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Trial Lawyer Ad Spending Hits Epidemic Levels in 2015

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported this week that trial lawyers spent an unprecedented $892 million on television advertisements in the U.S. in 2015. If you thought you were flooded with inane commercials like Puppy-Monkey-Baby during Super Bowl 50, the $377 million spent on ads during Sunday’s game paled in comparison to the advertising efforts of these anti-business attorneys.

The $892 million spent by trial lawyers set an annual record in 2015, the most recent data point in a trend line that has continually inched upward in recent years. According to a report released last year by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, while all other industry sectors saw a 10 percent drop in ad spending at the onset of the Great Recession in 2008, trial lawyer advertising actually increased during this time (by 8 percent). And trial lawyer spending has been accelerating at a rate six times faster than overall spending on television ads!

The news serves as one more reminder that special interest groups and other anti-growth opponents rarely take days off in their constant attempt to tear down the pro-growth agenda of job creators. While not all trial lawyers fit into the opposition category, the largest ad buys have come from groups traditionally hostile to the JOBS Agenda. That group includes trial lawyers that take advantage of legal uncertainty to prey on unsuspecting victims and tempt them to file fraudulent and frivolous claims on issues ranging from asbestos exposure to prescription drug use.

The NC Chamber believes a fair legal climate is one that places openness and transparency as guiding principles above all others. The rising strength of abusive trial lawyers, who take advantage of gaps in the system to pursue their own selfish interests, goes to show why we make fighting for increased legal certainty a priority during each new legislative session. The upcoming session will be no different, and we will keep you updated on the NC Chamber’s mission to preserve integrity in North Carolina’s legal climate in 2016.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber