Even Erin Brockovich has an advocate

National Journal
Saturday, March 15, 2003

Famed plaintiffs crusader Erin Brockovich and filmmaker Michael Moore know their way around in liberal circles, but even they need the help of a congressional lobbyist every so often. The Center for Justice & Democracy – a pro-plaintiff advocacy group that includes Brockovich, Moore, and consumer activist Ralph Nader on its board – has retained the Cuneo Law Group to help block tort-reform and medical-malpractice legislation that is at the top of the Republican congressional agenda. The center belongs to a broader anti-malpractice coalition that includes the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Public Citizen, Consumers Union, and the Consumer Federation of America, among others.
The center, which has no Washington office and just a handful of staffers in New York City, is working Congress primarily through Cuneo attorney Pamela Gilbert, a former executive director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission under President Clinton and later a senior staffer with U.S. PIRG and Public Citizen’s Congress Watch. Gilbert says the center is focusing its own staff efforts on grassroots organizing and public relations, while Cuneo organizes testimony and lobbying by patients who have suffered in the past from medical malpractice. By mid-March, Gilbert says, her alliance will have brought its third group of malpractice victims to Washington. One session in February, jointly organized by the center and Public Citizen, featured 50 patients telling their malpractice stories to members of Congress and the media.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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