What fuels this intensive soliciting is the contingency remuneration of most lawyers, especially in Personal Injury or liability law. Think about it: the more misery you are in, warranting hopefully a larger settlement, the more money your lawyer makes as a percentage! Hence the terms: bottom-feeders, ambulance-chasers, etc. In
Perhaps the most striking abuse of this contingency remuneration is the CLASS ACTION SUIT. All that the firm needs is about five complainants with similar gripes and they have the all too lucrative class action suit, meaning they can be looking for settlement multipliers. Look at how much money was made by the lawyers in the tobacco settlement, the asbestos settlement, and even the Holocaust survivors’ settlement! The math is frightfully simple: Let us say a law firm is awarded a million dollar settlement for a class suit of 100 plaintiffs. The firm will take about $350,000+ off the top and the 100 plaintiffs will divide amongst themselves the remaining $650,000 meaning $65,000 each which is only about 1/6 of what the lawyers made! That is all the more unconscionable as those plaintiffs could be dying form cancer or be Holocaust survivors or worse. Where is the fairness in that?
Nothing classy about these Class Actions which recently seem to be targeting more and more the Healthcare industry, i.e. pharmaceuticals (1-800-bad-drug) and medical devices manufacturers (hips, knees, etc.), thus raising the costs for all of us healthcare consumers and insurers. How is that addressed in OBAMACARE? I doubt it is since lawyers undoubtedly take care of their own.
To illustrate the above, I was personally the victim of a Vespa accident 24 years ago. Of course I had to hire a lawyer who was promptly referred to my ICU bed by my orthopedist, with documents in hand to sign (with my left). I did not play my role very well like my lawyers instructed and discharged myself AMA from the ICU to go back to work. I also did not follow the script at the deposition (I was simply glad to be alive despite having been pinned under a truck). When I explained that very fact to the junior lawyer and that I was not a freeloader but would rather work hard and earn my living the old-fashioned way for myself and my family, he said outraged something that I will always remember: “what about my kids?!”
Last summer, while on vacation at DR I met a lawyer who was awarded a 9.5 million dollar malpractice settlement (his share about 1.6 millions). It was a slam-dunk case and he lucked out because of religious connections. All he had to do is write a long letter to the CEO of the hospital. That put his rate at about $10,000 a minute. Not too shabby!
I also have another legal friend who has for me a standing offer: "Refer to me a paraplegic or better a quadriplegic and you will not have to work another day in your life." Believe me I have been looking!