Trial Lawyers Set To Go Nuclear Against Sanford October 15, 2007Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.
WILL A WARRANT WILL BE ISSUED TOMORROW FOR THE GOVERNOR’S ARREST?
FITSNews – October 15, 2007 – S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford will have an arrest warrant sworn out against him tomorrow for allegedly intimidating public officials, according to an e-mail obtained exclusively by FITSNews.
The e-mail, which was forwarded to an unspecified list of recipients by House GOP Communications Director Jason Zacher, claims that Charleston Attorney David Dusty Rhoades will hold a press conference in his office tomorrow morning at 10:00 A.M. to swear out a warrant for Sanford’s arrest due to the governor’s “recent tactics of intimidating (workers’ comp) Commissioners.”
Rhoades, whom the anonymous author of the e-mail quotes as being “tired of (Sanford’s) sh*t,” claims that the governor’s recent executive order instructing workers’ comp commissioners to use objective standards in awarding damages (along with subsequent comments by Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer) constitutes a violation of state law prohibiting the intimidation of public officials.
Sanford issued the order last month as part of an ongoing effort to control skyrocketing workers’ comp premiums in South Carolina, which have drained over a quarter of a billion dollars from South Carolina businesses over the last four years.
Needless to say the state’s trial lawyers – who were already reeling from a major workers’ comp defeat at the end of the 2007 legislative session – went positively ape sh*t when Sanford’s announcement was made last month.
Many assumed a lawsuit was imminent, but internal communications between trial lawyer advocates show that most favored responding with a more middle-of-the-road approach, specifically requesting an Attorney General’s ruling as to whether or not Sanford’s executive order was constitutional.
Cooler heads appear to have not prevailed.
“The trial lawyers are going absolutely bananas right now,” one workers’ comp reform advocate told FITSNews late Monday evening. “I mean absolutely, completely bananas. That’s probably why we’re seeing such an ill-advised, over-the-top reaction.”
Rhoades, who was unavailable for comment regarding his impending press conference, could face a countersuit for abuse of process if he follows through with his lawsuit threat.
“If he goes through with this he’ll be disbarred,” one attorney familiar with the statute in question told FITSNews.
Trial lawyer supporters say Rhoades has a legitimate case, however, adding that a request they made for clarification of the governor’s executive order was part of a plan to highlight what they call “the threatening nature of the Governor’s flagrant usurpation of legislative authority.”
“Mr. Sawyer took the bait,” one prominent trial lawyer told FITSNews. “It’s not our fault the Governor’s Press Secretary publicly divulged the true nature of this administration’s mob-style hit on the rights of working South Carolinians to receive a fair settlement of their claims.”
Stay tuned …