Mikal Watts' arguments

The SE Texas Record Aug. 4, 2007, 5:58am

Three college girls are driving cross-country pulling a U-Haul trailer while simultaneously sharing a bag of marijuana. About 20 hours into the voyage, the driver brakes hard on a hill and loses control, sending the car off the side of the road.

They weren't wearing seat belts.

Was she high? Fatigued? Did she forget that breaking hard on a downslope while pulling a fully-stuffed U-Haul is a big no-no?

Whatever. Represented by Corpus Christi plaintiff's lawyer Mikal Watts in a suburban Houston courtroom, she demanded millions in damages over the accident-- from a tire maker.

No matter that Texas state investigators blamed the wreck on driver error and speeding, concluding the tires remained intact after the crash and worked just fine. Still, Watts argued they were wrong, that it wasn't her fault. He even demanded the judge declare a mistrial when the defense had the nerve to raise the girl's driving-while-pot smoking in court.

Is this the kind of guy-- one who would make such a specious, if self-serving, argument with a straight face-- that we want representing Texas in the U.S. Senate?

Mr. Watts, a 39-year-old mega-millionaire and judge's son who flies private, is traveling the state this summer, raising money and straining to re-define himself as a populist "everyman" in preparation for the Spring 2008 Democrat primary election.

He made his bones making arguments like the aforementioned, suing automakers and other businesses. But suffice to say, he won't be bragging on the campaign trail about the "marijuana mistrial" or his lawsuit blaming Ford for an accident in which the driver was speeding, had been drinking and wasn't wearing a seat belt.

The automaker was at fault because, according to Watts, it didn't laminate its side windows.

Watts will also remain mum about the embarrassing hiccup in that Ford case-- when it was revealed mid-trial that one of his associate lawyers was dating one of the jurors. She had even helped him "recruit" two of the plaintiffs for Watts, evidence showed.

Apparently under no ethical obligation to tell the court about this, Watts remained quiet and steadfast. It paid off-- he won a $31 million verdict.

"Mikal Watts has spent his entire career fighting on behalf of average, working Texans," promised his spokesman in a recent interview.

Don't believe it just because he says so.

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