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Is anyone concerned about Edwards having been a trial lawyer?

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nator311 Donating Member (83 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:18 PM
Original message
Is anyone concerned about Edwards having been a trial lawyer?
I'm afraid that if Kerry picks him as VP, the Bush campaign may play on the fact that Edwards was a trial lawyer. I'm afraid that this could have a negative affect on the campaign since trial lawyers are regarded negatively by the American public. Does anyone else here share my concern?
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PaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. You've got to be kidding...
Edwards KNOWS the law :-)
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charlyvi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Nader says....
John Edwards' law practice was completely above board. If a sanctimonious, self-righteous crusader like Nader says this, I don't think we have much to worry about.
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PaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #8
26. Edwards will be
fantastic!! The R's really can't find anything wrong about him.
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charlyvi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. Pro Bono
I think he did a lot of pro bono work too. The people he defended could appear in some great ads--offsetting Rove and Co.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. He didn't do pro bono work because he was doing the kind of law that
was righting serious wrongs as it was.

It's corporate lawyers and medical malpractice defense and criminal defense lawyers who need to do the conscience check and do pro bono work.

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Skwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #16
93. This is the defense to zero pro bono work?
Thanks for the laugh.
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nator311 Donating Member (83 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #16
99. Your post is very unfair
It is unfair to say that criminal defense lawyers and corporate lawyers need to do a conscience check. Defense attorneys protect our rights to a fair trial. Do you think that all who are arrested should be thrown in jail, even if they are innocent or if the law is ridiculous (e.g. getting arrested for possession of marijuana). I could elaborate more on this, but it would take too much time. In terms of corporate and malpractice defense attorneys, they are doing a favor because a lot of these lawsuits are frivolous, filed by people who want to make an easy buck. For example, plaintiffs lose in 90% of malpractice cases because the cases are stupid. If you think that everyone should be able to sue corporations for the most absurb of reasons, you will see companies going bankrupt and doctors leaving their practices.
However, I think that Edwards was a responsible lawyer who only took the most airtight of cases. I also like his plan to punish lawyers that file frivilous lawsuits. I'm only concerned that the fact that he was a trial lawyer will be played by the Bush team to show that he is costing American jobs. This could work since most Americans aren't going to bother to actually research his record.
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surfermaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #16
113. Remember Jessica Lackey
This little girl can live at home with her parents because John Edwards steeped up to the plate and won a settlement from a company that had already had trouble with others for the same thing he was going after them for. This child has to be fed at night even now from tubes....if he hadn't gone to court there would have been no way this family could have supported this child and afford the mother to stay home to look after her.

When Edwards wrapped this case up , the court house was filled with other Lawyers to here him do his final wrap. He must have done something wonderful for this little girl and must be a mighty good lawyer to draw all the attention from other lawyers.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yep, that bothers me too
We know they'll be harping on that 24/7.

Now Clark... :evilgrin:
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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. Edwards is anything but
a typical trial lawyer.
It can only help if Bush and cronies bring it up.
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SCRUBDASHRUB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. He will go in for the kill against Cheney in the debates!
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ithacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. not at all
he's superb, his populism is exactly what is needed at the top of the ticket.

Some of the cases he fought were absolutely heart wrenching and are excellent ammunition against all the right-wing "tort reform" crap...

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Skwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
94. His populism won't stand up to scrutiny.
"Edwards, who comes from a state where banking is big business, played a critical role in brokering legislation to allow banks to sell mutual funds and insurance, and to engage in other speculative ventures. This law, worth hundreds of billions to the banks, blasted a gigantic hole in the Glass-Steagal banking laws firewall of protections designed to prevent the kinds of bank collapses that marked the Great Depression of the 30s meaning that it put the money of Joe Six-Pack depositors at risk. (A Populist Make-Over Meet John Edwards, the Corporate Man, http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Jan04/Ireland0129.htm


"Over time, Mr. Edwards became quite selective about cases. Liability had to be clear, his competitors and opponents say, and the potential award had to be large. "He took only those cases that were catastrophic, that would really capture a jury's imagination," Mr. Wells, a defense lawyer, said. "He paints himself as a person who was serving the interests of the downtrodden, the widows and the little children. Actually, he was after the cases with the highest verdict potential. John would probably admit that on cross-examination." http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/31/politics/campaign/31E...

I guess he needed to pay for those three homes that he bought (each worth in excess of one million). I wonder how much Mr. Populist donated to the poor and unfortunate? Oh that's right, he doesn't want to release his tax records.

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harper Donating Member (699 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. No, that doesn't concern me
as much as Bush being an idiot and Cheney being the antichrist.
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Dagaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'm concerned with two Senators
The trial lawyer would be a hit if Edwards were at the top but having two Senators would be a disaster. If you liked Dole/Kemp pick Edwards. That said I don't know who to pick...Vilsek maybe? but NOT Edwards or Hillary or Gep.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. Kemp had never been a senator. He was a congressman from Hamburg NY.
And then he was secretary of HUD.

But even if had been, that wouldn't have been the problem with Dole-Kemp.

Their problem was that they were running against the best American politician in the last 30 years and maybe one of the top 10 in all of history.
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physioex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
9. I would take a trial lawyer over a mass murderer any day.....EOM
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
10. Not at all
Trial lawyers have won too many verdicts for abused, sick, and mistreated people. Trial lawyers are the financial base of the Democratic party. Check out the campaign donations websites. Edwards has enormous fund-raising ability, an incredible personality and style and a southern base. Clark is my preference, but Edwards would be wonderful too.
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surfermaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #10
114. I'm with you Roudycowboy,
Kerry/Edward's,with a little help from the General..that is what it will take to get the job done.
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. Edwards made a fortune helping the little guy
Doesn't bother me at all.

