Andal had legal run-in with convicted lawyer Lerach

GOP Congressional candidate Dean Andal, who hopes to unseat McNerney, heard a name from his past in the news this week.

Major Democratic campaign contributor and trial attorney William Lerach pleaded guilty to federal charges that he paid kickbacks to recruit plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits. (A lot of Democrats, including Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, are returning the money or donating it to charity.)

By way of background, Lerach successfully sued the state in 2002 over auto smog fees. An arbitration process awarded his firm $88.5 million in legal costs and the state, as the losing party, would have to pay.

Andal, then a member of the state Board of Equalization, was rightfully outraged. He sued Lerach and won when the state appellate court cut the bill to a mere $18.2 million.

Okay, Andal saved the taxpayers $70 million. Look for the message on a campaign mailer coming to your house soon.

But lest we get overly smug, wouldn’t everyone object — except the folks involved in that wacky arbitration deal — to paying a lawyer $8,800 per hour?

Lisa Vorderbrueggen