorneys for the hospital knew
that a poor decision based on insufficient scientific evidence could be appealed and had the means to do so.

Edwards has lost only 3 of more than 70 cases taken to trial, in part because he very carefully screens cases without merit. He is a model for other attorneys to follow.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. For emphasis: empowering nurses (a change in statewide hospital
policy) saved many parents from the same misery.

Please keep channeling, John Edwards.

Furthermore, the NYT article which claimed that this case was based on bad science was pro-corporate BS.

The hospital lawyers could have made that argument. If they did, it didn't work.

Furthermore, should we suspend all civil trials until we're 100% sure that science was proven that there is no possible alternative explanation?

And if you read the details of THIS trial, it's pretty clear that the doctor was ignoring obvious signs of fetal distress. Even the nurse noticed. This case wasn't even a close call. Thus the verdict.
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JPJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. From the NY Times
I made you sick? Are you another lawyer for Edwards? Please don't sue me for making you sick.

In Trial Work, Edwards Left a Trademark

"She speaks to you through me," the lawyer went on in his closing argument. "And I have to tell you right now - I didn't plan to talk about this - right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She's inside me, and she's talking to you." The jury came back with a $6.5 million verdict in the cerebral palsy case, and Mr. Edwards established his reputation as the state's most feared plaintiff's lawyer. In the decade that followed, Mr. Edwards filed at least 20 similar lawsuits against doctors and hospitals in deliveries gone wrong, winning verdicts and settlements of more than $60 million, typically keeping about a third. "

...

Indeed, there is a growing medical debate over whether the changes have done more harm than good. Studies have found that the electronic fetal monitors now widely used during delivery often incorrectly signal distress, prompting many needless Caesarean deliveries, which carry the risks of major surgery. The rise in such deliveries, to about 26 percent today from 6 percent in 1970, has failed to decrease the rate of cerebral palsy, scientists say. Studies indicate that in most cases, the disorder is caused by fetal brain injury long before labor begins.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. I'm a scientist and can tell you that
you are always dealing in probabilities and that not every scientist will agree on every point.

If you will take the time to read the entire article, you will find that the ONLY people NYTimes could find to criticize Edwards were people who represented the defendants. You will also find many positive statements. And as we noted earlier, you must not be aware that there is an appeal system in the US, and that defendants who are as well heeled as those described in the article have the resources to appeal bad verdicts. There is a reason why Edwards' cases were not appealed and not overturned, and the evidence does not support your or the NY Times' implications.

These facts should tell you something.
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JPJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
41. I'm a scientist and I can tell you
that it is at least controversial.

Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1999 Sep;106(9) :943-7.

"The relation of breech presentation at term to cerebral palsy."

Krebs L, Topp M, Langhoff-Roos J.

Department of Obstetrics, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.

CONCLUSION: The risk of cerebral palsy among term breech presentation infants does not seem to be related to mode of delivery, but is more likely linked to a higher rate of being small for gestational age in breech infants.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. If the balance of scientific evidence were on the side of the
defendants, you well know that they would have appealed, and likely won.

You also know, if you are really a scientist, that citing one study does not a body of evidence make.
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abburdlen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. How about another
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-02/jhmi-nbi...

Newborn brain injuries stem from infections, not delivery

"Our study refutes the fact that white matter injuries are caused by delivery," says Ernest Graham, M.D., senior study author and assistant professor of gynecology/obstetrics. "The biggest association with these injuries in our study was clearly neonatal infections."
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Read the entire case. Read the entire body of research. Good night.
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JPJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. Excellent use of appeal to expertise
Without ever making a logical, science-based argument.
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JPJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. And citing zero studies
makes you a pundit.

I said that the presence of one study at least makes it controversial. Here are some more for you.

Obstet Gynecol. 1990 May;75(5):821-5.
"Morbidity among breech infants according to method of delivery."
Croughan-Minihane MS, Petitti DB, Gordis L, Golditch I.

The relative risk estimates for asphyxia (1.0; 95% confidence interval 0.7, 1.4), head trauma (1.6; 95% confidence interval 0.2, 17.0), neonatal seizures (0.8; 95% confidence interval 0.1, 7.1), cerebral palsy (1.6; 95% confidence interval 0.2, 17.4), and developmental delay (2.0; 95% confidence interval 0.9, 4.4) for vaginally born compared with cesarean-delivered infants indicated that vaginally born infants were not at increased risk for these outcomes.

Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Apr;83(4):624-30.
"Does cesarean delivery prevent cerebral palsy or other neurologic problems of childhood?"
Scheller JM, Nelson KB.
However, children born by cesarean have no documented reduced risk of other childhood neurologic problems or cerebral palsy.

J Perinat Med. 1996;24(6):677-86.
"Relation between perinatal factors and outcome of very low birth weight infants."
Kato EH, Yamada H, Matsumoto Y, Hattori S, Makinoda S, Fujimoto S.
These findings suggest that the delivery method is not a risk factor, but the malpresentation itself may be a risk factor for the poor prognosis of VLBW infants.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #44
53. You think the insurance co. lawyers didn't try to present this evidence?
And if it wasn't available, does that mean the plaintiff shouldn't be able to make a case because of the POSSIBILITY of evidence suggesting some other cause might come along in the future (which always a possibility)?
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JPJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #42
48. Clark supporters cite five scientific studies
Edwards supporters cite zero.
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Edwards4President Donating Member (339 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. Twelve jurors, a judge and the court of appeals
not to mention opposing attorneys apparently thought that Edwards' position had merit, regardless how many studies you cite.

