|von Ribbeck from firm website
Making the ludicrous claim to be the biggest aviation law firm in the world, Manuel von Ribbeck, met a few days ago with some of the Indonesian families who lost loved ones on Malaysia Flight 370. Four of them signed retainers with the firm I am told.
|Firman Siregar a passenger on MH 370
One might think that sloppy legal work would raise eyebrows and maybe even embarrass the lawyers. But that would be wrong. Being first to file a case in MH 370 was the goal. The news bounced around the world and anyone googling "MH 370" and "lawyers" or "law suit" would be sure to hit on Ribbeck's name. That ladies and gentlemen is the goal.
Since just after the accident, von Ribbeck, his sister Monica Kelly and their associates (about which more here) have been working to sign up passenger families, loitering at the hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, where the families were staying.
|Bajc with companion, passenger Wood
She is not alone. This is one reason that in accidents in the United States or involving American carriers, lawyers are prohibited by federal law from approach families for 45 days after the accident. Justin Green, a lawyer with Kreindler & Kreindler (and for whom I worked between 2001-2008) said various state laws prevent lawyers from soliciting at any time. It is also possible that by coming in to Malaysia and offering legal services, the firm is in violation of Malaysian law.
|An NTSB briefing after the crash of Asiana 214
If you are wondering how this little band of lawyers plans to proceed in a case in which evidence is scant, have no fear, they'll never go to court with those cases anyway. The Ribbecks, who other aviation lawyers claim never to have seen at a deposition or in a courtroom in an aviation case, have a second goal. Take all those signed contracts and sell them off to lawyers in the United States who will do the legal work.
|Eidson of Colson Hicks Eidson
I have been told that Eidson was warned to steer clear of Ribbeck, but looks like he's decided not to follow that advice. One does have to wonder why anyone would want to be associated with Ribbeck Law Chartered. That goes for lawyers and it certainly goes for prospective clients.