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Declaring that Wisconsin does not need more “ambulance chasing lawyers”, Rep. Frank Lasee, Republican from Green Bay, has proposed a measure that would end public support for the University of Wisconsin Law School. The measure gained approval from the Republican controlled Wisconsin Assembly and became part of the recently approved Wisconsin Assembly’s budget bill.

Appropriately, Governor Doyle responded by calling the provision “bizarre, coming out of nowhere.”

Lasee’s own blog proudly collects the news coverage about this lawyer-bashing bill, but also this cogent comment by Wade Garrett in response:

Tort lawyers are responsible for, among other things, getting asbestos out of our buildings, cigarettes out of our bars and restaurants, more safely designed cars and machines of all kinds, warning labels being put onto potentially dangerous products, blood transfusions screening for the HIV virus (we have John Edwards to thank for that one), hospitals having to tell patients the risk of a procedure before performing it. Very few personal injury attorneys are ‘ambulance chasers,’ and divorce lawyers don’t make divorces ugly, the parties do.

One thing I have to admit: Rep. Lasee has acted consistently with his “too many lawyers” stance. A check of the computerized Wisconsin Circuit Court Case Access system reveals that non-lawyer Lasee has handled his own traffic violations including the following citations:

–November 13, 2006, speeding in Brown County;
–March 11, 2004 speeding in Winnebago County;
–August 18, 2003 speeding in Dane County;
–July 17, 2002 speeding in Oneida County

…as well as some other matters in family and small claims court handled by Lasee on his own. Maybe Lasee could save the State some money by lending his vast experience in traffic law to teach the subject as a volunteer instructor at the law school. Clearly, the graduating U.W. law students better not expect any fat retainers from Lasee with which to help them pay back their school loans.

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