Friday, August 25, 2006

Lawyers' Greed Damages Profession

Let's face it, lawyers as a group do not enjoy the best of reputations; and when we have a situation like the one in Kentucky where three lawyers were suspended by the State Supreme Court over a division of the spoils in a fen-phen diet drug cases involving $200 million dollars, all lawyers suffer to some extent.

Linda Gosnell, chief counsel for the Kentucky Bar Association, called it a "case of absolute, unbridled greed."

We are inclined to agree with her assessment when 440 clients get a share of about $45 million and the attorneys, consultants, and for all we know, relatives of the lawyers, split $155 million.

One of the lawyers (we're purposely not mentioning their names here) claimed the $23 million he pocketed was fair and well within his 30 percent.

He may be right, but perception and public opinion must account for something.

How fair is it when the clients who were harmed by the deadly drug mix receive a little more than $100,000 and an attorney walks away with $23 million?

That doesn't sound fair to us, and cases like this only further damages the public perception of an entire noble profession.

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