Progress on Pay to Play

Tiger Joyce of the American Tort Reform Association says the strong backing of the state AG can make all the difference. “The Attorney General must be on board for changing the system in our experience,” says Mr. Joyce. “Not just lip service but actively promoting it.”

However, some state AGs have a vested interest in the status quo. Mississippi’s Jim Hood has resisted reform and regularly hires private attorneys who have donated to his political campaigns. Last week Mr. Hood announced the state’s $18.5 million settlement in a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly over its marketing of the drug Zyprexa. According to the Jackson (Mississippi) Clarion Ledger, “The Houston, Texas law firm of Bailey Perrin Bailey—which donated $75,000 in campaign contributions to Hood—and a Mississippi firm will earn $3.7 million in outside counsel legal fees from the Zyprexa settlement.”

WSJ Editorial
2/12/10