Last week, the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin ran an article, Forms Show What Lawmakers Do — or Don’t Do — for Clients, which highlighted LRANY’s recently released analysis of lawyer-legislatures in New York and their outside income. The piece also quoted LRANY executive director Tom Stebbins on the issue.
“Twenty-three state lawmakers who also work as attorneys reported receiving income from law firms last year, according to Albany-based Lawsuit Reform Alliance’s analysis of the most-recent round of financial-disclosure documents, which were made public in late June.
In total, those lawmakers made between $3 million and $4.2 million for their legal work in 2014, assuming Silver was paid the same as he was in 2013, the analysis showed. The number is somewhat inflated, however, by freshman Sen. Marc Panepinto, D-Buffalo, who made at least $900,000 as an attorney last year prior to taking office.
Overall, about one in five of the state’s 213 legislators are licensed attorneys, though not all practice, according to the lawsuit-reform group’s analysis.
‘New York is the lawsuit capital of the world,’ said Tom Stebbins, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance, which pushes for changes to the state’s legal system. ‘You’re more likely to get sued in New York than anywhere else, and that’s in large part because the legislators we have are often thinking in terms of what benefits lawyers.'”