Actually, attorneys are supposed to do what their clients want (for the "big picture" things), not what is necessarily in the clients "best interest." The only time we care about anyone's best interest is typically when children are involved, and they will typically get a special advocate appointed.
A real good attorney can convince their client that what the client thinks is the right thing to do is not, and in that way persuade them to do something that is in their best interest as opposed to what they really want to do, but at the end of the day, all of the big decisions are made by the client, and it's up to the attorney to make it happen. (Client decides the what, attorney decides the how).
If this guy's goal was to be a political statement, then maybe his attorney did the right thing. I would hope he tried to talk him out of it first and explain to him that working a reasonable settlement would be better for him in the long run financially, otherwise he did his client a disservice.