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Trial lawyers group in debt

By Chris Rizo | Sep 29, 2009

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-The nation's trial lawyers group appears to be struggling amid mounting debt and a decline in membership dues.

The American Association for Justice, the trade group for plaintiffs' attorneys, had more than $6.2 million deficit in its operating budget for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2008, The Washington Times reported Monday.

The newspaper noted that the Washington-based trial lawyers group saw its income from membership dues drop from $28.6 million in 2005 to $19.2 million in 2008, according to a report filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

The Times also reported that the AAJ's filings for the past four years show that the group's operating revenue went from $36.7 million in 2005 to $28.6 million in 2008. At the same time, the group's total yearly expenses remained about $34 million.

The figures, which are the most current available, were reported as the AAJ seeks to block legal reforms such as reducing medical malpractice litigation as a part of President Barack Obama's push for a national health care overhaul.

Most recently, the association launched an advertising campaign against the Obama administration's plans to allow state-run pilot programs aimed at finding alternatives to lawsuits as means of settling medical malpractice claims.

To bankroll its lobbying efforts, the AAJ recently asked its members to send the association much-needed cash, the newspaper reported.

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American Association for Justice

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