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Lawyer Acts Like the Cows



   I always laugh when I see the Chic-Fil-A ads. First, cows make me laugh. When I was on the farm and the cow was trying to kick me;  Well, that wasn’t so funny. Plus, why do cows get out of bed so early?  Now, I seem far removed from that swinging hoof.

     Second, the ads are funny because cows are supposedly “holding meetings” and standing on billboards, in an attempt to encourage us to buy more chicken. It’s self-serving because the cows don’t want you to eat beef. We don’t even mind it. Self-serving seems funny. Now, you’ll see why those cow ads came to mind. Plus, I’d like to work those cows into my blogs on a regular basis anyway.

      State Senator John DeFrancisco (R-NY) is a lawyer. In the New York legislature, he has recently introduced a bill that would increase the percentage of legal fees that a lawyer can charge in medical malpractice cases. Can you hear “mooing in the background?

     Currently, the New York law caps what lawyers can charge, based on the total amount of recovery in a malpractice case. Right now, a lawyer can receive 30% of the first $500k recovery and then the fee goes down, to about 10% thereafter.

     The proper argument is that the legislature should not cap or impact a contract between individuals. Or, argue that if you are going to limit what a plaintiff’s lawyer can charge, then the legislature should limit what defense lawyer can bill per hour. Fair is fair. You can rest assured that the Big Defense Firms would not make that trade.

     Instead, the current legislation has potentially caused individuals some difficulty in finding representation. It may not have been portrayed that way but I’m sure there were some Medical Lobbyists who got a good laugh out of this legislation.

     Those are the good arguments. Conversely, no one feels sorry for lawyers who complain that they are not earning enough. Plus, a legislator who is a lawyer, is not the most effective communicator for this kind of bill. Instead, this story will be portrayed as “Lawyer wants more money”. 

     It’s ok to have cows selling chicken. I just think that there might have been a better spokesman for the cause on legal fees. Maybe a non-lawyer who was hurt by bad medicine.  Anyway, all of a sudden, I have a real hunger for one of those Chic-Fil-A sandwiches. I hope they don’t raise the prices!

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