Bush, on the other hand, made a fortune because of his name.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. He made it to the top doing the right thing. That's the American dream.
People will dig the hell out of that.
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. I agree one hundred percent!
I would say 150% percent, but I hate when people do that, because there's no such thing. :)
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charlyvi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
13. Maybe...
He can help draft the impeachment papers.
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skooooo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
14. Trial lawyers protect our rights...

...and we need them more than ever.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
15. It helped him close a 10% gap & open 2% lead over Faircloth in 2 weeks.
Edited on Tue May-25-04 09:47 PM by AP
It wasn't until they started criticizing him for being a trial lawyer that people realized what he had done for a living, and that's how he won that race.
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
19. Not at all!!!
Now if only he had foreign policy & national security experience.
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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Kerry covers those pretty well though.
The weak spot in this ticket is charisma.
That is Edwards strength.
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Jai4WKC08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #22
58. In reality, yes
In the minds of the electorate? Not at all. He has to overcome too many years of too many people believing all Democrats are pacifists who don't understand how to weild national power. Kerry's reputation as a liberal Dem, true or not, won't help. AND he has to overcome voter prejudice against legislators.

Remember, no senator has beaten a sitting president since the mid-1800s. Two congressman on the ticket is taking far too big a chance. That they were both lawyers before doesn't help either.

Kerry's "weak spot" has nothing to do with charisma, it has to do with convincing people that he can be a do-er, not just a talker. That he will be resolute in his approach to national security and not all about compromise. Especially with the Repubs starting up the "more terrorism on the way" scare, already in progress.
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
20. Yes, I share your concern. n/t
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
21. Yeah, I'm concerned that Edwards could give lawyers a GOOD name.
Pro bono work.

Personal injury work, true, but selective choice of cases. He won a verdict against a pool manufacturer whose vacuum literally sucked the intestines of a 9 year old girl via her rectum when she went swimming. I'd rather endorse an attorney like Edwards versus a corporate or insurance defense pro any day of the week.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. That defective cover had caused something like 20 or 30 injuries
before Edwards won that case.

It was his work that put a stop to it.

That's nothing to be ashamed of.

He made sure that people's lives and their dignity came before corporate profits.

To me, the essential problem in America is that we do the opposite.

I think it's remarkable that we have a guy now in the top echelons of the Democratic party who is such a powerful symbol for fixing what is wrong with America right now.
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MontecitoDem Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
25. Yes ...
especially because Edwards' speaking style plays right into the stereotype of trial lawyers, imo.

And whoever said "corporate lawyers" were the bad guys, you are right about some, but there are many plaintiffs' attorneys who are truly bad for folks. While defending someone you get paid by the hour, but when you are a plaintiffs' lawyer you generally take a percentage. A very high percentage. Often disgustingly high. Speaking from my own experiences, many of these men and women are motivated by personal greed - not some "do-gooder" philosophy. And some of them will sue anyone they can to extort a settlement - right or wrong.

So hell yeah, his being a trial lawyer is his biggest liability.

He's got lots going for him, but this issue does concern me.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. I don't think many lawyers take a fee that's higher than what you would
have paid in income tax if your award were taxed.

Civil awards (almost everywhere) aren't taxed as income. So if Edwards won you a million dollars, you get a million dollars and pay him, say 30%.

If that had been income, you could have paid more than that in income tax.

Also, it costs a lot of money to bring these cases.

That's why you don't see his clients (or any clients) complaining about lawyer fees.

Also, corporations pay hourly rates. But they already HAVE millions. Edwards's clients not only had nothing, but the reasons they were suing were costing them lots of money. How else would they pay Edwards what he was worth if he didn't charge them out of what they were going to get?
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MontecitoDem Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #27
35. I agree with most of what you said
Yes, those are the realities of taking a case for a plaintiff. However, my point was that plaintiffs' lawyers in class actions or major personal injury cases (especially successful ones) are more often motivated by greed than by any "good samaritan" notions.

Also, many corporate defense lawyers are defending small businesses - and I can tell you they DON'T have millions.

And there are MANY folks complaining about the high percentage claimed by trial lawyers, and moves nationally and at least in California to set limits on those percentage fees.

In sum, lots of folks like me think of personal injury lawyers as a rather greedy bunch who can talk a good tale, but don't generally believe their own words.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #35
42. My feeling is that Edwards was motivated AGAINST greed.
Nobody complains about the high percentages claimed by lawyers more than people who are negligent.

I'm aware that, historically, those people have been relatively successful in moulding public opinion about lawyers.

But, seriously, when was the last time you heard an outrageous news story about greedy lawyers. It has been YEARS. The fact is, many states have made it so hard for plaintiffs to bring suits, and since lawyers get sanctioned left and right these days, courts are packed with business-friendly judges, and since there are way more examples of greedy defendants than greedy plaintiff's lawyers, I feel like it will be difficult for the smear to take root -- there just aren't enough solid facts where people can see, look at this outrageous suit aren't lawyers bad.

Look at Edwards in '98. NC is by no means a state predisposed culturally to liking shifts in wealth down to the people, yet they embraced what Edwards did for a living once they learned the details.
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MontecitoDem Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #42
49. I believe you about Edwards
I wasn't trying to say Edwards is greedy! He seems like an upright guy.

The thread asked if his being a trial lawyer could be a liability - and I believe it is. I see from your various posts that you know a lot more about Edwards than I do, so I take your word that he was doing it for noble reasons. I'm only saying that there is a persistent negative reaction to trial lawyers, at least here in California. I am a lawyer myself so I hear it ALL the time.

Perhaps it was just my experience, but I have found as many greedy plaintiffs as defendants. 8 out of 10 plaintiffs is hoping for a quick "go away" settlement from an insurance company.

Edwards has a lot going for him, and he'd be a good Vp. But I do see him open to attack on this issue.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #49
52. I really think the greedy plaintiff thing is losing steam.
I think the Republicans played that one out 15 years ago. There really have been too many reforms in the civil justice system to maintain the characature.

