At what point does lawyerly risk-taking in the public interest become crass ambulance chasing?
Before we consider today's case -- personal injury law firms hovering over last week's late-night crash landing of Air Canada Flight 624 -- let's layer in some context.
In 2013, the Halifax law firm McInnes Cooper won an $887-million class action lawsuit on behalf of disabled veterans and their families. For 30 years, successive federal governments had clawed back their benefits. The law firm took on Ottawa's bottomless pockets. Its lawyers rang up 8,500 potentially un-billable hours -- $3.2 million -- over six years to hold the government to account.
They won, and were rewarded for their effort.
But they could as easily have lost it all.