On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times ran an editorial pointing out that finding one bad apple in the barrel doesn't meant there aren't plenty of good, shiny red ones left:
[Via How Appealing]
Famous -- or make that infamous -- class-action attorney William S. Lerach pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy, admitting his role in a $11.3-million kickback scandal that has upended his former law firm, the pathbreaking shareholder advocacy firm of Milberg Weiss.
As part of his plea, Lerach will pay $8 million to the federal government, and could spend up to two years in prison. Responding to news of the deal, tort reform advocates seized the easy opportunity to make sport of Lerach's downfall. But for those tempted to argue that his crimes make the case for curtailing class-action suits sharply, we'd like to offer the objection that such an argument overstates the evidence. Paying plaintiffs to sue is illegal and should be. Zealously representing injured clients is not and shouldn't be.
To the contrary, it's a necessary calling that benefits victims and society. ....
.... The best outcome of Lerach's fall wouldn't be the demise or even the curtailing of the class-action lawsuit. It would be weeding out lawyers who abuse the system. Such action would assure that legitimate class-action suits get their fair hearing in court.