July 21, 2006
That's one way to raise those campaign dollars
A California lawyer tells doctors that they should not expect to be asked to testify in workers' compensation trials unless they contribute $2,500 to Phil Angelides' campaign for governor.
A Beverly Hills lawyer who represents injured workers before the state has told doctors that he and his colleagues will not refer clients their way unless they contribute at least $2,500 each to defeat Gov. Schwarzenegger. The group representing the attorneys who specialize in workers compensation insurance cases immediately disavowed the lawyer's comments.
Attorney Lawrence Stern, in a June 26 email, said that "we at CAAA (California Applicants Attorneys Association) have taken a pact not to support any (doctor) who has not contributed at least $2,500 to the elections..." The mail was sent to Marlena Garland, who markets the services of the doctors, known as agreed medical examiners, or AMEs, in the workers compensation insurance system. Copies of the email also were sent to ranking CAAA members, including former CAAA President David Schwartz and current President David Rockwell.
Angelides spokesman Brian Brokaw said the Angelides campaign, "had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was a stupid mistake, we condemn it, and we're glad that CAAA moved quickly to remedy the situation."
Stern, a member of the CAAA committee that specializes in industrial relations, urged AMEs "along with us to stand shoulder to shoulder and to reach into their pockets, if necessary sell their Mercedes or not buy a new one for another year and help us get rid of Arnold (Schwarzenegger)." Stern noted that the AMEs have benefited from client referrals, and "it is time they started paying something back."
Garland and Stern were not immediately available to comment.
CAAA spokesman Steve Hopcraft said that Stern "crossed the line" in the solicitation. "You can't compromise the independence of the doctors who are supposed to be chosen by both sides. He crossed the line, and he's been told that. It is just one member who got over-enthusiastic and over-zealous. He's apologized," Hopcraft said.
As far as I can determine on the basis of Google searches, this story has been carried by CapitolWeekly and nowhere else. The web page for the CAAA describes the organization this way:
The California Applicants' Attorneys Association (CAAA) is the most powerful, and most knowledgeable legal voice for the injured workers of California. Serving California's injured workers since 1966, CAAA has been built with the support of its members who recognized the necessity of an active voice for injured workers.
A web page for Lawrence Stern describes the attorney as past president of the Los Angeles chapter of the CAAA, and currently serving as Court Appointed Arbitrator in Personal Injury and Product Liability matter.
Posted by James Hamilton at July 21, 2006 06:41 AMdigg this | reddit
Gee, I guess Stern must have been taking lessons from Tom Delay and his replacement John Boehner who have collected hundreds of millions of dollars by shaking down the K Street lobbyists. The difference being, of course, that Stern was caught before he could do any harm and immediately denounced by both the lawyer association and the Democrats. Boehner is still happily raking in the dough for his grateful patrons in the Congress and White House. As we all know, It's Okay If You're A Republican (IOKIYAR).
Posted by: Joseph at July 21, 2006 11:59 AM
What criteria does the other side in these cases (the state, or the employer) use in selecting doctors? Is it likely that they will select doctors who often find real injuries? That email is making visible criteria that always exist and simply aren't stated. The association objects more to the visibility than the existence of the criteria.
Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at July 21, 2006 12:16 PM
Joseph, if Delay was so evil, why did the Democrats sue to keep his name on the ballot? If he is back in Congress next year, there should be no question that the reason is because the Democrats insisted on putting him back in.
Posted by: JDH at July 22, 2006 06:27 AM
We are going to vote for Arnold. I am independent but usually vote for the Dems. My wife is a Democrat.
Posted by: HZ at July 22, 2006 02:10 PM
Oh,please, James. Now you're being deliberately obtuse to the point of being just downright insulting. It's very obvious why the Democrats want him on the ballot -- it's because they think he can be defeated because of his scandalous reputation or else defeat a write-in replacement. The reason Delay is on the ballot is not the Democrats. It is because Republicans voted for him in the primary. He must remain on the ballot because it is the law, pure and simple, and a federal judge agreed. The Democrat brief said "political parties are not free to make a mockery of the electoral process" or play "shell games with nominees in order to retain a seat in Congress at any cost."
Delay won the primary but now the Republicans want a do-over to substitute a less objectionable candidate because they are afraid he will lose. So why didn't Delay just get out before the primary if he knew he would lose the general election? It was because he was able to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions for the primary from his K Street buddies which he is allowed to convert into his legal defense fund as soon as he resigns. He's trying to con the system and the Democrats are calling him on it.
I'm having a hard time deciphering whether you are trying to defend the behavior of Delay or are just trying to blame his situation on Democrats. Either way, it is baffling.
