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Thursday, July 26, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 8:30 AM | permalink
As we all know, before Fred graced the set of "Law and Order" he worked as a real trial lawyer for a number of clients that ranged the gambit from white collar criminals to family members of a Marine who was killed. According to the Washington Post Thompson:
... worked as a lawyer who argued against the government's authority to regulate drug paraphernalia or to search a boat packed with 14 tons of marijuana.

Once, two decades ago, he urged that more witnesses refuse to testify before grand juries by invoking their constitutional right against self-incrimination, boasting that "I start on the assumption that my client will not testify." And over the years, lawsuits he filed helped a state worker win reinstatement to her job while exposing a parole bribery scheme and won money for the family of a Marine pilot killed by a helicopter blade when the family could not sue the Defense Department.

It seems the ties to trial lawyer money ran deep into his Senate campaigns:
"We viewed him as someone we could work with, particularly given he had been an advocate in court for individuals and corporations, and had an innate understanding of what went on in a civil jury," explained Linda Lipsen, the chief lobbyist for the American trial lawyers lobby group that Republicans often pilloried for opposing tort reform during the 1990s.

Unlike many Republicans during the 1990s, Thompson easily collected large sums of political donations from lawyers during his Senate career -- more than $1.5 million over eight years. The trial lobby's political action committee gave him maximum $10,000 donations during each of his two Senate campaigns.

Apparently, he voted in kind:
In the Senate, Thompson routinely voted against legislation aimed at shrinking the size of fees that attorneys could collect and rejected limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, bucking his own party. Most Republicans supported such reforms, arguing that trial lawyers routinely filed frivolous lawsuits or won unnecessarily large awards that drove up the cost of insurance and products.

The American Conservative Union gave Thompson a lifetime score of 86, placing him in the middle of Republicans it rated. The group noted that he voted against two of the four lawsuit changes the group supported.

"When you are taking a look at Thompson as a conservative," said ACU Chairman David Keene, "the negatives come down to plowing around with John McCain on campaign finance and a general sense that he sided with trial lawyers because of his background."

The story goes on to note that Thompson has recently supported certain aspects of tort reform but the conclusion can only be reached that Fred's trial lawyer days are not that appealing to conservatives.

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1 Comments:


On further reflection, maybe Thompson could secure a large settlement representing the lady whose free speech rights were trampled in the post below.




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