Consumer Law

lawyer offered $2K to get consumer client to sign already-written op-ed supporting arbitration (CL&P Blog)

lawyer offered $2K to get consumer client to sign already-written op-ed supporting arbitration (CL&P Blog)

Here, by Amelia Pollard. Excerpt:

Conservative pro-business groups have hit upon a new tactic to protect its members’ interests: outright purchasing of grassroots support.

Late last week, David Chami, an Arizona attorney who specializes in consumer protection, received an email from Drew Johnson, who identified himself as working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Johnson offered Chami $2,000 if he could get one of his clients to sign their name to an op-ed opposing the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, a bill in Congress.

* * *

“My hope is to find a normal, everyday person who has benefitted from arbitration to sign on to the op-ed pasted below as the author,” Johnson wrote, * * * “If one of your clients is willing to sign on to the piece, I can offer you $2,000 for your time.”

In other words, Johnson offered the attorney a bribe.

* * *

When asked about the op-ed solicitation, Johnson denied having anything to do with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, despite writing that he was “working on an effort with” the Chamber and a coalition of think tanks in his email to the Arizona attorney. In an email to me, he described the miscommunication as “poor wording.”

UPDATE: The Intercept has more here.

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