CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

CJAC Issue Briefing: The Nuisance of Misguided Public Nuisance Litigation – September 28, 2016

Posted on 09/19/2016 @ 09:00 AM

Please join the Civil Justice Association of California on September 28 for a complimentary luncheon and panel discussion regarding the effect of nuisance litigation on policy, politics, and local government. The Issue Briefing, The Nuisance of Misguided Public Nuisance Litigation, will be held in the Cafeteria 15L Ultra Room, 1116 15th Street, Sacramento, CA, from 11:45 am to 1:30 pm. Registration beginning at 11:15.

Free MCLE credit available.

Speakers/Topics:

Kim Stone, President, Civil Justice Association of California: Usurping the Legislature - How Public Nuisance Litigation Turns Policy Making on Its Head

Julie Gunlock, Director, Independent Women's Forum's Culture of Alarmism Project: Exploiting Fear in the Courts for Politics and Profit

Tony Dias, Partner, Jones Day: Local Government Use of Public Nuisance Litigation to Whitewash Failure To Enforce California's Laws

Andrea Hogan, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP: West Coast Cities’ Public Nuisance Litigation Against Product Manufacturers to Pay for New Clean Water Act Regulatory Requirements

Click here for the Issue Briefing flyer. To RSVP, contact Debbie Edgar at dedgar@cjac.org.

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Ruling effectively rolls out a welcome mat for out-of-state plaintiffs

Posted on 09/19/2016 @ 09:00 AM

In an op-ed featured in the Daily Journal, Kim Stone explains that the recent California Supreme Court opinion on Bristol-Myers Squibb Company v. Superior Court, 2016 DJDAR 8952 (Aug. 29, 2016), could lay out “the welcome mat for out-of-state plaintiffs to sue out-of-state companies in California.”

Click here to read the full op-ed.

Further, CJAC conducted a study looking at out-of-state plaintiffs in pharmaceutical product liability cases filed in Los Angeles and San Francisco state courts between January 2010 and May 2016. Not exactly a surprise, very few California plaintiffs were represented (10%). “Sixty-seven percent of the cases involved had no California plaintiffs whatsoever and over 85 percent of the cases involved more than half of the plaintiffs from out of state.”

Click here to read the report.

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Jurors rock, some more than others

Posted on 08/29/2016 @ 09:00 AM

Performing her civic duty this week in Nashville, TN, was none other than Taylor Swift. To read the full Huffington Post story, click here.

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Shark-Attack Lawsuit Raises Interesting Questions, Like What Were You Doing in the Ocean to Begin With

Posted on 08/09/2016 @ 09:00 AM

Kevin Underhill (loweringthebar.net) takes a humorous look at assumption of risk in his recent post: Shark-Attack Lawsuit Raises Interesting Questions, Like What Were You Doing in the Ocean to Begin With.

Underhill says, “My interest is more in whether somebody who gets in the ocean with a guy who is known to attract sharks can sue that guy if a shark shows up and bites her.”

Click here to read the full story.

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California is ground zero for ADA lawsuit abuse

Posted on 08/09/2016 @ 09:00 AM

In a recent story in the Northern California Record, CJAC President Kim Stone comments on H.R. 241, known as the ACCESS bill (ADA Compliance for Customer Entry to Stores and Services). The bill was introduced in in the House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice in January 2015 by State Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA).

“California has become ground zero for ADA lawsuits,” Calvert said, “home to more federal disability lawsuits than the next four states combined.”

The story notes that, “H.R. 241’s proposed ADA reform in part resembles California Senate Bill 269 introduced by Sen. Richard Roth (D–Riverside) that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on May 10. SB 269 will amend the Civil Code, and the Government Code, changing how construction-related accessibility claims proceed under the ADA, and California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act of 1959. The bill allows businesses with payrolls of 50 workers or less to hire a Certified Access Specialist, and with a prior ADA access compliance inspection, receive a full 120 days to fix ADA violations without plaintiffs filing civil penalties.”

Stone notes that if businesses were allowed to fix problems before suit can be filed, two positive things would happen.

“One, the number of extortionate ADA lawsuits would go down," Stone said. "Two, businesses would become more accessible. This would be a tremendous improvement over the situation we’ve got now where many businesses still are not compliant and these lawsuits, in many cases, don’t even help improve access. Until and unless we change the law, we recommend that business owners find and hire a Certified Access Specialist and get their business evaluated. Then we recommend they make any improvements necessary to become compliant with the ADA.”

To read the full story, click here.

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