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Is Ted Cruz, the Former Personal Injury Attorney, a Hypocrite?

Is Ted Cruz, the Former Personal Injury Attorney, a Hypocrite? 2
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks about energy at the Heritage Action for America 2014 Conservative Policy Summit at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Yes, Republican presidential front-running Ted Cruz has been a successful personal injury lawyer who, as the New York Times write this week, has shown his two, different sides.

Cruz’s “uncompromising purity” as a conservative, the Times reports, turns into something quite different when the cameras are off.

Working initially with the solicitor general’s office he joined Morgan, Lewis& Bockius in Houston and worked mainly for corporate defendants, experiencing a decline in the tort lawsuits that the firm mainly handled.

It was Mr. Cruz’s talent as an appellate lawyer that netted him an unusual plaintiffs’ assignment in New Mexico, whose laws are far more friendly to personal injury victims. There, he defended a $54 million award — the biggest in state history then — to a daughter of Barbara Barber, a nursing home patient who, badly neglected, had bled to death.

The case was wrenching and sad. Mr. Cruz made it clear that if his firm were to take the Barber case, fighting the appeal of the judgment filed by the nursing home operator, ManorCare, “the money had to be right,” Michael Gross, one of two attorneys representing the plaintiff, recalled this week. Mr. Cruz handled the appeal. ManorCare settled on the eve of arguments before the New Mexico Supreme Court.

His legal work at attorneys Morgan Lewis earned him a total of $1.6 million in 2011 and $1.7 million in 2012, according to Senate financial disclosures.

But is there hypocrisy in what Cruz now advocates regarding tort law reform?

Mr. Cruz’s attacks on personal injury awards while working to preserve two huge awards “seems so hypocritical now,” attorney Michael Gross tells the Times.

Mr. Bettinger said that by the time he paid Morgan Lewis its share of the Selk settlement, Mr. Cruz was a senator, making tort reform one of his issues in Washington.

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