Even with the tobacco settlements, I don't think anyone really feels those lawyers or their clients were the evil parties, especially after people see films like The Insider, which wasn't exactly kind to the lawyers. I think people now realize that corporations are huge and you can't expect plaintiffs to get a fair shake unless their lawyers are pretty powerful too.

Noboby really expects that Atticus Finch is going to be able to deliver justice when he's up against a billion dollar corporation.
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MontecitoDem Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #52
53. I wish I had your high opinion
both of the general public's perception of lawyers and of lawyers themselves!

Just this morning there was a report on NPR about toxic mold litigation, the lack of science supporting claims of physical injury, and that plaintiffs attorneys are the driving force behind this based on one very large jury verdict in Texas.

As I said, this is a huge perception issue in California. Wish I lived wherever you do - I wouldn't be getting ribbed so much about being a lawyer!

Thanks for the discussion AP! Have a great day. :toast:
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. NPR is trying to drive public opinion, They're not following it.
Edited on Wed May-26-04 12:05 PM by AP
Especially now that Edwards might be on the ticket.

Anyway, people are going to hear that story and they're going to wonder if they have toxic mold in their house, and wonder if, but for the negligence of someone who had a duty to remove it, it wouldn't be there.

They're not going to think, "those damn laywers are just not letting mold be mold."

People are way more freaked out about powerful people srewing them and making them unhealthy than they are about lawyers vigorously representing clients.

I really think America is past the point of blaming lawyers.

Insurance companies, banks, oil companies are enjoying record profits. The VP makes money off a company that manufactured asbestos.

Meanwhile, people are suffering. Health care in this country is crap, and everybody you know knows someone who has died of cancer.

I don't think people think lawyers are the problem anymore. Maybe in the 70s people thought they were leeching off an economic growth that everyone would have enjoyed more of without them. But now I think people are looking for people to speak up for them in a society where people at the top keep getting bigger while everyone else treads waters or sinks.

I really think the landscape has shifted. The media just doesn't have as an easy time of it finding evil lawyers because 99 times out of 100, scratch the surface of big jury verdict and you're more likely to find Erin Brokovitz than a guy faking a neck injury.

Even that McDonalds scalding case. When people here the facts they wonder why the plaintiff didn't get even more money.

The Republicans only have themselves to blame if this means John Edwards gets elected. If they hadn't been so gung ho against the civil justice system in the 70s and 80s, there's be a few more bad cases to exaggerate. There just aren't that many now.

We err to the other side now. More worthy claims get shut out of the courts than unworthy claims slip through.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #54
64. Well said, once again, AP.
In the McDonald's case, the evidence was overwhelming that McDonald's was warned dozens of times that their coffee was dangerously hot, and that other people had been needlessly injured, but they obviously didn't care enough to adjust the temperature. All they had to do was turn it down a few degrees and customers could have enjoyed their coffee but with much less risk of SERIOUS harm from accidental spills.

There are a lot of RW folks in the media who love to leave out critical facts in order to get people to draw the conclusion they want. They, not honest and competent lawyers fighting on behalf of the little guy, are the enemies.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #64
68. McDonalds wouldn't turn down the heat on the coffee because it was cheaper
for them to kill bacteria with heat than to keep brewing fresh coffee.

It was a profit-motivated decision and the jury decided the only way to get them to finally listen (and stop scarring people in order to save money) was to transfer all that profit to their victims.

It worked when nothing else would.

People tend to think that makes sense.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #52
65. It's very costly to bring a lawsuit and follow it to its
Edited on Wed May-26-04 01:38 PM by spooky3
conclusion. Corporations are in a much more powerful position than individuals because of their resources. When I hear the rants about lawyers and the litigious society, I often ask, "have you ever felt discriminated against at work? (or a similar question) Did you file a lawsuit over that? Have any of your friends ever felt unfairly treated at work or by a corporation? Did they sue?" I ask this of males, females, blacks, whites, everyone.

Almost invariably the speakers agree that they (and their friends) have had some unfair incidents in their lives, but didn't sue. Very rarely do they know of anyone who has. I then ask them whether that suggests that for every person who files a frivolous case, there are probably tens or even hundreds of people who could have filed a valid claim but didn't. They almost always agree. That's the end of the "litigious society" rant, at least in my presence.
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MontecitoDem Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. Well, we've had different experiences
I'm a lawyer and I've seen examples of greed on both sides - plaintiffs and defendants. In my practice I went up against a particular plaintiffs' firm that filed huge class actions, receiving millions of dollars in occasional settlements, while the individual plaintiffs themselves would receive $1.30 for their loss and trouble.

My husband runs a small school and virtually everytime someone gets fired (and even amazingly sometimes when they quit!) they get a letter from a lawyer threatening to sue the school in hopes of getting some cash. A few actually DO sue, even with absolutely no case because they know the insurance company would rather pay a small settlement than go through all the effort and expense to fight the suit. These are people suing a SCHOOL (a non-profit) - where any money they receive means less money for their former co-workers salaries and for financial aid, plus rising insurance costs.

So I'm speaking of my own experiences, not as some VICTIM of the MEDIA.

Finally, my point was ONLY that Edwards' trial lawyer experience will be seen as a negative by some. That's all. So ....
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #67
69. I can't remember the last time I saw a totally spurious law suit.
I can't even remember the last time I saw a semi-spurious law suit.

What was that huge class action suit, by the way.
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MontecitoDem Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #69
71. My case
One was a $100 million class action for investors in a sustainable energy project - there was no case and we (defense) won after 5 years of litigation (that's right - 5 years of plaintiffs and defendants lives being turned upside down all for naught!).

Another was a construction defect case, settled to avoid the costs and disruption to lives. Plaintiffs' all received tiny amounts (large class) while lawyers made over a million.

Other details I can't share! :shrug:

But hey, there are lots of GOOD plaintiffs lawyers out there doing GREAT work to protect the public. Again, I hope you are right about public perception. That's what we are talking about - right?

