OPINION

Ken Starr: Accusations Against Lanier ‘Way Off Base’

, The National Law Journal

   | 4 Comments

Corporate opponents who Houston plaintiffs attorney Mark Lanier "vanquished, fair and square, in the courtroom" concocted allegations that he concealed payments to expert witnesses, writes Kenneth Starr.

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  • Darren McKinney, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

    Mr. Lanier, I‘ve read your comment and reread my initial comment. I berated no one, and I certainly didn‘t call anyone a shill, accuse anyone of slander or insult anyone any more than Mr. Starr‘s defense of you as a purported paragon of virtue insults the intelligence of anyone who knows anything about your record. Yes, you‘ve gotten rich doing what you do. But so did Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire. And I think your fellow personal injury lawyer Steve Donziger was rich for a while, too. In any case, as for who ATRA represents, that is widely known by NLJ readers, reporters and editors, and I am a regular poster of online comments on many ALM sites. So everyone reading my comment from last week knows full well where I and ATRA are coming from when we criticize elements of the parasitic personal injury bar for routinely perpetrating fraud on our civil justice system and/or, with help from friendly judges, seeking to extort deep-pocket defendants at the expense of consumers, jobseekers and our nation‘s economic vitality. Finally, my only comment specific to the hip-replacement litigation came directly from the latest edition of ATRA‘s annually well-documented and widely reported Judicial Hellholes report in which we cited a string of plaintiff-favoring evidentiary rulings by Judge Kinkeade (see judicialhellholes.org/2016-2017/watch-list/northern-district-of-texas/). You rationalize these rulings as just because they inured to your benefit, but that doesn’t mean they were just or that they’ll hold up on appeal.

  • Mark Lanier

    Darren, I read your comment. Several things occurred to me. First, were you not taught, "If you can‘t say something nice, don‘t say anything at all?" Second, when you berate and insult people as you do, it really reflects more on you than the people you are insulting. Third, why aren‘t you up front and admitting that your employer, (the Tort Reform folks) are funded by J&J, raising the question of why they use you as a shill for their slander? (Along with Big Tobacco and Shook Hardy, the J&J law firm that cooked the science in the hip litigation. sourcewatch.org/index.php/American_Tort_Reform_Association). Fourth, why don;‘t you read the record and you would see that what you think happened, didn‘t happen. Just because those companies pay your bils, doesn‘t mean you can rely on them to tell you the truth. Remember, Depuy and J&J admitted paying foreign officials BRIBES through an offshore account to by and use these defective hip devices. Anyone who repeatedly bribes, violates the Foreign Corrupt PrACtices Act, lies in the medical and scientific literature, is not likely to tell you the truth. You will need to research! Food for thought....

  • Darren McKinney, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

    With all due respect, Mr. Starr, Mr. Lanier and his parasitic ilk are known for a lot of things, but rock-ribbed integrity isn‘t necessarily among them. Furthermore, after your most recent debacle at Baylor some have questioned your integrity. And the brilliant Arthur Miller has always been an staunch advocate for expanding civil liability, so his participation on your appeal team probably isn‘t as impressive as you seem to think. As for Judge Kinkeade, he is respected only among the plaintiffs‘ bar insofar as he can be counted on to make cravenly irresponsible evidentiary rulings, like those in the hip prosthetic trials that effectively rubber-stamped plaintiffs‘ lawyers‘ requests to adduce so-called evidence about completely unrelated devices (pelvic mesh), past conduct by wholly separate business units of one defendant company, and a nearly-decade old non-prosecution agreement entered into by that defendant, none of which was remotely germane to the allegations at hand. Talk about inflaming a jury. So ultimately your stout defense of Mr. Lanier‘s storied aptitude for gaming the civil justice system -- with plenty of help from friendly judges -- to get rich beyond his wildest dreams at everyone else‘s expense sounds a bit self-serving, if you don‘t mind my saying so. Because, after all, I can‘t imagine that you and Mr. Miller are working altruistically without compensation to help Mr. Lanier thwart the defendants‘ appeal? Then again, as we‘re to believe of the Doctors Morrey, perhaps you and Mr. Miller are working for free, not even quietly expecting Mr. Lanier to show his gratitude in some small way after the fact. In which case, I stand corrected and may be willing to buy that bridge you‘re selling, too.

  • UnCoverUp

    A simple case of one crooked lawyer coming to the defense of another crooked lawyer... Starr‘s honest services frauds against the state are legendary; the corrupt enterprise of defrauding courts, many time times aided and abetted by bribed judges, that Lanier and his partners-in-crime, such as former Baron & Budd, PC Corporate Secretary Lisa Blue Baron, are only now being widely reported to the public.

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