The American Association for Justice (AAJ), formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) begins it’s annual convention today in Chicago. The group counts over 50,000 members from the USA and several foreign countries. Their members primarily represent those who have been harmed by careless drivers, bad doctors, and the makers of dangerous products. President Bush has vilified the group and it’s members during many of the past State of the Union addresses because his constituents do not share the same views as AAJ. Those opposed to holding Corporate America, insurance companies, and drug companies personally responsible are groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Medical Association, and the American Tort Reform Association. Those sharinig AAJ’s views on many topics are AARP, Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, and Public Citizen. AAJ members are the David’s taking on the Goliath’s of the country, and that is why President Bush, Karl Rove, and the “establishment” are so opposed to them. Polls are now showing that ordinary folks, when given the choice of a candidate who supports them versus those who support the Enron’s of the world, choose the candidate who supports their interests. Groundless attacks on trial lawyers and the good work they do isn’t resonating much these days on Main Street, USA, something AAJ members can be happy about when they meet this week.
This morning, the American Association for Justice released an important poll. It shows significant anxiety concerning corporate misconduct and large support among voters for a strong civil justice system to ensure corporate accountability and fairness. Key findings reveal that:
* Americans are deeply worried about their nation’s future, and concern about corporate misconduct is a major source of their anxiety. “Worried swing voters,” who see corporate irresponsibility as a central problem, may play a pivotal role in the 2008 election.
* Voters support the civil justice system as an important remedy for corporate misconduct, and reject legal “reforms” that restrict plaintiffs’ ability to hold corporations accountable and obtain fair restitution.
* Voters will support candidates who defend the civil system over candidates who assail “frivolous lawsuits” and advocate “tort reform.” Pro-civil justice candidates not only command overwhelming support from swing voters, but also appeal to significant blocks of Republicans.
The report can be found online at: http://www.justice.org/pressroom/CJSPollMemo.pdf.