ATRA lawyer says movie slashed key part of argument

John O'Brien Jun. 28, 2011, 11:14am



WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - A tort reform advocate who was interviewed for a documentary that debuts Monday on HBO says his comments were taken out of context, though the filmmaker is defending her editing.

Victor Schwartz, general counsel of the American Tort Reform Association, says director Susan Saladoff and her movie -- titled "Hot Coffee" -- edited his opinion on public financing for judicial elections to benefit the film's goal. Saladoff is a first-time filmmaker who is also a medical malpractice lawyer.

In the film, Schwartz says his opinion on the public financing of elections differs from much of the rest of the tort reform crowd in that he favors it. But he also said that plaintiffs attorneys spend plenty on those elections and also would not want to see a shift toward public financing.

"My learned speculation is plaintiffs lawyers would never want to get rid of money in elections," Schwartz said Monday.

Read the full story at Legal Newsline.

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