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May 27th, 2011

Personal Injury Lawyers Love New York

Having defeated Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s modest medical liability reform proposals — including a $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages — earlier this year, New York’s trial lawyer-dominated legislature in Albany is now trying to take the already high-liability state’s law in the opposite direction. 

The bill, which is good for personal injury lawyers but bad for health care providers, would, among other things, preclude defendants and their counsel from conducting informal interviews with potential witnesses, requiring instead that such discovery take place in costly depositions with plaintiffs’ counsel present.

According to Thomson Reuters, the “bill’s sponsors, many of whom moonlight at personal-injury law firms, have been criticized by good government groups for the potential conflict of interest . . . .” 

Potential conflict of interest?!  All of corrupt Albany revolves around such obvious and corrosive conflicts, led by personal injury lawyer and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.  A Silver protégé, Assemblyman Rory Lancman of Queens, is the principal sponsor of the bill and is “of counsel” at the Manhattan law firm Morelli & Ratner.  Yet his biography, posted on his Assembly website, makes no mention of this law firm employment.

To its credit, the New York State Bar Association opposes Lancman’s bill, arguing that it flies in the face of a full and open discovery process.  

Should the legislation make it to Gov. Cuomo’s desk, he ought to veto it unless he wants to make medical care in New York even more expensive and less available.

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