Friday, October 19, 2007

Forging ahead for the trial lawyers

Congressman Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is pressing ahead with more political favors requested by trial lawyers.

In December 2006, a major California trial lawyer, Daniel Callahan, requested incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Waxman to hold hearings on Blackwater whose scope and content coincided with his lawsuit against the company.

Waxman (pictured) complied, holding a hearing featuring Callahan's plaintiff clients in February, and an October 2 hearing with the defendant in Callahan's case, Blackwater CEO Erik Prince, as the main witness.

Waxman is now demanding more information from Blackwater, including data on Blackwater's profit margin from its government contracts. As a private company, Blackwater is not liable to divulge such information. Prince told lawmakers at the hearing that they were asking him to reveal trade secrets that would damage his business.

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