400 North Capitol Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
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Since 1998, CSE has embarked upon a campaign to educate and engage grassroots Americans in the fight against lawsuit abuse. We continuously recruit and educate grassroots citizens on how predatory lawsuits and outrageous settlements affect them personally—through the impact on their pocketbooks, values, businesses, and way of life—and mobilize them in targeted areas in favor of reform.
Florida CSE Presses the Need for RAFTA
Florida CSE has been educating its base of activists on the need for legislation that will effectively provide legislative oversight and limitations on attorneys’ fees for state-contracted legal services. The Reasonable Attorneys Fees for Taxpayers Act (RAFTA), sponsored by State Representative Jim Kallinger and State Senator Debby Sanderson, HR 5035 and S 1474 respectively, will establish a competitive bidding process for contracts over $1,000,000; place a $1,000 per hour limit on the amount of money that trial lawyers can receive on contingency contracts with the state; open expense and contract records to the public; and allow legislative oversight over large legal contracts.
Both the Florida House State Administration Committee and the Council for Smarter Government have passed HR 5035 by unanimous vote. On March 7, the legislation was placed on the special orders calendar of the Florida House of Representatives. Additionally, S 1474 was passed out of the Florida Senate Governmental Oversight and Productivity Committee on March 5, by a vote of 7-0. For more information on Florida CSE’s recent activities click here.
Alabama CSE Exposes the Judicial Inquiry Commission
Alabama CSE continues to educate citizens about the trial-lawyer influence over the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC). JIC is a nine-member board appointed by various political entities. It was originally created to be a disciplinary system for the state’s judicial branch. When it was created in 1973, Alabama was largely a one party state. Today, JIC is being used by trial lawyer operatives to politically damage Justice Harold See and other targeted enemies of the trial lawyers. Instead of being impartial and balanced, some JIC members have trial lawyer ties and obvious conflicts of interest. For instance, Commissioner Mark White was a contributor to Justice See’s 1994 and 1996 campaign opponents and has served as counsel to the Alabama Trial Lawyers’ Association in two high-profile investigations. Last month, Alabama CSE mailed literature to over 140,000 households highlighting the JIC’s conflict of interest. For more information on Alabama CSE’s efforts on this issue click here.
CSE Foundation Releases the Second Edition of Trial and Error: United States v. Microsoft
CSE continues to educate grassroots activists and policymakers on the failings of the government’s misguided antitrust policy. This past week, CSE Foundation released the second edition of its popular book, Trial and Error: United States v. Microsoft, which chronicles the government’s antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft that has cost taxpayers nearly $40 million. The book represents an effort to cast light on the implications of the lawsuit with a mix of analytical essays and opinion-editorials from noted policy experts and members of the media. Copies of the book have already been distributed to the nation’s top policy and legal experts.
Thankfully for consumers, after three years of litigation, the Department of Justice and nine state attorneys general have decided to settle the antitrust lawsuit. Nearly 350 of CSE’s community leaders, including the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, have written to the Department of Justice in support of settling the lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation. However, a vocal minority of state attorneys general and the District of Columbia have decided to pursue a more punitive remedy against the software provider. Proceedings on the matter will begin next week. CSE’s policy staff and grassroots activists will continue to engage on the issue and highlight the detriments of continuing the case, which threatens the nation’s economy.
North Carolina CSE to Hold River Buffer Summit March 16
New North Carolina legislation limits Catawba River Basin property owners’ use of their land that falls into a “buffer zone”—a 50-foot strip of undeveloped land that surrounds rivers, lakes, or streams. To address this threat to private property rights, North Carolina CSE has been traveling the state educating those affected by these buffer rules. On March 16, North Carolina CSE will host a River Buffer Summit with invited guests Congressmen Charles Taylor and Cass Ballenger, State Senator Ken Moore, State Representatives Mark Hilton, Mitch Gillespie, Wilma Sherrill, Trudi Walend, and Joe Kiser, as well as representatives from the Environmental Management Commission and the North Carolina Division of Water Quality. Representatives from the North Carolina Realtors Association, Homebuilders Association, Citizens for Change, Upper Catawba River Landowners Alliance, Cattleman's Assoc., and the Multiple Use Council will speak on buffer rules and regulations as well.
Over three hundred people attended our River Buffer Forum on January 15 where we discussed the effects of river buffer legislation on economic development and private property. For more information on North Carolina CSE’s efforts to protect private property click here.
CSE’s Key Issues for March
Throughout the month, CSE’s members and grassroots activists will be encouraged to reach out to their elected officials on a number key issues including energy security, taxes and the federal budget, CSE’s judicial strategy, and Social Security reform. For more information regarding these issues, visit our website at www.cse.org.