Great Moments in Labor Supply
By David Henderson
I was watching a recent episode of one of my favorite TV shows, Harry’s Law. This line was so good that I paused and wrote it down word for word. A father comes to Tommy Jefferson, upset because his dead son, before dying, had turned over the proceeds of his life insurance policy to lawyer Tommy Jefferson. Jefferson lost the case. If he had won, there’s a chance the son would have lived longer. Later in the episode, a judge points out that this pay arrangement set up a perverse incentive for Jefferson to lose. Good point. Here’s the earlier monologue that I liked:
Your son, dying of leukemia, comes to me, Tommy Jefferson, in search of a lawyer to help him get some experimental treatment that the pharmaceutical company refuses to provide. I take his case for free in exchange for assignment of his policy. I fight valiantly for him in court. I do not prevail but I am valiant just the same. I lose the battle in court but I tried and I charged him nothing.
You are here crying because you didn’t get the proceeds to his policy. Well, sir, tell me: as he was dying, desperate, as you say, what did you do? I, Tommy Jefferson, fought for him–you heard me say “valiantly.” That’s what I did. What did you do