The Maryland Litigation Blog

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Do Dogbite Lawyers Stand to Benefit?

By Byron Warnken, on April 19, 2013

The Baltimore Sun recently ran an opinion piece about the intersection of plaintiffs’ lawyers and politicians.  The piece, which can be found here, made some interesting observations.

First some background: The Court of Appeals of Maryland, in 2012, ruled that pitbulls are inherently dangerous.  In essence, this means a bite by a pitbull will result in liability to the owner (and landlord).  Therefore, dog bite lawsuits involving pitbulls will be easier to win.  There will not be disputes about liability, there will only be disputes about damages.

In this legislative session in Maryland, there was, for the second time, a bill designed to ease the burden on pitbull owners and landlords.  The bill failed again.

The Sun piece makes the point that Brian Frosh and Bobby Zirkin voted against the bill.  The opinion piece hammers them pretty good, saying Frosh,

“reneged on a compromise he reached with Del. Luiz Simmons, another Democrat from Montgomery, in a way that could fatten the wallets of fellow plaintiff and trial lawyers.”

I know nothing of the deal.  Moreover, in general, I am no fan of politicians.  However, did it occur to the author of the piece that Frosh and Zirkin are plaintiffs’ lawyers because they think a certain way about liability and this thinking also plays into the way they vote and construct laws?  That would make sense to me.

The author, Marta Mossburg goes on to give insight into Frosh’s background and Zirkin’s background, as well as their firms.  More info can be found on our Bobby Zirkin page – The Law Offices of Bobby Zirkin.  Mossburg’s language seems bias against plaintiffs’ lawyers.  My position is if there were no plaintiffs’ lawyers, no one would ever have to pay for anything for which they were liable.  Mossburg’s qualm should be about politicians.  Should these guys be able to vote on things they can make money from?  I don’t know.  You decide.  It might be tough unless all politicians were only full-time, a difficult goal in practicality.

Mossburg did find out Zirkin is/was a referral attorney for Saiontz and Kirk.  I’m not sure how she determined that information, but our info confirms Eric Saiontz is Zirkin’s most common co-counsel.  (We do not have a page on Brian Frosh, but do on Frosh partners Ronald Karp, Edward Norwind, and Lawrence Lapidus, among others.

In an excellent piece of irony, Zirkin’s second most common co-counsel is Luiz Simmons, the one Zirkin voted against and the one Frosh supposedly “betrayed.”  (For more info on finding a dog bite lawyer in Maryland, click here.)



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