The WSJ seems to have always revelled in a personality split. Its excellent reporters ferret out objective facts; the editorial page simultaneously swats at whatever figurative bee the malefactors of greath wealth perceive in their bonnet. Today proves no exception.
Jamie Heller and Nathan Koppel write this morning that "the nation’s largest law firm are bracing for a period that might not be so flush" as during the late boom. And they cite actual evidence. "Why Big Law Is Bracing for a Leaner 2008".
Towards the back of the first section, though, the editors whip out their favorite flail — the one with which they beat the dead horse of contingent fee lawyers who obtain outstanding results for state governments. The lawyers’ crime? Earning big fees while contributing to campaigns of the state attorneys general who hire them. "Lawsuit Inc."
Blawgletter doesn’t know about you, but we do wonder why the WSJ doesn’t spurt some of its vitriol on the Wall Streeters who — among other things — charge enormous fees to state and local governments for financing their vital functions while costing their citizens billions in the concatenations of the still-cascading subprime mess.
Lawyers who earn fees only when they benefit their clients v. bankers who pocket millions despite hurting them. Hmmm.