Kentucky's mass tort and class-action litigation committee has been looking at an assortment of issues including better case management and strengthening ethics rules for lawyers. The cases can involve hundreds of clients and millions of dollars.
The committee, which includes lawyers and current and retired judges, will also look at whether the state should change its rules to mirror federal court rules, which are more specific and include a mechanism for moving similar lawsuits into one court or under one judge.
The selection apparently comes on the heals of criminal charges against three attorneys involved in the diet drug fen-phen settlement. The committee supposedly hopes to have some recommendations within the next 12 months.Of course, we already have ethics rules in place to address attorney conduct. When those are broken, we have a system in place to discipline attorneys. If the charges include breaking the law, we have the criminal justice system in place to address that as well. Then there is always the civil system which can award damages resulting from someone's malfeasance or malpractice. While it is certainly admirable to hope attorneys will follow the ethics rules and the law, I don't believe any amount of laws, rules, or recommendations will actually prevent this type behavior from occurring, unfortunately.