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Diversity Is Strength: It`s Also…Illegals Invoking the Law
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January 11, 2007, 04:00 AM
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As a practicing litigator for several years, I`ve had the chance to see countless cases in which the plaintiff (the one doing the suing) is an illegal alien.

Yes—illegal aliens can sue! This sometimes comes as a surprise to normal people. One court reporter, told about this during a deposition break several years ago, was so stunned her mouth hung open for several seconds before she could compose herself.

"But they`re not even supposed to be here," she said, in her working-class New York accent.

True. But lawyers have tricks to explain this away.

I am not aware of any statistics kept on what percentage of lawsuits in America are brought by illegal aliens. (I also don`t know how much it all costs, but the toll on taxpayers, consumers, insurance premium-payers, etc. must be astronomical.) So, you`ll have to take my anecdotal word on what I`ve seen.

One illegal alien (they often simply admit their status, and if I recall, this one had) claimed to have a tripped on a broken sidewalk.

The Emergency Room report, however, had him falling off a bicycle.

My hope was to introduce this document, prove him a liar, and win. So I scrambled to call the doctor whose signature was on the record, got him on the stand, and did what they call "lay a foundation" for the admission of the record into evidence.

My quick-thinking opposing counsel, however, got the doctor to admit that he probably didn`t talk to the plaintiff first-hand (though his memory was fuzzy) because the plaintiff only spoke Spanish, and he did not.

Result? The judge decided that because I had not called the Spanish-speaking nurse who might have translated, I hadn`t laid a proper foundation.

The document was out.

I lost the case.

The jury handed "Jose" a tidy sum. (VDARE.COM note: of which his attorney got perhaps a third, plus expenses.)

But it incensed me (as a citizen more than a losing attorney) that this man was able to use his inability to speak English as an extra layer of protection against cross-examination. An English-speaking fraudster wouldn`t have gotten away with it.

Not to mention that, as the court reporter noted, he wasn`t supposed to be here to begin with.

Another plaintiff, a Hispanic woman who did not speak English, gave two glaringly contradictory versions of her trip and fall accident.

But coming through the interpreter, the effect was muted, and "language confusion" became a great way to explain the inconsistency. She also walked away with a nice chunk of change.

(Adding insult to injury, in the jurisdictions in which I`ve worked, it`s the defendants who pay the cost of the interpreter during the pre-trial stage.)

Naturally, the overwhelming majority of illegal alien lawsuit-filers are Hispanic. But whatever their citizenship status, Hispanics in general seem to dominate the personal injury lawsuit game, at least in the parts of the country (two major-metro coastal areas) I`ve worked. In one office, we had entire shelves for "Sanchez", "Rodriguez" and "Gomez". Once, at a courtroom calendar call, some confusion arose because there were two civil suits brought by two different "Jose Sanchez"es. 

(The epidemic of Hispanic people tripping and falling all over America should surely be taken up by La Raza—it should conduct a study of what can only be the institutional racism of Wal-Mart parking lots.)

Even one very liberal attorney in an office I worked in declared that there must be entire villages in Central America funded by American lawsuits.

In some metropolitan areas, you`ll see subway or billboard ads encouraging Spanish-speakers to seek the services of an "abogado" for their injuries. Some law firms tout their expertise in dealing with Spanish-speakers. The Insurance Defense Blog says "Illegal aliens or undocumented workers have become a constant presence in civil litigation". It`s as if filing a lawsuit is somehow part of your Hispanic cultural duty.

And of course, there are the un-P.C. jokes, like the one about the bus with nothing but a driver crashing, only to be surrounded by twenty Mexicans all holding their heads, backs and legs in pain just as the ambulance arrives.

Anyone filing a lawsuit, of course, is looking for money, and puts that desire over concern for the broader social and economic costs he`ll be imposing on the rest of us.

But I suspect that this prioritizing of concerns (if it happens at all) is much easier for an illegal alien, because he isn`t nearly as invested in our society. To him, it`s an opportunity to wring the gringos dry.

Why shouldn`t he? Right now, there`s nothing to stop him.

Anonymous Attorney really wants to be anonymous, but email will be forwarded to him. Put "Anonymous Attorney" in the subject line.