Legal Malpractice Suits and Law Firm Crisis Communications

Here’s an insightful column by a Florida lawyer who says that greed plus the recession are the key contributing factors to the increase in malpractice suits filed against law firms in the past two years.

For many years, I’ve written about and advised law firms on crisis communications planning to deal with the threat of malpractice suits. For guidance on crisis communications for law firms, read my articles here and here.

Glenn Beck, Fox News Channel & Bigotry: You Decide

For too long, I’ve been largely silent. Until now.

I can no longer be idle while an obvious Nazi sympathizer and Jew hater like Glenn Beck broadcasts vicious anti-Semitism and racism on Fox News Channel.

Americans collectively and correctly saw what was wrong when radio host Don Imus made his racist comment about the female basketball players at Rutgers University. Some Americans condemned the anti-Semitism of Mel Gibson but that fell on many deaf ears — until they learned he was also a racist and wife abuser. Now no one wants to go near him, except his pal Jodie Foster who made a movie with this very sick man.

There are many other fine examples when Americans have said no to bigotry — and the celebrities who espoused those hideous beliefs were punished by the public, like Michael Richards of Seinfeld. They lost endorsements and other large business profits.

But not Glenn Beck, a man who makes more money the more hate and propaganda he spreads around on radio, television, the Internet and at his public appearances.

Beck uses more Nazi imagery and coded words than anyone in modern television and gets away with it. Of course, it’s free speech so it’s not criminal. But Rupert Murdoch, his News Corporation and all its advertisers, don’t seem concerned at all with the fear-mongering and hate mongering that I believe will one day result in violent attacks against Jews, Blacks and any other group that Beck decides to target.

This is not about Conservative vs Liberal, Right vs Left, or Republican vs Democrat. It is classic hate, the kind that starts with lies, distortions, conspiracy theories and that could end in one or more violent attacks against the people Beck & Co. rail against.

Beck, like his colleagues Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Ann Coulter — and Pat Buchanan on MSNBC — are cut from the same hypocritical mold. They remind viewers constantly about faith and their Christian upbringing in one breath, and in the next breath, they are viciously tearing down Blacks, Jews, gays and immigrants and urging others to do the same. The New Testament has a message about this:

“If anyone says, I love God, but hates the brothers or sisters, he is a liar…Whoever loves God must also love the brothers and sisters. John 3:20, 21”

And while these Fox News Channel personalities spend much time lecturing us on history and religion, they think nothing of distorting history to twist the words and deeds of our Founding Fathers. That spreads fear and hate into the hearts of many of their followers.

We all should be very concerned about this brand of hate — particularly since a large segment of Beck’s followers own guns and some have proudly displayed them along with images of firearms at Tea Party rallies.

It’s time for the silence to end and time for millions of level-headed Americans to use their First Amendment right to challenge the Glenn Becks of the world.

The Obama Administration, which is under around-the-clock attack by the gang at Fox News, should keep a close eye on Beck and those racist and anti-Semitic followers who espouse violence. The FBI has an important responsibility to monitor individuals and hate groups on the right and the left to prevent domestic terrorism.

Just because most bigots no longer wear white hoods and robes (in fact, some like Beck now wear expensive suits), doesn’t mean they are any less of a threat to our great democracy and American citizens from various races, religions and ethnicities.

Note: This post is dedicated to my late grandmother, Dorothy Danzig Klein, who as an American citizen had the foresight in 1933 to understand what was happening in Germany. Here’s part of a letter she received from Macy’s, after she demanded that the company take back products she had purchased there when she discovered they were manufactured in Hitler’s Germany.