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A Letter to Sen. Arlen Specter About Harmful Asbestos Legislation

Brayton Purcell has been in the forefront of the fight against proposed legislation that would benefit asbestos-affiliated companies at the expense of asbestos victims. The law firm's senior trial partner, Gilbert Purcell, wrote the following letter to Senator Arlen Specter:

The Hon. Arlen Specter
United States Senator
Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee
711 Hart Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Specter:

Last weekend I attended the ABOTA/FDCC National Summit on the Present State and Future of the Seventh Amendment Right to Trial by Jury. Regrettably, although prominently featured as an invited speaker in the program brochure, you were unable to attend owing, we were told, to failing health. If your absence was genuinely related to ill health, we hope for your rapid improvement. If it was related to what you ended up doing last Friday, I wish you had made it to speak.

One reason I attended was to ask you to reconcile preservation of the right to jury trial with your same day efforts to reschedule asbestos legislation for mark-up this week--legislation that proposes to eliminate, in one fell swoop, wholesale, asbestos victims' access to juries and civil courts.

I welcome diversity in viewpoints, but it struck me as the height of hypocrisy for you to schedule yourself to speak at this function, but instead stay home and work on the asbestos legislation--all on April 1, 2005, Asbestos Awareness Day.

I suggested the leaders contact members of your judiciary committee to urge that your unfair bill be killed in committee. I hope they do so, so as to not add another layer of hypocrisy to the picture.

Please stop your efforts to deny victims of asbestos disease access to juries and justice.


Gilbert L. Purcell

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