CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

FAQ

What does CJAC stand for?

CJAC stands for the Civil Justice Association of California. It is a statewide organization based in Sacramento.

When was CJAC founded?

CJAC was founded in 1979.

What does CJAC do?

CJAC works to reduce the excessive and unwarranted litigation that increases business and government expenses, discourages innovation, and drives up the cost of goods and services for all Californians.

Where does CJAC do its work?

CJAC works in both the Legislature and the courts to improve California’s civil justice system.

Who are CJAC’s members?

CJAC is a non-profit, membership-supported coalition of citizens, taxpayers, businesses, local governments, professionals, manufacturers, financial institutions, insurers, and medical organizations. Find out about becoming a member here.

What is tort reform?

Tort is any civil wrong (other than a breach of contract) for which relief may be obtained in the form of damages or an injunction. Tort reform generally refers to efforts to reduce litigation’s adverse effects on the economy.

What kind of research does CJAC do?

CJAC documents the harm lawsuit abuse causes taxpayers, businesses, consumers, and professionals. CJAC researches and publicizes the massive campaign contributions made by contingency fee lawyers. We also fund important independent research, such as the McGeorge School of Law Capital Center for Law & Government study that revealed at least $6.4 billion in jury verdicts awarded during the 1990s.

What is lawsuit abuse?

Lawsuit abuse is the filing of lawsuits to extract amounts of money that are not proportional to an alleged violation. Abusive lawsuits are often filed regardless of whether the plaintiff has actually suffered any harm or loss.

How does lawsuit abuse affect me and my family?

Companies that are sued routinely pass on the cost of litigation to their customers — which means you and your family are paying more for goods and services, healthcare and education, while lawyers keep padding their own pockets. Frivolous lawsuits also clog the courts, slowing legitimate claims from moving through the system.

What is the problem in California?

The slew of lawsuits in California are costing jobs and crowding the courts. More than 1,000 major class action suits are filed in state courts each year; half of them are over employment issues. Conflicting and confusing laws expose small businesses to disability access lawsuits. Personal injury lawyers are trying to kill the ability to settle disputes by arbitration. They seek to destroy California’s model medical liability law that holds down health care costs and makes vital care possible.

What is Proposition 64?

Proposition 64 is an initiative that stopped “shakedown” lawsuits being filed by private lawyers against businesses of every kind and size. It was overwhelmingly approved by the voters in November 2004.

My friend got sued for not being ADA accessible. What’s that all about?

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law by President Bush in 1990, ensured disabled people access to public places and business. California had already passed its own access laws more than two decades earlier — which sometimes contradict the federal rules. California offers the nation’s highest civil damages for violations, which helps explain the slew of lawsuits filed in the state. These lawsuits have forced businesses to close and increased costs for consumers. Business owners can learn more at www.ada.gov.

What is arbitration? Is it good or bad for me?

Arbitration is a private legal procedure used to resolve disputes between two or more parties. It is administered by an impartial third party who listens to arguments and evidence and then decides the case and resolves the dispute. Arbitration is generally less expensive and time consuming than court litigation.

Serving on a jury is a pain. I always do everything I can to get out of it. Why does CJAC want me to stay on and serve?

While a majority of Americans believe the jury system is the fairest way to determine guilt or innocence, jury avoidance is common. All citizens should fulfill their jury duty obligations to assure fairness in all trials, to bring together a diverse and representative jury, and so that the responsibility of jury duty is equally distributed among all Californians.

What are the benefits of being a member?

Members receive our Weekly Wrap-up of Sacramento activity during the state legislative session. Members also receive our monthly Balance Newsletter, which includes brief updates on important cases and legal reform news, alerts on key pieces of legislation, information on political candidates’ views on legal reform and who is contributing to them, and background on judicial appointments around the state.

How do I become a member?

Call us at (916) 443-4900, fax (916) 443-4306 or e-mail dedgar@cjac.org. Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

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1201 K Street Suite 1850, Sacramento, CA 95814 | Phone: (916) 443-4900 | Fax: (916) 443-4306

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