Anyway, we'll see what happens if Edwards gets the nod (seems likely to me - but what do I know!).

Best to you AP~
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #71
76. That first one doesn't sound like...
one where the parties had inequitable bargaining strength. Investors? Have at it. I'm sure everyone was lawyered up just fine at all stages (even before there were any signs of trouble) and knew what they were getting into.

And that second one: I really don't here many people complaining about class action suits. I think most people get into them knowing that the cost to reward ratio is so low they'd never get anything if they didn't participate in the class, and they're happy with whatever they get when it's over, even if it's just a couple coupons.

That's not saying there aren't class action abuses. I'm just saying that I don't think the public's perception is that society is falling apart because plaintiff's don't get A BIG ENOUGH PIECE of legitimate class action settlements/awards.

So, do you have any anecdotes about PI lawyers?
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Scoopie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #76
110. AP
Get over it.
I'm former media - I'm vilified, taunted and abused on this board.
If you don't like the general perception of personal injury attorneys, then you should get out of the kitchen for the flame is too hot.
PEOPLE REALLY HATE ATTORNEYS, POLITICIANS AND REPORTERS in that order.
Get a clue. OK?
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #110
111. Scoopie, lots of lawyers have become president.
Edited on Sun May-30-04 01:06 AM by AP
Furthermore, Edwards went from 10pts down to 2 pts up when Faircloth ran commercials about him being a lawyer.

Clearly there's something more complicated going on here.

(Also, JFK was a journalist, and every president is a politician.)
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #67
70. Here's a story today about reduced award for legal fees (37 mil). Guess...
...what?

These are corporate lawyers arguing about paying on a completion bond for the construction of a naval base in Brazil.

http://biz.yahoo.com/law/040526/7066ab567977a1769048f68...

I don't think this is the kind of stuff that hurts Edwards.

And I don't think you're going to see Republicans trying to spin these corporate deals as being bad for the economy. It's just when the little guy gets money from corporations and some lawyer gets 300K that it's suddenly evil.

When it's 40 mil for a corporate firm loaded with donors to the Repubican party, nobody on the right squawks.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #67
72. How many of the cases of the greedy plaintiffs did you accept
Edited on Wed May-26-04 03:47 PM by spooky3
and seek settlement on their behalf?

If you are as good a person as you seem to be portraying yourself, then I would bet the answer is zero. And that makes my point.

As for the instances regarding your husband's school system, you're describing only those cases that came forward. What *proportion* of all people who left, and all people who stayed but felt they were treated poorly (illegally), wrote these letters and filed these charges? If your experience is typical, there were dozens or hundreds of these people in the denominator, if you will, for every plaintiff with a frivolous case who actually went forward even as far as requesting a letter. You say "virtually everytime" but have you actually counted the numbers? If this is not an exaggeration, which I believe that it is because it is completely contrary to many studies that have been done on this topic, then your husband is doing an unusually bad job of selecting and managing employees, if every single person who leaves gets a lawyer so that they can take money away from children or because they genuinely feel treated horribly and therefore deserve to take revenge.

Further, I am certain that there were some cases directed at your clients that you felt were lacking merit but others looking at the same facts may not agree.

No one called you a victim of the media. You complained that people seemed to have negative views of lawyers. I attempted to explain in a supportive way why I thought those views were unjust and why people have them. Sorry if this was offensive to you.
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MontecitoDem Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #72
95. Gosh, where to start?
1. I didn't' represent any plaintiffs in the cases I discussed. For the most part I have represented individuals who have been sued, although I have had an occasional plaintiff. I made this clear in my posts. (BTW, I'm not trying to "portray" myself as good or anything else. I'm human; aren't we all?)

2. It's not a "school system" it's a school - a small one.

3. In four years, of the approx. 22 people who "moved on" half left because their spouse got a job in another community or they left to have children. Approximately 1 quarter retired. Of the six who were fired or quit because they received a negative review, five sent letters from a lawyer demanding some $$. The details of what happened next are private. In sum, people NEVER believe they are doing a bad job and love to blame someone else for it if possible. And if there is money to be had, people like to use it as a club.

4. Thanks for saying something rude about my husband - really appreciate that.

5. I didn't "complain" that people have negative views of lawyers. I stated that Edwards' history as a trial lawyer will be problematic for some voters, and AP and I were discussing that.

6. I have noted nothing "supportive" in your posts to me.

7. I could go on, but this thread was supposed to be about Edwards - right?

:hi: Later!
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #49
66. unfortunately, I believe you've been unfairly targeted by the media
including the late night comedians. I agree with AP that this won't last forever.

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:33 AM
Response to Original message
28. Edwards defended the little people against the big corporations
Edwards will be seen as a champion of the weak. The only people that will have problem with Edwards are those idiots that support tort "reform" which is nothing more than a gimmick to protect quacks and the big bad health and pharma industries.
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Thrill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. He has the rep of fighting
for little people against big companies as a trial lawyer. ITs not like he was a defense attorney who defended criminals.
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Skwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:26 AM
Response to Original message
30. Try personal injury attorney
Edited on Wed May-26-04 03:24 AM by Skwmom
or ambulance chaser. They won't be using the term trial lawyer to describe Edwards if he's on the ticket. Personal injury attorney has a MUCH higher negative connotation (which the Republicans are well aware of). After reading comments on this thread, it's really no surprise as to why the Democrats are so bad at winning elections. Edwards was a personal injury attorney who made MILLIONS off of cherry picking his clients. He wanted to represent sure winners so that he could get his big pay off. Trying to paint him as some great defender of the little guy is ludicrous.

Many states are faced with a crisis because obstetricians can no longer afford to pay their malpractice insurance. Edwards got some questionable awards against obstetricians in his state. They will hang this like an anchor around Edwards neck. They will say that all Edwards cared about was padding his own pockets. He didn't care that pregnant women were going to be stuck without doctors to deliver their babies.

