The Daily

Mudlarks United

I watched the American Bar Association’s recommendation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court. It all made sense. She’s highly qualified. We can all celebrate that she served as a public defender, tried civil rights cases, and served as a trial judge before being elevated. These are qualities that are historically underrepresented on the court.

Do you know who else is historically underrepresented on the highest court? Civil trial lawyers who pursue justice for serious injury victims. Personal injury trials make up sixty percent of civil court dockets, according to the Department of Justice (link here).

My favorite Justice – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. – famously influenced much of our tort law, but even he practiced commercial and maritime law in Boston after graduating from Harvard. His father was a poet and he was friends with William James. Hardly a street-fighting man.

So there they sat: all those #ABA suits, with their #BigLaw pedigrees and Ivy connections. They proudly extolled the breadth of their comprehensive review of law firms that employed “six to sixty” members. Do you know what lawyers in those firms know about investigating, litigating, and trying every aspect of complex cases from beginning to end? Not much. In the compartmentalized practices of the large law firms (mostly insurance defense behemoths), the streets where clients live, work, and get injured are far below their high-rise offices.

Avenatti hasn’t helped our reputation much. But allow me the room to hope for the day when an actual trial lawyer who has spent his or her career putting his or her skin in the game (alone and without assistance) is represented on the Court to bring the experience of plaintiff litigants to the court review process.