CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Lots of Wins As Legislative Year Reaches Halfway Point

Posted on 06/03/2013 @ 07:00 PM

Tags: Legislature

We have reached the halfway point of the legislative year and we are pleased to report that 21 of the 31 bills we opposed at the start of the session have already been stopped or adequately amended. Additionally, 19 bills that we are supporting are still alive.

We've had a number of significant victories during the first half of the legislative year. Just last week, we and our coalition members defeated AB 802 by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), which would have created onerous requirements for arbitration companies. The bill was not taken up on the Assembly floor due to lack of support and cannot move forward this year.

We also stopped SB 617 by Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), which would have expanded the reasons for which California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuits could be filed. The bill was not taken up on the Senate floor and is dead for the year.

Meanwhile, efforts to reform CEQA and Prop. 65 continue to move forward. SB 731 (Steinberg), AB 37 (Perea), and AB 417 (Frazier) are all CEQA reform bills supported by CJAC and have advanced to the next house. AB 227, Assemblymember Mike Gatto's Prop. 65 reform bill, was approved by the Assembly unanimously and will now be considered by the Senate.

Please go to the Legislative Center on our website for more information on all the bills we are tracking.

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Plaintiffs' Lawyers Threatening MICRA

Posted on 05/31/2013 @ 07:00 PM

Tags: Medical Liability/MICRA

The plaintiffs' bar is making new threats against California's long-standing medical malpractice liability law (the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act - MICRA).

Consumer Watchdog held a press conference in early May at the State Capitol announcing that it would pursue an initiative for the 2014 ballot if the Legislature does not change MICRA's limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases (the limit is currently $250,000, while economic and punitive damages are unlimited).

Then last week, the Consumer Attorneys of California paid for a billboard that went up in Sacramento attacking MICRA. You can read more about it here.

We will be fighting any attempt to change MICRA every step of the way - whether it is in the Legislature or on the ballot. While there is still no specific proposal, it is important for all of us to remain vigilant in protecting MICRA. Allowing for higher non-economic damages will dramatically increase the cost of medical malpractice insurance, which will hurt every medical provider in the state and result in reduced healthcare access for patients. Out of control medical liability costs were exactly what led to the enactment of MICRA (which was signed into law by Jerry Brown during his first stint as Governor).

For more information about the importance of MICRA to California's healthcare system, please go to www.micra.org.

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Update on CJAC Public Affairs Conference

Posted on 05/22/2013 @ 07:00 PM

There are some updates to the agenda for CJAC's first public affairs conference, California and the Courts, which is taking place June 26-28 at the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach. The conference will analyze the political climate in California and what impact it will have on the state's judicial system.

Here is the latest list of topics and panelists:

Thursday, June 27th

California Politics in 2014: A Party Perspective - Panelists: Jim Brulte, California Republican Party and Jim DeBoo, California Assembly Democrats

National Trends - Panelists: Daniel Gatoff, Lake Research and Lori Weigel, Public Opinion Strategies

Lunch Keynote Speaker - Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs

Food Court - Prop 65 and Food Lawsuits - Panelists: Benjamin Broderick, Theodora Oringher and Michael Steel, Morrison & Foerster

Corporate Litigation Perspectives - William E. Thomson, Gibson Dunn: "The Real Story Behind the Chevron/Ecuador Litigation" and Don Marshall, Toyota: "Perspectives on California Litigation"

Friday, June 28th

A Legislator's Perspective - Senators Marty Block and Mimi Walters; Assemblymembers Mike Gatto, Jimmy Gomez, Al Muratsuchi, and Don Wagner

If you are interested in attending, click here for more information.

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Registration Now Open for CJAC Public Affairs Conference - June 26-28

Posted on 05/06/2013 @ 07:00 PM

CJAC's first public affairs conference, California and the Courts, will be held June 26-28 at the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach. The conference will analyze the political climate in California and what impact it will have on the state's courts.

The conference will start with a welcome reception on June 26th at 5:00 P.M. and will end by 10:00 A.M. on June 28th. Dinner on the 27th and breakfast on the 28th are not included in the conference ticket price but will be made available for an additional $100.

Panels:

California Politics in 2014: A Party Perspective - Panelists: Jim Brulte and Jim DeBoo
National Trends - Panelists: Daniel Gatoff, Lake Research and Lori Weigel, Public Opinions Strategies
Food Court - Prop 65 and Food Lawsuits - Panelists: Benjamin Broderick, Theodora Oringher and Michael Steel, Morrison & Foerster
General Counsels' Perspectives - Panelists TBD

Tickets:

$199 Early Bird (Prior to May 17)
$250 Regular Ticket
$355 Room at the Montage (Per Night)

CJAC certifies that the June 27 afternoon portion of this activity has been approved for two hours of MCLE credit by the State Bar of California.

If you are interested in attending, please complete the registration form and return it to Debbie Edgar no later than June 12th so that we can reserve your spot at the conference.

You are responsible for reserving a room at the Montage (888.715.6700). Be sure to mention the "Civil Justice Association of California" when booking your room.

Interested in being a sponsor? There are two sponsorship levels. The benefits are listed below. Please contact Debbie Edgar for additional information.

Gold Sponsor - $5,000

  • Name and/or logo included on all conference materials
  • Five complimentary seats at the conference

Silver Sponsor - $2,500

  • Name and/or logo included on conference program
  • Five complimentary seats at the conference

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Prop. 65 Reform Measure Narrowed, Moves On

Posted on 04/30/2013 @ 04:00 PM

Tags: Proposition 65

The effort to dramatically reform Proposition 65 proposed in AB 227 by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Burbank) was scaled back today during a hearing of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. The bill was significantly narrowed before being approved by the committee.

The original version of the bill would have given any alleged Prop. 65 violator 14 days to make fixes before a lawsuit could be filed. The amendments limit the bill's application to alleged violations relating to exposure to alcohol and food-related chemicals, tobacco smoke, and vehicle exhaust. In only these cases, an alleged violator can avoid a lawsuit by paying a $500 penalty for each facility where the violation occurred and by posting the required warning signs within 14 days of being notified of the violation.

Earlier this month the previous version of the bill was passed unanimously by the Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee, but it was clear that Gatto was expected to make major changes to the bill if he wanted it to keep it alive.

You can read about the amendments in more detail in the legislative analysis. While we're disappointed that the bill had to be narrowed to this degree, this is still a step forward.

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