Trial lawyers benefiting from lucrative public contracts make 99% of donations to Democrats, report finds
Group focused on campaign donations from employees at eight major law firms
Trial lawyers at some of the nation's leading firms made 99% of their campaign donations to Democrats, as lucrative government contracts flow to their profession, according to a new report that crunches Federal Election Commission data from 2017 through 2020.
The new report by the Alliance for Consumers uses a sampling of eight major law firms whose employees made a combined $15 million in political contributions over the four years. Of the $15 million given by employees – not the law firms themselves – $14.85 million went to Democratic candidates and committees, the group says.
"Most would say that trial lawyers are probably not conservatives. But 99% of contributions are higher than the most aggressive unions," O.H. Skinner, executive director of the Alliance for Consumers and a former solicitor general of Arizona, told FOX Business. "The amount of money is higher than from employees of BlackRock, Twitter and Nike."
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The eight law firms sampled were Simmons Hanly, which represents local governments in major litigation; Motley Rice, a firm that won the 2021 Elite Trial Lawyers Award for government representation from American Lawyer Magazine; Morgan & Morgan; Lieff Cabraser; Baron & Budd; Grant & Eisenhofer; Berger Montague; and Cohen Milstein – law firms that have state contracts in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Jersey.
The government-backed contracts also include jurisdictions such as New York City, San Francisco and Baltimore on such matters as seeking damages against fossil fuel companies over climate change as well as pension fund lawsuits against corporations, Skinner said. While these lawsuits are typically pushed by governors, state attorneys general and city councils, the money still works its way to federal campaigns as well.
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Congressional Democrats attempted to pass a $2.5 billion tax deduction for trial lawyers as part of the failed $3.5 trillion Build Back Better legislation, Skinner noted.
He also added that one of the firms, Cohen Milstein, is representing House Democrats in a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump regarding the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
"Trial lawyers want to get rich. But they are also happy to be the foot soldiers in getting the Green New Deal accomplished in courts," Skinner said. "They have hijacked consumer protection law and turned it into a money-making machine for left-wing candidates and left-wing causes."
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The American Association of Justice, a lobbying organization for trial lawyers, did not respond to phone and email inquiries for this story.
Lawyers from the eight law firms gave more than $4 million to either the Joe Biden presidential campaign or the Democratic National Committee, according to the report. They gave another combined $4 million to Democratic Senate candidates, as well as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
They gave more than $2 million to Democratic House candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The rest went to committees linked to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.