Matt Yglesias points out that most Americans don’t resent trial lawyers nearly as much as Republicans seem to think they do:
There are a lot more potential product liability plaintiffs than potential defendants — we all buy stuff, and relatively few of us own companies that make stuff. What’s more, if ordinary people really hated plaintiff’s attorneys, it’s hard to see how it would be possible to ever win these big jury awards that the “tort reform” crowd hates so much.
Indeed. And he channels Ruy Teixeira’s numbers to prove it. They’re encouraging. Not that long ago I was watching the old, bad movie The Devil’s Advocate whose premise is pretty much summed up in its plot, and whose end essentially argues that the devil’s scheme is to fill the world with lawyers so that sinners can get off easy. Personally, if I were devil, I’d follow Shakespeare’s advice and kill all the lawyers – all the better to remove all checks and balances and screw the masses, be it the profiled and wrongly accused or the victims of corporate malfeseance and crimminal wrongdoing the right loves to hate. Are there nasty lawyers out there? Of course. There are also a hell of a lot of nasty congressmen.