Perhaps opposing counsel should have brought YOU in as an expert witness since, despite all of the studies you cited and almost unlimited talent and resources, they were still bested by John Edwards.

Yep - that Johnny Edwards sure is a slick one.
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abburdlen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. Just and aside
do you think OJ was innocent?
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Edwards4President Donating Member (339 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #51
54. Irrelevant to this discussion
for several reasons, not the least of which the OJ case was a criminal matter not subject to appeal.

Nice try, though.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #51
55. OJ had best lawyers. So do hospitals, doctorsa and insurance cos (which...
...are all richer than OJ).
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JPJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #49
56. What appeals to juries more...
reading peer-reviewed scientific reports or a pretty smile?

Jesus, there's a swarm of trial lawyers on this board!
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Edwards4President Donating Member (339 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. Nice to know you think that ordinary people are too stupid to judge a case
fairly but are blinded by a "pretty smile."

I guess we should just throw out the jury system altogether since jurors aren't as intelligent as you are and thus, can't be trusted to weigh evidence the way can.
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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Actually, I think it was me who made the poster sick
Edited on Tue Feb-10-04 08:11 PM by GreenArrow
but you have just posted exactly what I was going to post. I've got a different source, but it's essentially the same thing. And JE's summation to me is the worst sort of emotional manipulation. It is, however, very effective.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2003/09/15/e... /

For instance, his summations routinely went beyond a recitation of his case to a heart-wrenching plea to jurors to listen to the unspoken voices of injured children.

"I have to tell you right now -- I didn't plan to talk about this -- right now I feel her, I feel her presence," he said in his record-setting 1985 lawsuit on behalf of Jennifer Campbell, born brain-damaged after being deprived of oxygen during labor. "She's inside me and she's talking to you. . . . And this is what she says to you. She says, `I don't ask for your pity. What I ask for is your strength. And I don't ask for your sympathy, but I do ask for your courage.' "

The hell he didn't plan to talk about it; it was exactly what he planned to talk about. And it helped him win the case.


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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. The judge who overturned the awards was looking for ANY reason to do it.
Edited on Tue Feb-10-04 08:15 PM by AP
He relied on the 'emotional manipulation' argument which was total BS.

If anyone wants to buy this pro-corprate specious excuse not to give that family the award the jury thought appropriate, Antonin Scalia would be proud of you.
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SangamonTaylor Donating Member (537 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #28
37. no, what made me sick was referring to Jennifer Campbell as a 'dead fetus'
Jennifer Campbell is living her life with the mistakes that occurred during her delivery.

The emotional aspect of Edwards' closing statement was directed toward the issue of damages. How are you going to put a dollar amount on the health of a young girl? Sure, you can equate the medical expenses with some certainty. Is that all that is at stake here? I think not.

In fact, the issue of causation was never appealed. John Edwards only picks cases that he truly knows are legit. The evidence was there and it was rock solid. The doctor settled before that statement was ever made.
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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. I was using the original poster's words on that,
which I probably shouldn't have, and I apologize if you were offended by them. I don't question that the case was legit. I only questioned the rather heavy handed way that JE argued his case.

I don't believe you can quantify the value of the life of a child (or anyone else) with dollar amounts, but unfortuantely, in the money driven society we live in, that is the reward in cases like this one. I don't know what the alternative would be, honestly. And not to be too cynical about it, but the greater the settlement, the greater John Edward's paycheck.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. When you all have gotten over your anger, we can discuss these issues.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. That's what makes it seem angry.
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meow mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #12
33. he's just angry because
clark jumped in late and completly ruined edwards in the south. teehee =)
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Edwards4President Donating Member (339 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Thanks for elevating the tone of the discussion
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. And that helps democrats elect the best candidate to take on Bush how?
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meow mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. yw for the tone, and.. it helps by giving them a better choice.
after all you must have good options!
in order to choose well!
thats a observer-dependant type question though, i guess. =)

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Is that Spike?
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tishaLA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
32. I don't mind that he was a lawyer. At all.
in fact, I think lawyers get dogged unfairly most of the time. There are a few bad ones who sully all the good ones. And I don't doubt that he was a good lawyer and that he provided a valualbe, necessary service to his clients.

My problem is with his record in the senate. His votes. And tht he doesn't care enough about LGBT rights to even bother to know the law of the land--DoMA--enough to characterize it correctly.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. If it's any consolation, he thought DOMA was MORE restrictive than it was
and he was already on record as saying he thought it was unconstitutional.

He thought it forbade states from recognizing same-sex marriages.
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Digit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
50. Floor Statement by Senator John Edwards-Medicare Reform
When I read this statement given by Senator John Edwards on Medicare Reform back on November 23rd, I became a supporter.

http://edwards.senate.gov/statements/20031123_medicare....



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