Musings —12.03.2016 10:48 AM—
In Ontario, where I live, I don’t think any single group has destroyed the reputation of what was once a noble profession – the profession of law – more than personal injury lawyers. With their 50 per cent contingency fees, and referral fees, and “litigation financing,” and whatnot, they are a disgrace.
You see them leering at you from the backside of every bus, and even above urinals at the ACC: you won’t pay a cent! We only get paid when you get paid! Trust us!
Well, you shouldn’t. And the “lawyers” at the very bottom of trial lawyer barrel are Diamond and Diamond – who have now finally been exposed in a huge Toronto Star exposé this morning, here.
Some of the highlights:
- Their “award-winning” trial lawyer has actually never tried a case
- They don’t actually work on most cases – they just refer them somewhere else for a fat fee
- Clients say their private information has been given to other lawyers without permission
- The face of the Diamond firm has been charged with passing off counterfeit money in a casino
- He has called one client a “fag” and others at the firm call clients “retarded”
- They are the subject of umpteen complaints about advertising and ethics
Not every personal injury lawyer is a scumbag, of course. Many years ago, I worked with a few who seemed to be decent. But they, in part, let this weed sprout up everywhere. Money talks, I guess. (Oh, and do you want to know one of the main reasons why insurance is sometimes so expensive? It’s because of fraud, and because of outrageous contingency fees and referral fees charged by trial lawyers. That’s why.)
And what has the law society done about this? Pretty much nothing. What have the CBA and OBA done about it? Nothing that I am aware of – and I used to sit on their executives. What has the province of Ontario done about contingencies and the like? Zero, zippo, zilch. Diamond and Diamond are scummy, to be sure, but the blame for this appalling situation is not all theirs. Others let it happen.
I think the Star is just getting started on this issue. (At least, I hope so.) We will see what they do next – and what the once-noble legal profession does.