Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lawyer Explains "Cy Pres Comme Possible" as a Lawyer Scheme

What she does not say is that the entire subject of torts is a false pretext to transfer assets from the productive to the parasitic. I suggest ending all lawyer self-dealt immunities to bring this scheme to the schemers.

"A common law doctrine, it originated in the area of charitable trusts where its application is justifiable — and least susceptible to abuse. A typical example is a trust established by a now deceased grantor to benefit a local library that no longer exists. What does the trustee do with the money? A court can order the funds rededicated to one or more nearby libraries, thus respecting the decedent’s evident purpose cy pres comme possible (“as near as possible”). Sensible enough. But like everything else that had a legitimate original purpose, sharks got hold of the doctrine, took it where it doesn’t belong (with the aid of liberal judges) and are engaging in feeding frenzies.

Cy pres crept into that most pernicious of bench-bar collusions: class action settlements. In large part, class action litigation is a judicially sanctioned shakedown industry. We’ve heard the countless stories of clever hustlers with J.D. degrees raking in millions putting together an arrangement whereby a mass of strangers is invited to consider drowning in paperwork for an award of $10. And the deal usually involves giving others room at the trough — class and fund administrators, special masters and other court-appointed parasites. Class action consent decrees are too frequently entered into by corporations for reasons wholly unrelated to the merits of the suit. Government defendants are worse offenders. Particularly in race discrimination class actions, politicians can easily collude with plaintiffs to produce consent decrees to get around laws they don’t like and gain what a jury would never give them."

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