May 30, 2008

Plaintiff's Lawyer in Texas Vioxx Case Suggests Appellate Justices Were Influenced by Campaign Contributions

Yesterday we blogged about Merck's appellate victories in two Vioxx cases that involved large punitive damages awards. Mark Lanier, the plaintiff's lawyer in the Texas case, has issued a press release suggesting that he lost because the "activist" appellate justices were swayed by campaign contributions: “This decision was handed down by a group of judges who regularly accept campaign contributions from law firms representing corporations that appear in their courts. We will appeal this decision to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.”

Hat tip: WSJ Law Blog.

Update: Ted Frank at Overlawyered has some harsh words for Mark Lanier. Frank suggests that Lanier may have violated the Texas rules of professional conduct when he implied that campaign contributions from law firms influenced the appellate court to rule in Merck's favor.