There’s a story in this week’s print edition about turmoil at a small, but well known, Miami law firm run by Jeremy Alters.

Alters is a well-dressed, savvy attorney who recently lost three of his law partners due to money concerns and a change in his law firm’s focus. An additional key attorney left last spring.

Alters, 39, rose swiftly to prominence by winning some wrongful death cases, assembling a respectable team of lawyers and landing some big national class action cases. He’s also had a lot of outside financing along the way.

Alters and his firm have gained some notoriety from their work on litigation including BP oil spill and Chinese drywall claims.

He told me that some of his law partners just didn’t want to wade through lean years of hard work on those cases in the hopes of a large payoff at the end.

In the meantime, Alters has been spending a lot of money on political donations. He and ex-his wife, Rachel Alters, who divorced him earlier this year, donated $120,000 to candidates, all Democrats, in the 2010 election cycle.

It’s not unusual for a plaintiff’s attorney to support Democrats. One of Alters’ favorites is Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, who hung onto his post at president of the U.S. Senate. Reid also drew support from other big plaintiff law firms, including two others that work on Chinese drywall litigation, Dallas-based Baron and Budd, and Orlando-based Morgan & Morgan.

When I asked Alters about his donations, he said he spent his own money supporting candidates he believes in.

Here’s a list of the donations to congressional candidates, all Democrats, under Alters’ name over the last cycle:

U.S. Senate candidates:

Chris Coons, Delaware: $533
Paul Hodes, New Hampshire: $533
Charles Melancon, Louisiana: $533
Harry Reid, Nevada: $4,800
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: $20,000
Kendrick Meek, Florida: $9,600

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U.S. House candidates:

Bruce Braley, Louisiana: $4,800
Suzanne Kosmas, Florida: $1,000
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: $21,700
For more on the turmoil at Alters law firm, check out the story in this week’s Business Journal.

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