Message of the Day: Lawsuit Abuse

Ending Lawsuit Abuse

Talking Points

We need to save our legal system from exploitation by an elite group of greedy trial lawyers.

· Between 1/90 and 6/94, trial lawyers gave $17.3 million to state candidates in Texas, California, and Alabama – more than the combined contributions of the DNC, RNC, and labor and auto companies to federal candidates. (Roll Call 6/21/99)

· Trial lawyers declared themselves the de facto fourth branch of government. (The American Lawyer, June 1999)

· In a May 17, 2000, New Yorker article, Peter Boyle noted that trial lawyers “are guiding the national agenda-a new means of public policy making that can’t be found in any civics book.”

CSE staff and volunteer activists in New Hampshire surround Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who supports civil justice reforms that will help end lawsuit abuse.

Trial lawyers are robbing decent, honest, Americans of their money, trust, freedom and peace of mind.

· The lawsuit tax costs each American $616 per year. (A Dollar and A Dream, The Public Policy Institute)

· People are afraid to volunteer for church and other community groups. “Once volunteers become preoccupied with the potential of being sued, everyone loses, parents and communities, but especially the children.” (Asheville Citizen-Times, Asheville, NC)

· Sample Headlines:

“Losing Season Prompts Dad to Sue Son’s Coach” Cleveland Plain Dealer 1/9/00

“Lawsuit: Universal Studios’ haunted house too scary, caused emotional distress,” 1/5/00

“Florida man sues theme park for restricting his prizes” St. Petersburg Times 1/5/00

“Athlete Sues School for Letting Him Pass” San Francisco Daily Journal 12/99

We can give back our legal system to decent, honest Americans with real grievances.

· We need to pass reforms at the state and federal level, ensuring that trial lawyer dollars don’t determine state, federal, judicial and presidential elections. We need to show the judiciary that citizens are watching their decisions and that they won’t put up with activist courts.

· Governors in several states including Alabama, Florida, and Texas have passed signifcant and positivie reforms of our civil justice system. The reforms passed in Texas and signed into law by Governor George W. Bush have realized 200,000 new jobs, more than $1,000 in annual savings for Texas consumers, and greater access to the courts, according to a new study by Dr. Ray Perryman and Citizens for a Sound Economy.

· American consumers want innovation, not litigation. Lawsuit abuse discourages entrepreneurship and increases the price of high-tech goods and services.