Furthermore, everyone agrees that it's not if we have another terrorist attack in U.S, but when. What if something happened to Kerry in an attack? Would the American public be comforted by knowing a personal injury attorney is assuming the role as commander in chief? Let me give you a hint - NO.
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ngGale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Edwards has a great 'tort' reform plan, look it up...n/t
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Skwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. Edwards great plans.
Edited on Wed May-26-04 03:26 AM by Skwmom
The problem with Edwards great plans - I don't believe he's committed to seeing those great plans enacted (especially when I take a look at his senate record to date - sticking up for corporate interests while sticking it to the little guy).

"Edwards, who comes from a state where banking is big business, played a critical role in brokering legislation to allow banks to sell mutual funds and insurance, and to engage in other speculative ventures. This law, worth hundreds of billions to the banks, blasted a gigantic hole in the Glass-Steagal banking laws firewall of protections designed to prevent the kinds of bank collapses that marked the Great Depression of the 30s meaning that it put the money of Joe Six-Pack depositors at risk." (A Populist Make-Over Meet John Edwards, the Corporate Man, http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Jan04/Ireland0129.htm


In my book, a guy who will pretend to channel an unborn child in closing arguments will say anything (the problem is determining when exactly he is telling the truth). As someone told me the other day, Edwards has a high "smarm" factor (as in smamry).
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #32
36. I also wonder how the "channeling of the unborn" will work
in a debate re abortion. :shrug:
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. It didn't help Lauch Faircloth in '98.
people knew it was a ridiculous non-issue then, and they'll know it this time, too. However, it might raise a few eyebrows to find out that Wes Clark voted for Reagan and Bush 1 both.

Does the shoe pinch, when worn on the other foot?
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #37
41. Sorry, I don't buy your analogy.
The RW media will have a field day with Edwards on this issue.

As for Clark's republican votes 15 years ago, too much emphasis will simply show pugs and independents that it's never too late to see the light.

My shoes feel fine, thanks.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #41
43. I think Padraig's point was that you're scared about a failed strategy.
The Repugs tried the very "field day" approach that worries you, and they failed miserably, in a conservative state. There is no evidence whatsoever that this smear tactic will be more successful with the country as a whole.

Why anyone should be ashamed of both living the American dream (making a fortune honestly) and helping the less fortunate in the process (versus running roughshod over people) is beyond me, and I think most Americans would be similarly smart enough to see through the Repugs' desperate and unsuccessful BS.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #41
44. It's a valid analogy.
Edited on Wed May-26-04 10:30 AM by Padraig18
Edwards never 'channeled' anyone, although the Republican-created, fax-blast talking points repeated here are sure to attempt to make it seem that he did. What Edwards did is what an effective trial attorney does--- he made an EXTREMLY impassioned closing argument--- a soliliquy, if you want--- one which helped him win the case in question.

It is an undeniable fact, however, that Clark did vote for Reagan and Bush 1; trust me, that can be spun to MUCH more vicious effect against him in any hypothetical VP debate, and that isn't 'spin'.
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #44
48. I believe that Clark's votes 15 years ago are actually helpful
in attracting republicans and independents. As for democrats, the more dems learn about his progressive platform, the more impressed they are with him. Also, the fact that he testified before congress that the IW was unneccessary should help with the anti-war vote.

Thanks for the explanation about "what an effective trial attorney does..." but it is unneccesary as I spent eight years as one.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #48
51. Then you knew that the 'channeling' thing was horseshit, right?
Edited on Wed May-26-04 11:47 AM by Padraig18
:wtf:
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #51
55. What I PERSONALLY think about the "channeling", and Edwards'
background as a PI attorney, is irrelevant. I would certainly vote for a Kerry/Edwards ticket.

My concern is how he would be perceived by others, especially after the RW media is unleashed on him.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #55
57. The RW media will be unleashed , regardless.
Edited on Wed May-26-04 12:06 PM by Padraig18
They'll do their best to savage ANY VP nominee and, since none of them are ten feet tall and Teflon-coated, they all have points of vulnerability. What the RW media are going to say about our VP seems pretty poor criteria for selecting our nominees, frankly.

PS--- And what you think about the 'channeling' is not irrelevant, since you injected the fact that you spent 8 years as a trial attorney into the discussion; your thoughts are QUITE relevant, that being the fact of the matter. As they say when someone objects during cross-examination, 'you opened the door, counselor'...
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. I don't care what the media says about any of the VP contenders...
but I think it is incredibly naive to believe that their spin will not have an impact on swing voters and disgruntled republicans. And yes, I think a former PI attorney is much more vulnerable than, say, a 4-star General.

I also think we're getting into territory that has been covered extensively. :boring:
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cybildisobedience Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #57
62. agreed....
Jesus could come down off the cross and run with Kerry, and they'd crucify him again. The Right-wing lunatics and their corporate-controlled media will do their best to destroy ANYONE who runs against Bush -- that isn't the issue. It's who will fight back!
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Skwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #57
73. It's a lot easier to attack a personal injury attorney
with a record like Edwards than a man that his dedicated his life to serving his country.
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PeaceProgProsp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #73
75. Right. What about McCain? What about Clark last August?
Bush easily turned fact that McCain was a POW into a liability. Remember how they invoked the Manchurian candidate mantra and questioned his sanity?

And then look at Clark during the primaries. They interviewed a few liars who just had to say the guy was TOO smart and his troops didn't like him. It wasn't true, yet it probably worked to undermine his voice as an effective voice of criticism of our hail-fellow-well-met pResident.

And then we have Edwards who only gets more appealing the more you know about his work as a lawyer (witness 1998 and all of 2003).

