Some Vioxx Attorneys Seek Judicial Relief from Ethical Conundrum
Claiming that the $4.85 billion Vioxx Settlement improperly "allows [defendant] Merck to dictate the advice a lawyer will offer" to clients, some Vioxx plaintiffs' attorneys have asked the federal judge overseeing the deal to "keep some of their clients outside the settlement while still allowing other clients to accept it."
Under the global settlement agreement reached by lead counsel in New Orleans last month, "if the lawyers want any of their clients to receive money from the settlement, they must recommend the deal to all their clients."
Those attorneys resisting the requirement are saying not only that the provision "would prevent them from offering the best independent judgment for each client" but that "[a]greeing to the provision might open them to future lawsuits from disgruntled clients."
Previous commentary on the ethics of this provision by legal bloggers, including our own thoughts here, can be found at the Legal Ethics Forum here, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog here, FindLaw here; the Mass Tort Litigation Blog here; Drug and Device Law here (but please don't call them for comment); Texas Lawyer here; and, Pharmalot here.
Have you ever seen such high level free legal advice in your lifetime? And it's not even redundant. So, no, Concurring Opinions, I don't think we've saturated the legal blogosphere. I think everyone is just taking a deep breath to sort through the talent and find their niche.
In the meantime, have we stopped being troubled by the advertisement of pharmaceuticals direct to consumer (image above) as if they were laundry soap?