Posted by: Joseph at July 22, 2006 02:18 PM
"I'm having a hard time deciphering whether you are trying to defend the behavior of Delay or are just trying to blame his situation on Democrats."
You answered your own question above. On any number of occasions, JDH has demonstrated his membership in the It's Okay If You're A Republican religion.
It boggles the mind, but it's true.
Posted by: RN at July 23, 2006 05:08 PM
RN, I agree with JDH on the subject of reducing the number of gasoline formulations that you link to. As to his "religion", I don't think it is clear. Sometimes I agree with him and sometimes I don't. I don't have a problem with that.
Posted by: Joseph at July 23, 2006 06:13 PM
Joseph, my point is that, in my opinion, the Democrats lost the moral high ground with respect to Delay through these court cases. If you believe he was corrupt and abused his power, what does it say about someone who knowingly caused such a man to return to power, for the sole purpose of advancing their own political agenda?
Posted by: JDH at July 23, 2006 06:31 PM
RN, I continue to maintain that accelerating the transition to the winter fuel requirements was extremely helpful last fall. If you are persuaded otherwise, I'd be interested to know what leads you to conclude that.
If your only reason for objecting to the policy is the concern that, "but that's what a Republican would do!", then you are quite correct in inferring that there are some basic differences in how you and I analyze the world. Though for what it's worth, it seems quite plausible to me that a Democratic administration would have made exactly the same decision that you criticize in response to the logistical challenges raised by Katrina.
Posted by: JDH at July 23, 2006 06:42 PM
Do you really believe that the Democrats want Delay to return? They want his name on the ballot because they think they have a better chance of defeating him than some handpicked replacement. How is that losing the moral ground? They want to make sure that neither he nor one of his corrupt friends return to office.
There is also the legal issue. Delay was selected by the democratic process of a primary election. Now the Republicans want to disregard the choice of the people and choose their own candidate in a smoke-filled room. That is not democracy. That is just more dirty politics.
Delay chose to run in the primary and then declared his intention to resign almost the next day. He did this to raise funds for his legal defense. The Republicans should have to pay the price for their gaming of the system. To allow them to replace Delay's name on the ballot at this late date is just a scam to put one of Delay's crooked proteges in office.
Posted by: Joseph at July 23, 2006 07:04 PM
...in my opinion, the Democrats lost the moral high ground with respect to Delay through these court cases.
So the court finds that Delay and the Republicans have illegally tried to manipulate the election system and the Democrats stand up for the rule of law and somehow they have lost the moral high ground? That's a pretty backwards interpretation of the situation.
Would it have been better if the Democrats had just stepped aside and allowed Delay to corrupt the election by taking a poll, deciding that his odds don't look to good, and then hand pick some other Republican to take his place. Isn't that what the primaries are for according to law?
The Democrats just want an honest election in which they can run a candidate against Delay's political record as the law provides. It seems very straight forward to me.
Posted by: Joseph at July 23, 2006 09:00 PM
Two words to end this debate, New Jersey. It was apparently okay for the Democrats to remove their own primary winner when it suited their needs. And of course the recent McKinney loss in the primaries. Such a class act there. And another great showing with all the anti-semetic remarks when Lieberman lost his primary... regardless of what you thought of the guy, stooping to that level really impressed me (pardon me while I roll my eyes)
Both parties have their share of scumbags, so what's the issue here again? I mean, does anyone REALLY think that these guys are actually representing us? I mean, the last presidental election wasn't about Kerry being better, just about him not being Bush.
So... anyway, subject on the blog. Anyone else have an issue with the whole "he got overzealous" bit? I think something more than an apology ought to be in order, not because of the political aspect... couldn't care less really. I think that as a representative of the legal system, even an off-handed remark like that does two things: it demeans the legal system, making it more about $, less about the law. Secondly it helps to do nothing less than perpetuate the negative image of lawyers and the profession in general.
Anyway, that's my $0.02
Posted by: Greg at August 23, 2006 07:02 PM
"making it more about $, less about the law."
The first point is impossible, as that's ALL it's about now. The second point is only possible by changing from complete and utter disregard to actual intention to subvert the law... which would actually make it LESS about the money.
"Two words to end this debate, New Jersey."
"The Democrat brief said "political parties are not free to make a mockery of the electoral process" or play "shell games with nominees in order to retain a seat in Congress at any cost.""
Um, yeah... see "New Jersey", above. Any such claim regarding the Dems is this matter is a complete and utter JOKE.
Now, I'm not saying the Repubs are any better (they aren't), just that the Dems actually, already, and recently did EXACTLY what they are now complaining about the Repubs doing... and you're saying that makes them "honest". What a TOOL.
Posted by: Deoxy at August 24, 2006 07:42 AM