There may be more negative stereotypes floating around about PI lawyers than there are about generals, but I think recent history proves that it isn't easier to slander one over the other, and, in fact, there are specific examples of two military guys easily having doubts created about them, and one PI lawyer who has been impregnable to having doubts sowed about his work as a lawyer.
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Skwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #75
78. Edwards gets more appealing?
Sorry to inform you but I've found the more people know about Edwards the less they like him. Try ZERO pro bono work for a start. Oh course he was too busy defending the poor and downtrodden and making millions off of their misery to do any pro bono work. I'm really surprised Saint Edwards didn't at least start a charitable foundation to help the poor and unfortunate (oh yeah I forgot, he was too busy buying million dollar homes).

In regards to his legal work I can just hear the interviews of pregnant women who can't find an obstetrician to deliver their child because attorneys like Edwards drove them from practice. That should go over like a lead balloon with the American public.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #78
79. The lead balloon thing doesn't just cut against Edwards.
Edited on Wed May-26-04 06:26 PM by Padraig18
Contray to what Clark supporters believe, there are actually LOTS of Democrats who are absolutely APALLED at the idea of putting a man who voted for Reagan (twice) and Bush 1 (once) anywhere NEAR out party's ticket this November. I'm not one of them, but they exist in significant numbers, as I think Clark's showing in the Democratic primaries indicate.

Wes Clark is not ten feet tall and Teflon coated, so some folks here might want to use some discretion before they start posting 'crap' about any fellow Democrat--- stuff like that has a nasty tendency to come right back and bite them in the ass.
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Skwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #79
89. Those Democrats will vote for Kerry anyway.
His past voting record will hardly hurt him with swing/independent voters which are the voters that we need to win over in order to win in November.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #89
103. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
8 million Democrats should have voted for Al Gore over Commander Bunnypants in 2000, but they didn't, and one reason may have been Lieberman.
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PeaceProgProsp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #78
81. Edwards's clients were only poor and downtrodden before E. rep'd them.
Afterwards they were doing fine.

That's what a pro bono lawyer does. Uplifts the downtrodden.

And, um, Edwards and his wife did start a charity. It's called the Wade Edwards Learning Lab and it gives kids a place to go after school and take advanatage of resources they might not have at home.

See, people who know the truth about him (or spend their time trying to learn it rather than spread lies about him) actually like him BECAUSE of all the things you try to spin as negatives.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. The NYT printed that story in mid-January, right? Edwards only got
stronger after mid-January.

The fact is, just as in NC in '98, the more you talk about what he did as a lawyer, the more people like him.
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Scoopie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #37
86. In a general election
the fact that Clark voted for some popular Republicans at a time when, obviously, so many others were, too, is not an issue for anyone but people on the far left.
I'd venture that us Independents and those disgruntled Republicans we're trying to sway to the Kerry side will see this as a plus.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #36
63. There was no "channeling of the unborn."
Please be specific with a citation, unless you're referring to a case where Edwards spoke on behalf of a child harmed by a manufacturer, who I believe was a toddler at the time of injury.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #32
39. If the fourth most liberal senator is too conservative, we're fucked.
Kerry And Edwards

..

Judging by National Journal's congressional vote ratings, however, Kerry and Edwards aren't all that different, at least not when it comes to how they voted on key issues before the Senate last year. The results of the vote ratings show that Kerry was the most liberal senator in 2003, with a composite liberal score of 96.5. But Edwards wasn't far behind: He had a 2003 composite liberal score of 94.5, making him the fourth-most-liberal senator.

...

Edwards, on the other hand, had a moderate voting record during the first four years following his election to the Senate in 1998. The results positioned Edwards comfortably apart from Senate liberals, but not so far to the right that he locked arms with centrist Republicans. His consistent moderation placed Edwards among the center-right of Senate Democrats. But once Edwards decided to run for president and abandoned his bid for a second Senate term, his record moved dramatically to the left in 2003. (See chart on Edwards's lifetime vote ratings, next page.)

...

As a result, in the 2003 vote ratings, Kerry received a rating only in the economic policy category, earning a perfect liberal score. Edwards received ratings in the categories of economic and social issues, also putting up perfect liberal scores.

A separate analysis showed that of the votes that Kerry cast in the two categories in which he did not receive scores in 2003 -- social policy and foreign policy -- he consistently took the liberal view within the Senate. Edwards did not receive a score in the foreign-policy category; he sided with the liberals on five votes in that area, and with the conservatives on one vote. On foreign policy, Kerry and Edwards -- both of whom supported the 2002 resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq -- last year joined most Senate Democrats in voting that half of the U.S. reconstruction aid to Iraq be provided as loans, a provision that ultimately was dropped.
..

http://nationaljournal.com/members/news/2004/02/njcover...
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 04:36 AM
Response to Original message
33. All Edwards has to say is- "I work for a living, I earned every penny..."
...I cant say I inherited one cent of my money,-I did in fact earn it in the profession of law..."
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bklyncowgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 05:17 AM
Response to Original message
34. Nobody's perfect
No matter what the Republican smear machine will find something to attack our guy.

With Edwards it's being a trial lawyer. Personally the guy's lack of experience is more of a problem for me--I'm sure they'll use that too, not to mention his and Kerry's damaging the environment by using too much ozone destroying hair spray.

I don't really have a horse in this race except that I want Kerry to choose strategically and find someone who can help him win.
BTW I think that under certain circumstances--e.g. things start going better in Iraq, Edwards could be a good choice.
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cosmokramer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
38. Don't worry. He won't pick Edwards.
Never happen.

You don't see him trotting out Edwards on the television networks when the primary issue of the war and FP is spoken of--which is all the time.

He NEVER uses Edwards to combat the war issues...NEVER.

He won't be VP, so the trial lawyer issue is moot.
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dryan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. This is Edwards' profession.
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cidliz2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #38
109. LOOKING BEYOND THE "CONGENIALITY" FACTOR
If Clark never entered the race, I would have seriously considered Edwards for a few more minutes before deciding on someone else.

Edwards appeal is mostly superficial and that ain't good enough for a country in a quagmire of a war, as well as being in massive deficit and the object of newly acquired distrust and dislike of former allies as well as growing hatred and fear from enemies.

