Remarks by David C. Johnson, Luncheon speaker at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) Annual Convention educational session titled, "Tort Reform: An International Problem With International Solutions" Boston, July 7, 2004
Here's a bad day for a trial lawyer:
You turn on the Morning Show and they're talking about how the high cost of lawsuits is raising the price of medical care.
This tabular presentation is an overview of a number of problems with the U.S. election system, with some of the proposed solutions. It is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather to give others a starting point.
This comprehensive report describes the conservative movement's goals and methods in its sustained, effective campaign to undermine the civil justice system. A network of seemingly-independent organizations is funded by a small cluster of conservative foundations, motivated both by an ideology interest in weakening constraints on the conduct of corporate entitities and a political agenda that seeks to limit trial lawyers' ability to contribute money to "the left". The so-called "tort reform" movement utilizes an extensive conservatve communications network to disseminate ideological messages to the public and political leaders. A coordinated, strategic communications and marketing campaign will be required to counter this assault on the civil justice system.
This is the Introduction of "The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law"
References for "The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law"
Notes & References
 Stern, Seth. "Now, trial lawyers could use a good lawyer - The long-maligned group faces a host of legislative moves to curb its influence." Christian Science Monitor. June 10, 2003. Viewed August 7, 2003 <http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0610/p02s02-usju.html>
Section 1 of "The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law"
Tort Reform Organizations and the Far Right
"For the last 15 years, insurance companies, manufacturers of dangerous products and chemicals, the tobacco industry and other major industries have been engaged in a nationwide assault on the civil justice system. In nearly every state and in Congress, corporations and their insurers have waged a relentless campaign to change the laws that give sick and injured consumers the ability to hold their offenders responsible for the injuries they cause. . .
Section 3 of "The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law"
Section 3 - Effectiveness of the Tort Reform Campaign
The Right Sets the Public Agenda
In recent years, the Right and the tort reform movement have enjoyed unprecedented success in influencing both federal and state legislation and policies by: 1) using organizations perceived by the public as independent, 2) repeating the anti-tort message as consistently as possible through multiple channels, 3) employing sophisticated communications methods, 4) following a coherent long-term plan, and 5) coordinating both ideologically and tactically with the Right's network of advocacy organizations.
As a result, the Right's message amplification infrastructure successfully drowns out significant opposing voices. As People for the American Way Foundation's study "Buying a Movement" has put it:
This is the beginning of Commonweal Institute's report "The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law" in HTML format (a series of cross-linked web pages).
You can also click here to read the entire report in PDF format.
"With Republicans in charge of much of Washington - and moving to put limits on litigation - the headquarters of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) could be described as a building under siege. [. . .] ATLA lobbyists are fighting a wave of legislation aimed at capping what juries can award, curbing class-action suits, and protecting individual industries from litigation. Similar bills are getting passed in states, and even attorneys themselves are piling on - filing petitions to limit plaintiff lawyers' fees.
Appendix 4 of "The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law"
Examples of the Involvement and Funding of Right-Wing Organizations That Advocate Tort Reform
Section 2 of "The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law"
The right-wing foundations described in Section 1 fund a coordinated network of advocacy organizations, providing general operating support rather than funding narrowly-focused programs. At the center of this network are multi-issue, e.g., tort reform, school privatization, pro-life, etc., think tanks that are marketing and communications organizations, oriented aggressively toward media relations and public communications, as well as traditional scholarly idea generating institutions. Because they address a variety of issues from the same philosophical perspective, the think tanks are able to advance an underlying ideological agenda.