CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

CJAC Remains Perfect as Bills Head to Governor's Desk

Posted on 01/30/2014 @ 12:00 PM

Tags: Legislature

With the close of the legislative season, we are pleased to report that 34 of the 34 bills we opposed at the start of the session have already been stopped or adequately amended. Additionally, we have nine supported bills awaiting the Governor's approval.

We've had a number of significant victories during the legislative year. CJAC opposed and helped to defeat AB 458 by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), which would have repealed existing law allowing businesses a tax deduction for punitive damages paid or incurred in connection with a judgment or settlement.

We also adequately ammended AB 325 by Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), which would have significantly expanded the statute of limitations in lawsuits over local government land-use decisions and increased lawsuits challenging land-use planning decisions.

Meanwhile, CJAC helped to send three "Good Samaritan" bills through the legislature and to the Governor's desk. AB 633 (Salas), SB 669 (Huff), and AB 635 (Ammiano) all seek to protect "Good Samaritans" who are acting in good faith and with reasonable care from frivolous lawsuits as a result of their actions. Governor Brown has until October 13, 2013 to veto these bills or they will become law.

Please go to the Legislative Center on our website for more information on all the bills we tracked during the 2013 legislative session.

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CJAC Urges Greater Funding for Courts

Posted on 01/14/2014 @ 08:00 AM

Tags: Courts

Today the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, unveiled a three-year blueprint outlining how to restore adequate funding to California’s state courts.

CJAC President Kim Stone joined the Chief Justice at the Press Conference, along with legislative leaders and other court advocates.

Kim Stone said “Businesses in California need a fully functioning, appropriately funded judicial system. Court delays can turn a one year case into a three-year case, with greatly increased costs for both sides. CJAC applauds the $100M increase in judicial branch funding in the 2014 Governor’s proposed budget, but believes that the courts need and deserve more.”

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California Named Worst “Judicial Hellhole” in the Nation for Second Year Running

Posted on 12/17/2013 @ 08:00 AM

Tags: Legal Climate

California once again was named the #1 “judicial hellhole” in America by the American Tort Reform Foundation in its 12th annual Judicial Hellholes report. California has been included in the report every year in some form since it was first issued in 2002; last year taking the #1 spot for the first time.

This year’s report focuses on how California’s infamous “food court” in the Northern District of California attracts consumer class action lawsuits against all kinds of food makers. The report also highlights the ongoing problems with exploitative disabled access lawsuits.

Sadly, this report is not surprising. California is viewed as having the least fair judicial system in the entire country. Lawyers sue over minor technicalities, or sue the yogurt company on behalf of everyone who ever bought yogurt when 99.9% of the consumers were happy with their yogurt! Meritless cases like these clog our courts and keep the truly injured from getting their day in court.

I encourage you to take a look at the report, which can be found here.

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CJAC Op-ed: MICRA Initiative Will Raise Health Care Costs

Posted on 08/05/2013 @ 11:00 AM

Tags: Medical Liability/MICRA

An op-ed from CJAC President Kim Stone was printed in The Recorder today explaining the dangers of the trial lawyer-sponsored initiative to raise California's limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.

She writes, "There have been and will continue to be many heartbreaking stories you will hear about medical errors. But remember when you hear them that there is no appropriate price you can put on a tragedy, that making lawsuits more expensive will not improve the quality of care that anyone receives, and that the higher costs that would result will put more people in danger because there will be less access to doctors."

You can read the entire op-ed here.

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New Prop 65 Warning Regs Under Consideration - Public Workshop on 7/30

Posted on 07/25/2013 @ 08:00 PM

Tags: Proposition 65

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) will be holding a public workshop on Tuesday, July 30th to gather input on a regulation that would address Proposition 65 warnings.

OEHHA is considering a rulemaking that would provide for more detailed warnings concerning exposures to substances labeled as toxic under Prop. 65. More specific warnings are also a component of Governor Jerry Brown's Prop. 65 reform proposal, but yesterday's announcement indicates that OEHHA may move forward with a regulation independent of what happens with the Governor's effort to reform Prop. 65 through legislation.

We urge you to weigh in with OEHHA if this issue affects you. Please consider sending a representative to the July 30th workshop, which will take place at:

Cal/EPA Headquarters Building, Coastal Hearing Room
1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA
10:00am to 3:30pm

The workshop will also be webcast (not active until the day and time of the meeting) at: http://calepa.ca.gov/Broadcast/.

Please note that the July 30th hearing is a pre-regulatory workshop and if OEHHA decides to formally propose a Proposition 65 warning regulation there will be additional opportunities for public input.

We recommend you look at the OEHHA announcement, which can be found here, as well as their examples of the proposed new warnings here.

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