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Trial Lawyers Inc.

  Trial Lawyers Inc.: Attorneys General
   A Report On The Alliance Between State AGs And The Plaintiffs' Bar 2011


Trial Lawyers Inc.: Attorneys General
A Message from the Director
Introduction: Tobacco
Securities and Finance
Public Nuisance
Leadership Team
Other Resources
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State-Sponsored Lawsuits Are Trial Bar's New Cash Cow, James Copland, Washington Examiner, 10-25-11
Obama's CFPB Nominee Abused Private Attorney Contracting in Ohio, James Copland, Washington Examiner, 10-25-11


James Copland on Wall Street Journal Live
He discussed his new report, Trial Lawyers Inc.: Attorneys General on 10-27-11.


James Copland appeared on the following radio programs to discuss his new report, Trial Lawyers Inc.: Attorneys General:
FM News Talk 97.1's "Randy Tobler Show," 10-29-11
WABC's "John Batchelor Show," 10-27-11
WTPL's "Bulldog Live with Brian Tilton," 10-26-11
SBA's "Small Business Advocate with Jim Blasingame," 10-26-11


Honorable Edwin Meese, James Copland, and Professor Lester Brickman discussed Trial Lawyers Inc: State Attorneys General in a nationwide conference call. View the event.


Hood's No-Bid Contracts Criticized, Madison County Journal, 10-27-11
Report Details The Ties That Bind AGs, Trial Lawyers, Forbes, 10-25-11
Miller Denounces Report Ranking Him Among Friendliest To Trial Lawyers' Agenda, IowaPolitics.com, 10-25-11
Politics New Report Exposes Cozy Relationship Between State AGs and Trial Lawyers, The Blaze, 10-25-11
McGraw Criticized in National Report on State Attorneys General, West Virginia Watch Dog, 10-25-11
Hood Says Political Foe Abused His Office at DPS, Picayne Item, AP, 10-25-11
Report: Obama Nominee, Some AGs Too Close To Plaintiffs Bar, Legal News Line, 10-25-11
State Attorneys General Rake in Trial Lawyer Cash, Dole Out Contracts, Watchdog.org, 10-25-11

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Many of the "leaders" among the state attorneys general allied with Trial Lawyers, Inc. went on to higher office—among them California's Jerry Brown, New York's Eliot Spitzer, Rhode Island's Sheldon Whitehouse, and Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal. The following state AGs have shown themselves to be among the friendliest to the plaintiffs' bar's litigation agenda:


Buddy Caldwell


Although Louisiana technically prohibits the state from hiring outside counsel on a contingency-fee basis, Caldwell has continued the practice of his predecessor, Charles Foti, in seeking to work around (and persuade the legislature to reverse) the law; he parceled out the state's lawsuits over the Gulf oil spill to plaintiffs' firms that had collectively donated $145,000 to his campaign.[126]


Richard Cordray


Former Ohio AG Cordray, who aggressivley contracted out the state's securities-litigation business with law firms that had donated generously to his campaign, was recently nominated by President Obama to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under Dodd-Frank, Cordray will have substantial latitude to work with his former state AG cohorts and friends in the litigation industry.[127]



Jim Hood


Federal judge Jack Weinstein lambasted Hood for his "slash-and-burn style of litigation" against Eli Lilly. Hood also made news by hiring firms that had donated to his campaigns to file shareholder suits. And in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he teamed with tobacco lawyer Richard Scruggs to challenge the enforceability of private contracts with insurers.[128]



Gary King

New Mexico

Continuing the path trod by his predecessor, Patricia Madrid, King retained the powerful Bailey Perrin firm of Texas on a no-bid, contingency-fee contract to sue Janssen Pharmaceuticals over the off-label marketing of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal—after receiving $50,000 from the firm for his election campaign.[129]


Darrell McGraw

West Virginia

Beginning with the multistate tobacco litigation brought by the states, McGraw has made a habit of offering no-bid contracts to plaintiffs' lawyers—in suits against pharmaceutical manufacturers, credit-card companies, and even, incredibly, his own state's Bureau of Employment Programs.[130]



Tom Miller


America's longest-serving state attorney general, Miller has generally kept a fairly low profile—until recently, when he assumed control of the state lawsuits challenging mortgage foreclosures, after which fresh wads of out-of-state cash flowed into his campaign coffers.[131]



Mark Shurtleff


Utah's long-serving Republican attorney general has made it standard practice to hire plaintiffs' firms on a contingency-fee basis; the Steele & Biggs firm, which was awarded over $4 million in a settlement with Eli Lilly over its marketing of the drug Zyprexa, was hired by Shurtleff after donating $58,000 to his campaign—and hiring his daughter to work as a paralegal on Zyprexa cases.[132]



William Sorrell


Shortly after he was appointed by then-governor Howard Dean in 1997, Sorrell pushed a bill through the legislature that retroactively changed Vermont law to allow the state to join suits against tobacco companies. Sorrell has subsequently signed his state on to misguided suits like the one targeting energy companies for global warming.[133]



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126. See ATRA, supra note 41, at 8-9.
127. See Maremont, supra note 64.
128.See, e.g., O'Brien, supra note 51; Y'all Politics, supra note 77; Editorial, supra note 125.
129.See ATRA, supra note 41, at 12.
130. See id. at 16-17.
131. See FollowtheMoney, supra note 85.
132. See John O'Brien, Pharma Suit Has Familiar Ring for Utah AG, LegalNewsline.com, May 14, 2010, at http://www.legalnewsline.com/printer/article.asp?c=227136.
133. See H. 749, codified as Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 33, §§ 1904, 1911 (1998).





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