Tort Reform

Thompson TV Role vs. Reality


Fred Thompson ran on a tough-on-crime platform and played a prosecutor on TV. But the former senator’s real-life work as a defense lawyer has not had much scrutiny—until now.

As Thompson prepares for a GOP presidential run, the Washington Post is running a story on Thompson’s career as a lawyer representing criminal defendants and tort victims.

The story notes that Thompson opposed the government’s authority to search a boat holding 28,000 pounds of marijuana and challenged a law requiring licensing of drug-paraphernalia merchants.

He also represented personal injury victims, including the family of a Marine pilot killed by a helicopter blade.

The experiences likely shaped Thompson’s views on tort reform, the Post says, leading him to vote against caps on attorney fees and reject limits on med-mal suits. Thompson maintains he voted against tort reform because he believes the matter should be left to the states.

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