Are Lawyers Running America?

Their lawsuits are setting policy on guns, tobacco and now HMOs. Who elected them?

Mississippi trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs walked into a Connecticut Medical Society forum with the smile and swagger of a man who knows he's the main attraction. Not long ago, an aggressive plaintiffs' lawyer entering a roomful of doctors could have used a bodyguard. That's how much the medical profession hated the "ambulance chasers" who were driving up their malpractice premiums. On this visit, however, Scruggs was introduced so gushingly that even he was embarrassed. "You forgot to mention," he chided the society's head, "that I rested on the seventh day."

These days some of Scruggs' best friends have M.D. after their...

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