Tuesday, March 06, 2007
On this day:

John Edwards - Trial Lawyer Extraordinaire

A commenter to my previous post asked, "Why the knock on trial lawyers?" Well, I didn't mean to knock on all trial lawyers - except to suggest that poking fun at them is fairly easy and often entertaining - and that Ann Coulter would have been in far more respectable company had she made a joke about John Edwards the trial lawyer as opposed to John Edwards the sexual being.

Lawyers have been the butt of jokes since the dawn of lawyerdom. Since we obviously can't (and probably shouldn't) kill them all, as proposed by Dick the Butcher in Henry VI, we might as well make jokes about them. I don't see any harm in that, really, as long as we understand that - like toilet paper - lawyers are among the many tools necessary for civilization to clean up its messes. If they didn't exist, we'd have to invent them. The same goes for lawyer jokes.

Which brings me to John Edwards. I noted in my last post that "He owes his rather large fortune to his success in capitalizing upon the misfortunes of others." I believe that to be an entirely defensible statement, given his record as a plaintiffs' attorney in North Carolina, where he made his millions suing doctors and hospitals over often-dubious medical malpractice claims. (See here (CNS News) and here (Washington Times) and here (New York Times), for example.) Edwards is the type of guy who could buy a brand new Ferrari and write it off as a plausible business expense - an "upgrade" required to keep up with today's speedier ambulance fleet.

The other day, Edwards said, "I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs." There's a lot of truth in that, I believe, but for John Edwards to say it with a straight face shows that either he's had a change of heart or that he's just as insincere now in seeking votes from the American electorate as he was back in North Carolina when he was seeking the votes of jurors.