Edwards is a one term Senator with less than one term experience in Government. He is articulate, he has charisma, he is intelligent, is a great debater and knows the law. But where is the EXPERIENCE in CONDUCTING WARS, Diplomacy, National Security and the intimate knowledge of the Pentagon? THAT is where we need the most talent RIGHT NOW.

Bush was elected primarily because he was the type of guy that people felt comfortable "having a beer with". He was plain spoken and had a charisma of his own. Face it, he appealed on a SUPERFICIAL level to enough Republicans and others to get him within win of the White House. He wasn't (s)elected on his credentials. He didn't really have any to boast of now did he????? In fact he had things he would like to have hidden and did. Edwards is the same type of candidate(minus "the things hidden") He is someone people like/aspire to? He has no record to run on or any experience to prove that he is QUALIFIED for the job.

Bush won a "Beauty Contest" (so to speak) Edwards is pretty much running the same.

The difference is that Bush ran during a fairly prosperous peaceful time. Many Americans were not particuarly worried about anything other than who was the most "likeable" and unlike Clinton. Americans were not worried about thier very lives, thier jobs and their families. Their votes were used rather lightly in 2000 - or even unused.

2004 will bring solomness back to voting. I believe that Americans will think about who is most qualified on helping this country. I don't think that they will vote mainly on likeability. Americans will vote on the best qualifications and most trusted. This is an important election, maybe one of the most important of our time and we cannot afford to shortchange our country by putting the "congeniality" factory at the top of the priority list for people voting. People in 2004 will look beyond the "congeniality" factor to get us out of this mess. They will look for the MOST QUALIFIED.

2004 voting will be kind of like looking for a demolitions expert, when your in the middle of a live minefield.
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Darkamber Donating Member (507 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
45. Doesn't bother me in the slightest..
In fact the more you know about Edwards and the cases that he has taken and the odds he's fought against and won, the more you would want him on your side and fighting for you.

You have to remember that Edwards would be fighting for us or fighting for Kerry and the democrats.

Don't let the stories from the Insurance Industry cloud your views. There are good lawyers and bad lawyers. Edwards is one of the good ones.
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
46. which would be worse?
a trial lawyer who has always been a democrat or a General who spent much of his adult life as a Republican? I think both are mute points.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #46
56. What's important is conviction.
And I think the consistency of Edwards's professional career and his political career shows that he has a lot of conviction about doing what's right.

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Skwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #56
88. Oh really?

"Edwards, who comes from a state where banking is big business, played a critical role in brokering legislation to allow banks to sell mutual funds and insurance, and to engage in other speculative ventures. This law, worth hundreds of billions to the banks, blasted a gigantic hole in the Glass-Steagal banking laws firewall of protections designed to prevent the kinds of bank collapses that marked the Great Depression of the 30s meaning that it put the money of Joe Six-Pack depositors at risk." (A Populist Make-Over Meet John Edwards, the Corporate Man, http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Jan04/Ireland0129.htm
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Doosh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
47. didn't hurt him one bit in the primaries
It could've been used as an issue against him, but nobody dared. Heck, the Personal Injury Lawyer used the 4 star general as a doormat!
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #47
87. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
50. No, I'm totally enthused by it. Bush wouldn't dare alienate lawyers.
And Edwards knows how to fight. JK was an attorney also. It would be a great team!
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Skwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #50
80. John Kerry was NOT a personal injury attorney.
There is a big difference between the legal experience of Kerry and Edwards. A personal injury attorney is the equivalent of a used car salesman in the legal arena.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #80
82. So your saying personal injury attorneys are what?
:shrug:

I think they are necessary and I am glad for them. I realize he and JK have different legal backrounds.
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Jai4WKC08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #82
115. It's about perceptions, not reality
There are a lot of people, esp along the moderate to right-wing side of the spectrum, who are fed up with people suing who spilled hot coffee on themselves (and yes, I know there were merits to that case), and who chose to smoke for 40 years, or to eat Oreo cookies, and all the other law-suits they consider "frivalous." They blame the rising cost of doctors' bills and medical insurance on what they consider unreasonably high awards for malpractice, and THAT they blame on the lawyers.

You can talk all day about how the claims are justified, and how the lawyers are protecting the interests of average citizens. And you would be right, for the most part. But a lot of people, people Kerry needs to appeal to, will never see it that way and the RNC, Rove, etc will do everything they can to exploit those perceptions.

And I don't care how many independent/moderate votes Edwards got in the primaries (or why, but that's a different issue). The media didn't publicize that aspect of Edwards' background, not ANYthing like the Rovians will make sure the right-wing media harps on it. And then it will get picked up in the mainstream. And the point will be made that there are two lawyers on the ticket, and Kerry's role as a prosecutor will be ignored. Right or wrong, lawyers are one of the least trusted and respected professions in the country.

I'm not saying that being a personal injury lawyer by itself should stand in the way of Edwards as VP. I personally think there are MANY better reasons he shouldn't be, but there are worse choices out there too. But it's a legitimate concern that's worth considering.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
61. You think so?
I bet that a lot of Americans either have or know someone who has depended on a trial lawyer to force just compensation out of an insurance company after an accident.

My parents were in a head-on collision caused by a drunk driver in 1978, and the insurance company tried very hard to settle for $1500--which was a ridiculous sum even in those days. They needed one of those horrible trial lawyers to get compensation for things like having to spend six months in a body brace.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #61
74. Good point!
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
77. While - Crooked CEOs - are regarded so.... highly
think adelphia, enron, tyco, and worldcom.
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VOX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
83. Absolutely not. He'd make a fine Veep candidate...
Any time Edwards speaks, anyone with 1/2 a heart and 1/2 a brain is moved and feels connected.

