Rep. Grayson's Shakedown Lawsuit Threat

fullsail_cermony_281f1-575x270Editor’s Note – So, while being paid to represent the citizens of Florida’s congressional district 8, which is suffering through a stagnant economy and record unemployment, Rep. Alan Grayson finds himself distracted with the lofty task of playing savior to the world.

In this case, he is spending time that should be focused on his constituency tying up D.C. courts, proving that you can take the trial attorney away from the hustle, but you can never take the hustle away from the trial attorney.

To be clear, you have a U.S. Congressman wanting to be the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against an American corporation, some 900 miles away from his district.  The results of which having no bearing whatsoever on those he represents.  Enough said?

This is yet another example of the Progressive mentality that free enterprise is evil and profit is bad, unless, of course, that profit is going to such liberal stalwarts as the academia class, the entertainment industry or trial attorneys.


Rep. Grayson’s Shakedown Lawsuit Threat

By  Deborah J. La Fetra
Human Events

“Shakedown” lawsuits against businesses have a new champion: Florida Democratic Rep Alan Grayson.

The lawmaker from Orlando wants to import to the District of Columbia a scheme that allowed lawyers in California to run a litigation protection-racket against mom-and-pop businesses.

In a case now before D.C.’s local Court of Appeals, Grayson is asking to have the District’s consumer protection ordinance interpreted—or, rather, misinterpreted—to permit lawsuits against businesses even if the plaintiff didn’t suffer any injury.

In other words, this self-described “progressive Democrat” is trying to subvert a key safeguard against frivolous lawsuits: The requirement that the plaintiff show tangible “standing,” including harm caused by the defendant’s conduct.

California’s disastrous experiment with gutting the rules of standing should flash warning signals to the judges who are considering Grayson’s case—and to the D.C. business owners and residents who would be the ultimate losers if he wins.

California’s Unfair Competition Law was a classic example of a consumer protection law that didn’t help consumers nearly so much as it enriched ethically challenged attorneys. Lawyers could sign up basically anyone as a plaintiff, whether or not the person had ever patronized the business being sued, much less been harmed by it. Thousands of other uninjured individuals would then be added to the suit, in a class action-style scheme.

The main goal? To force the business to settle.

But now, Rep. Grayson proposes bringing to D.C. the odious practices that were rejected in California. Even though he is an out-of-District plaintiff who has suffered no injury, he argues that he should be allowed to be the lead party in a “representative” action, purportedly on behalf of District residents, none of whom have demonstrated any injury either.

The defendant is AT&T, and the issue is phone cards: Who gets the money that is left over when people don’t use all the minutes? Grayson’s lawsuit says this money should be given to the District, rather than kept by the phone company.

It is undisputed that Rep. Grayson would not be allowed to pursue this lawsuit if he were required to show that AT&T caused him any injury.

If the court sides with the Rep. Grayson—and says, in effect, “No injury? No problem!”—D.C. will become the newest happy-hunting ground for lawyers seeking fast bucks at employers’ expense.

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