Monday, February 10, 2003

John Grisham disagrees [watch the video of his Today Show interview] with a WashingtonPost.com review of his latest book, "The King of Torts." Interestingly, Matt Lauer misquotes the review when he leaves out of his quote who the book is about, and when he says "parantheses tort lawyers." The full review quote is"John Grisham's new novel is several things -- a great read, a love story, a parable of sorts -- but above all it is a scathing attack on the lawyers who have amassed great wealth by winning class-action lawsuits against the tobacco industry, pharmaceutical companies and other corporate malefactors. These mass tort boys, as Grisham calls them, are presented as shameless, greed-crazed ambulance chasers who enrich themselves off the misery of others and whose only real interest is acquiring ever-larger yachts and ever-younger women. I can't think of a bestselling novelist since Sinclair Lewis who has so relentlessly bludgeoned a particular segment of our society." The book is about mass tort lawyers who handle class action lawsuits, a very small subset of plaintiff's litigators. Apparently that distinction is too fine for the folks over at Today.

Also, Grisham, I think, unintentionally misstated the attorney's fee in mass tort clas actions. I believe, if memory serves, that the fee first is set by the Court, and second is only in the neighborhood of 25%. His references in the interview about taking from 33% to 50% does not apply to the typical -- if any -- class action.

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