Is Dunn’s New Gig MICRA Management?

Is it an olive branch to attorneys or an astute political move? The California Medical Association this afternoon named high-profile trial attorney and legislator Joe Dunn its new CEO.

The capitol has been abuzz with the rumor of Dunn’s appointment for a few days. It has also raised a few eyebrows among those familiar with the trial lawyers’ historical battles with doctors’ groups over passing the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, and other issues.

In a cheery statement, Frank Pitre, president of the Consumer Attorneys of California, said Dunn will be “an asset” to the CMA and that his organization looked forward to “a stronger working relationship and renewed productive dialogue.” Could that be code for “he’s going to help us convince the doctors that we need practical MICRA reform”?

CMA spokesman Peter Warren said MICRA reform isn’t even on his group’s radar screen. But with Dunn as its leader, the CMA has hired a respected, soon-to-be-termed-out lawmaker who has inroads in the Legislature and a reputation as a rabble-rouser. It could be a mutually beneficial hire for both groups.

Cheryl Miller

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