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Tort Reformers Meet to Honor Lawsuit Abuse Fighters

on 9/12/00.

Eleven national associations dedicated to reform tort laws nationwide will gather in Napa, on Sept. 15 and 16 to honor individuals and groups selected for their outstanding efforts in the tort reform movement. Hosted by The Doctors' Company (TDC), the nation's largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurance company, the two-day Tort Reform Summit will be the first annual event. Presentations and seminars will highlight such topics as judicial elections, class action litigation, and lawsuits without cause. Former California Supreme Court Justice Armand Arabian will be the keynote speaker.

Six recipients in four categories will be given awards for the 2000 Summit. Receiving the Grassroots Award is Bill Summers. Faced with the closure of a Texas sugar mill, Rio Grande Valley's largest employer, because of a frivolous lawsuit, Summers organized hundreds of workers to successfully fight the lawsuit by founding a movement called Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA).

Victor Schwartz is a principal guiding force in the tort reform movement. He earned the Individual Award for his tireless efforts to draft legislative language, testify before Congress, participate in precedent-setting cases, and write tort casebooks.

Two groups will receive the Organizational Award this year. The first winner is the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), a national coalition that has served as a standard bearer for all national and state tort reform movements. ATRA has provided the impetus for tort law changes throughout the United States. The second Organizational Award winner is the Texas Civil Justice League (TCJL), now the largest state tort reform association. Its efforts have culminated in numerous positive changes in Texas state tort law.

Two outstanding groups also share the Research Award. The first winner is the Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC). CJAC has produced outstanding research demonstrating the negative effects of frivolous lawsuits. The group annually documents the huge campaign contributions made by contingency fee lawyers and their organizations for all California candidates and publicized this to all interested parties and the press. The second Research Award will be given to the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute. This group is a mainstay of the civil justice reform movement through its wide range of influential publications on the subject of tort litigation. Additionally, the group regularly organizes influential conferences and seminars for policy makers, judges, and journalists on tort issues.

The Tort Reform Summit 2000 is being sponsored by TDC, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Federation of Independent Business, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Citizens for Civil Justice Reform, the American Tort Reform Association, the Civil Justice Association of California, the Civil Justice Reform Group, Lawyers for Civil Justice, the National Association of Neighborhoods, the Physicians Insurance Association of America, and the Washington Legal Foundation.

CONTACT: The Doctors' Company
Jim Cathcart, 707/226-0357