Tuesday, July 21, 2009


There are few words out there less appealing to hear as a Plaintiff's lawyer than the accusation that something is "frivolous." It's what the Health Care lobby has paraded around for years to help cut down on malpractice suits (doctors have to charge a lot because insurance is high because of all the "frivolous" lawsuits), tort reform (insurance lobby?) (ambulance chasers waiting to file "frivolous" claims), etc.

The problem is that the term is so overused that people forget that it has meaning. Quit frankly, if a case has merit, it's not "frivolous," and although I would much prefer people work through their issues via other methods such as ADR or mediation, if a claim is enough to withstand summary judgment, then it's definitely NOT frivolous.

Why do we bring this up? Because one of the Darling of the Right Base's current talking points is this whole concept of her detractors wasting government money by filing "frivolous" ethics complaints against her. The problem is, they're not all frivolous, (source: Celtic Diva) in fact, several have merit, or were dismissed for procedural reasons. More to the point, it would appear that there's been a report that a recent ethics violation filing was found to to be "valid," (source: the Mudflats) which is most certainly not "frivolous." Of course, since she's already been found to have violated the ethics act, (source: Andrew Sullivan) it's hard to believe her anyway when she says that investigations into her alleged ethics violations, and then complains about it driving up taxpayer dollars (another lie - courtesy of the Mudflats again).

Yet in a recent Rasmussen poll, she was found to be only 4 points shy of President Obama, who's spent his first 6 months working to undo the damage from the last intellectually incurious governor the GOP raised on their banner as the best possible leader for the country. My question is, where do these people come from, and do they pay attention?

Now I'm not particularly fond of President Obama's approach to civil liberties, particularly with regard to the detainees, (source: Glenn Greenwald) but I don't believe for a moment that things would have been any better with "Bomb, bomb bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran," "The fundamentals of the economy are strong," reckless Senator McCain and the farce of a Vice Presidential candidate he selected.

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