Today’s WSJ has a great article about class action crusader Ted Frank, who is (1) out to kill class actions or (2) make them fairer by getting better settlements for plaintiffs (and worse for their lawyers), depending on whether you believe Ted or those whose oxen he has gored (class action lawyers). I believe Ted.
For me, the takeaway is in the last paragraph:
“Ted has already made a big difference,” said Mr. [Jeffrey ] Jacobson, a Debevoise & Plimpton partner [who defended a settlement Ted attacked]. “Even if he accomplishes nothing else, he’ll have had a greater impact than most lawyers will achieve in their careers.”
Ted’s an example of what a lawyer can accomplish when he has the guts to break away from the cookie-cutter world of traditional law practice. One of the good things about the uncertain future of law practice is that it encourages more Ted Franks by reducing the opportunity costs of forsaking convention.