Personal injury attorneys are not very popular. They are blamed for many things wrong in this country. Politicians, particularly the Republican party, loves to blame "trial lawyers" for almost everything wrong with the nation, from the debt crises to EPA regulations. Most media seems to go along with that point of view, and of course, jokes about personal injury attorneys never go out of style.
That is why I find the show AMC show Madman so interesting. I don't really like the show itself. It is slow paced and the story lines tedious. What I am referring to is how the show portrays life in America back before plaintiff's attorneys made progress for the American consumer. If you watch the first couple of episodes of season one, you will see children playing with dry cleaning bags covering their mouths, children playing around in a moving car, pregnant women, and everyone else for that matter, smoking all the time. Before our time, such behavior was considered normal and safe, but now we know better. And the reason we know better is at least in part to the personal injury attorneys.
And while I do not know how accurate it is, the most interesting part is not just the smoking, but the anger and indignation the tobacco industry displayed when the government told them they could no longer advertise that smoking actually made someone healthier! We then get an inside look at how the tobacco industry used modern persuasion and manipulation to convince Americans smoking was perfectly healthy, even though all the available science showed the opposite.
When one considers how much safer the American consumer is now from the days of Madman, maybe trial lawyers aren't so bad after all.