An article in Businessweek magazine this week discusses how the American legal system dispenses justice like an assembly line. The article states that 95% of criminal cases are resolved by plea deals. Defective produce claims are settled in class actions that benefit the lawyers more than the alleged victims. Now, plaintiffs’ law firms are bundling tort claims like mortgages.
In the context of a recent law suit, marketing companies recruit mass clients through television advertising and then “bundle” them, sell them and “trade” them to attorneys. These lawyers don’t meet with their clients, file pleadings, attend depositions or even go to a courtroom. These lawsuits operate as a mass “claims-processing center, where the numbers are huge, the clients commodities, and the paydays, when they come, stratospheric.”
While plea bargains in criminal cases may be necessity, these mass marketing programs that create victims and treat the cases as commodities are troubling and should be investigated by state bars around the country.