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Legal News: Law Blog - WSJ.com
Coming Soon, to a Movie Theater Near You: Tort Reform Videos!
By Ashby Jones
And now for a little curmudgeonly rant: We don’t like movie trailers. Never have. We don’t like that they hold you captive before the movie starts, often give away far too much of a movie’s plot, and we really don’t like that these days they can delay the start of the movie by 15 or 20 minutes. (Part of it’s our own fault — we always feel so silly having finished our Raisinets before the movie’s opening credits roll.)
Well, now comes a movie trailer the likes of which we might actually get to the theater early for: a law-related movie trailer. That’s right. Next month, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will unveil four short clips to run before feature films in Washington, D.C.-area movie houses. The clips, which you can watch here, all tell a story of supposed “Lawsuit Abuse” — cases in which people were allegedly dragged into the legal system with the filing of a frivolous lawsuit. One features the parents of a 7-year old child who was sued after a skiing accident. Another features a small business that was sued after a goose that was staying on its property snapped at a passer-by.
"Lawsuit abuse and the harm it brings to everyday Americans and small businesses is one of the great American tragedies,” says Lisa Rickard, the president of the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform, formerly of Akin, Gump. That's why the silver screen is the perfect venue for these Faces of Lawsuit Abuse short films."
According to a U.S. Chamber spokesman, the trailers will air “for at least a month” at four theaters in D.C. — including the Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14 (pictured), which is very close to the headquarters of the American Association for Justice, a main lobbying arm for the nation’s trial lawyers. After that, says a U.S. Chamber spokesman, they’ll move to a handful of theaters outside the Beltway.
We checked in with a spokesman for the AAJ, Ray DeLorenzi, who gave us this fun little quote. “With U.S. Chamber’s core membership receiving all those taxpayer bailouts, they must be flush with cash to waste on PR stunts like this. Like their lobbying agenda, these ads are rated NC - not suitable for consumers.”
Now, we’ll just sit back and hope that someday the AAJ’s unveils its own movie trailers. Ah, such fun.
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