The Wall Street Journal has this article on the competition among plaintiff lawyers to be selected as the lead counsel in the Toyota sudden-acceleration MDl pending in California. The article states:
The first hearing is scheduled for May 13, and lawyers are on edge about whom U.S. District Judge James Selna will pick to run the plaintiffs’ case. They’re strutting their stuff in official applications filed with the judge.
For the Japanese auto maker, which declined to comment for this story, billions of dollars in legal liability could be at stake as it fights suits tied to its recalls of vehicles because of sudden-acceleration issues. The lawyers’ quest is a pot of as much as $500 million in fees. Only a few will share it.
More than 100 lawyers have filed more than 75 federal civil suits. Most of them aim to hold Toyota responsible for a drop in the resale value of its vehicles.
Anyone who has practiced law for more than a week knows that you can’t necessarily identify the best lawyers from their resumes. The reasons probably include that resumes do not show lawyers’ common sense, people skills, tenaciousness and whether they are hard workers.
With all due respect for Judge Selna, she needs another method to award the lead plaintiff counsel role. She needs the Super-stars.
That’s right, I’m talking about that 1970’s show that ran on ABC on Sunday afternoons where stars from various sports battled it out in various events to determine the true Super-star. Many kids had the image of their role model shattered by seeing that a super-star couldn’t swim or sucked in bowling or the obstacle course.
Likewise, a Toyota lawyers Super-stars competition will separate the contenders from the pretenders. Lawyers will not be able to hide behind large verdicts or settlements in their own jackpot justice backyards. They will have to compete on the track. And the pool, bowling alley, obstacle course, etc.
Judge Selna needs to decide this by the Super-stars. It’s the only fair thing to do.