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Close the Loopholes on 'Legal' Extortion

May 28, 2003

Re "3 Lawyers Suspended Over Flood of Suits," May 22: The suspension of three Los Angeles lawyers will hardly bring justice, with the havoc that has been wreaked on the state's small-business owners. These lawyers aren't the only ones to blame; our elected leaders should also be held accountable. They're ultimately responsible for allowing loopholes in the state's unfair competition law to exist, thereby giving lawyers like those recently suspended ample opportunity to use extortion-like tactics against small businesses.

But the current proposals in the Legislature to fix the problem are, at best, misguided "reforms" that will only make the situation worse and, at best, an outright betrayal of the victims of the law's abuses. Elected leaders should protect the people of California because it's their job, not because personal injury lawyers contribute to campaigns.

Michael Vallante

Pasadena

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