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It’s almost impossible to write satire these days, because reality itself is so ridiculous.
Remember Robert Bork – the former law professor, right-wing judge, and justice department official who did dirty work for Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal? Bork is a lawyer whose career has been based on bashing lawyers – in particular, personal injury lawyers. He has railed long and loud against these plaintiff’s attorneys, demonizing them as greedy conniving hucksters who file frivolous lawsuits and seek high-dollar punative damage awards.
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So, guess who took a tumble, rushed out to hire a personal injury lawyer, filed a million dollar lawsuit, and is seeking one of those high-dollar punitive damage awards? Our boy Bork, of course. Right-wing ideology is one thing, but when right-wingers get injured – ideology be damned! They want one of those lawyers they’ve been demonizing, pronto.
Here’s the sad saga that led to Bork’s suit. Last year he was to speak at the Yale Club of New York City, but when he tried to step onto the dias, he didn’t make it, instead falling backwards, striking his head, and injuring his leg. Though he got back up and delivered his speech, he now claims that he subsequently suffered “excruciating pain” and had to undergo extensive medical treatment. So, Bork is demanding big bucks in damages from the Yale Club, charging that it “wantonly, willfully, and recklessly” failed to provide steps and a railing for him to ascend safely to the lecturn.
While Bork’s lawyer wails that the Club is guilty of “gross negligence,” Yale contends that surely Bork saw the height of the dias and should have asked for a step or a hand up if he felt it was too high for him. It’s up to a jury to decide, and that’s why America’s system of justice gives people access to lawyers and courts – a right that Bork has wanted to curtail… for others.
“Cases of bad judgment,” USA Today, June 15, 2007
“A Big Step: Taking Yale Club to Court,” washingtonpost.com, June 8, 2007
“Robert Bork sues Yale club over injuries,” yaledailynews.com, June 9, 2007
“Leading Conservative Activist Seeks Punitive Damages,” www.acsblog.org, June 8, 2007