We should be so lucky as to have Edwards as our VP candidate.
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Scoopie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
84. It's not that he is a trial lawyer
Heck, Kerry was a trial lawyer - a prosecutor.
It's that Edwards was, in the vernacular, an ambulance chaser.
(Don't get your knickers in a wad, Edwardians, that IS the slang for personal injury attorneys. I didn't make it up.)
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Darkamber Donating Member (507 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #84
102. No I expect Insurance companies did...
It's a term that has been used by Insurance companies to paint Personal Injury Lawyers in a bad light and to make people hate them and not trust them.

I wouldn't call it slang except for use by those people who want you to hate Lawyers.

We need Personal Injury lawyers. They are the only defense we have against big Corps and insurance companies who are only concerned about the stock holders and the profit margins.

I would list some horror stories of what was attempted to be done to innocent victims before they had a Lawyer to protect their rights, but it would take too much space.

Just remember that anytime they they want to attack a personal injury lawyer that they have to attack the victims as well.
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Alerter_ Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
85. Trial lawyers that sue arrogant corporations are fine with me
I'm smart enough to know that "tort reform" is code word for "let the corporations off easy".
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genius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
90. Trial lawyers are superior to all others. Next question.
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Endangered Specie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
91. Repo's would find a way to smear Edwards even if he was Jesus Christ.
Trial Lawyer is a respectable position (sure as hell beats alot of other lawyer types) Edwards has soo many things he can play on (his background, upbringing, cases etc...)
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Skwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #91
92. Then why does he have to distort his background and upbringing?

"But whats under the hair and behind the smile? He was born Johnny Reid Edwards in a small mill town, but abandoned this moniker as too Snopes-y when he began the legal career that made him super-rich. He constantly says hes the son of a mill worker, and to hear him tell it, he pulled himself up from poverty so crushing it evokes images of shoeless Lil Abner. His Two Americas rally-pleaser gets much of its power from this poor-boy autobiography, but in making this tale his central campaign theme, Edwards gave his family history a cosmetic make-over, like the one he gave his name."

http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Jan04/Ireland0129.htm

God what a smuck.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #92
96. Johnny Reid Edwards is the name on his birth ceritificate.
Edited on Thu May-27-04 01:24 AM by AP
His working class parents probably never imagined that that name would end up on the front door of a law office.

I can't believe you're criticizing the guy for going by "John Edwards."

Incidentally, Doug Ireland is a schmuck. The LA Weekly published his trashy article and they must have felt pretty bad about it because they ended up endorsing Edwards (IIRC). A couple weeks later they published a much more even handed story where the journalist acutally went to NC and interviewed people. I consider it the equivalent of a retraction.
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MontecitoDem Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #92
97. The name thing seems fairly silly
Doesn't seem like an issue of any importance to me. Plus, all politicians tell a "story" about their life - playing up certain issues. Are you saying Edwards is untruthful? Is that your concern? I don't know much about Edwards at this point. He does seem to drum up alot of supporters and detractors here at DU though!
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Cuban_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
98. Republican National Committee talking point #12.
Or is it #15? :eyes:
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Scoopie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
100. Apparently
It bothers this group tremendously:

http://www.edwardswatch.org

EdwardsWatch.org is a project of the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA). Founded in 1986, ATRA is a broad based, bipartisan coalition of more than 300 businesses, corporations, municipalities, associations, and professional firms who support civil justice reform. Click here for sample list of organizations that support liability reforms.

Unfortunately, once tort reform has been enacted, reform opponents usually undertake orchestrated attempts to repeal the law, or have it declared unconstitutional by state courts. ATRA monitors these developments as part of the Judicial Observer program, and mounts defensive responses as required. ATRA also submits amicus briefs when appropriate.

ATRA also works closely with local and statewide citizen-activist groups around the country called Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
101. This RNC bullshit does not work.
What happened when Edwards beat the Jesse Helems political machine? He proved to North Carolinians that he was not just some slick trial lawyer. Edwards proved that he stood up to the big corporations and helped the little guy.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
104. Abraham Lincoln was a trial lawyer.....
John Quincy Adams handled the Armstead case... FDR was a lawyer- John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe all were lawyers.

Bill Clinton, of course was a lawyer- as was *gasp* Richard Nixon.

In all, 25 of the 43 US Presidents have been lawyers....

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TexasSissy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
105. Yes. I thought of this during the Dem. candidate nom. phase.
With the hysteria about tort reform and greedy trial lawyers, one can't overlook that the Bush camp would make hay of this.

In fact, part of Bush's new "healthcare reform" plan is tort reform, to supposedly bring down the cost of healthcare.

But in the end, they will make hay of something about any of the candidates, so being a trial lawyer may be better than some of the other problems that could exist. Still, ....
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-28-04 05:55 AM
Response to Original message
106. In one word
Edited on Fri May-28-04 05:56 AM by fujiyama
NO.

The only thing about Edwards that bothers me is a difficulty in debating Cheney on the Iraq war, and its effect on the war on terrorism (which has been negative). That and he doesn't have much experience in foreign policy.

Though when it comes to economic issues, he would kick ass. His "two Americas" speeches send a very clear message. His experience as a trial lawyer has always been in defense of ordinary people. If anyone pulls that "he's just a ambulance chaser" crap, Edwards should just show the kind of cases he worked on.
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GalleryGod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-29-04 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
107. Or That Cheney STILL Gets $$$ from Halliburton! Apparently not.
Pickin' Pepper outta Fly shit :silly:
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paulie5 Donating Member (59 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-29-04 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
108. What's wrong with trail lawyers ??
Lawyers that go to trial in defense of any clients are just doing they're job. What's the big deal ? Taking a certain part of any profession and demonizing them is slander. Unless of course your profession is starting unnecessary wars, killing thousands of people and being a habitual liar. mmm Who fills that bill?? Sounds like Preznit Bunny Pants to me.
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surfermaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
112. Why ..The best thing some men have is a Lawyer and 12 man jury
And sometime the ones that need them most is the last to realize the fact.
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