CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Nov 18, 2009

Senator John Benoit Honored with Civil Justice Leadership Award

SACRAMENTO - Senator John Benoit (37th District) will be honored on Thursday, November 19, by the Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) for his leadership during the 2009-10 legislative session.

“Having first-hand experience with many aspects of the legal system through my career in public safety, I have always had immense respect for the law and its important role in our society,” said Senator Benoit. “I am incredibly grateful for this prestigious honor. An effective and fair justice system requires the dedication and vigilance of all Californians.”

During this past legislative session, Benoit authored several bills that would improve California’s legal climate and help businesses, consumers, and taxpayers.

Senate Bill 39 was written in response to a California Supreme Court decision that stripped traditional liability protections from non-medical “Good Samaritans” and such volunteers providing non-medical help. The bill, which went into effect immediately, extended liability protections to any person providing help in good faith at the scene of an emergency.

Senator Benoit authored Senate Bill 187, which would have allowed employees to work four 10-hour days without being paid for overtime. This would have provided employees with flexibility and helped reduce the number of employment-related lawsuits. He also authored Senate Bill 807, which would have clarified the law on meal and rest break periods, benefitting employers and employees by reducing litigation in their area.

“Senator Benoit will receive our Civil Justice Leadership Award for his work and dedication in trying to bring fairness and balance to California’s civil justice system,” said CJAC President John H. Sullivan.

Kim Stone, CJAC’s vice president-legislation, added: “Senator Benoit’s constituents and all Californians are lucky to have him working in Sacramento to support the interests of consumers, businesses, and Good Samaritans, and to ease the burdens on our courts.”

Senator Benoit’s district is located entirely within Riverside County, encompassing more than 4,800 square miles and including more than 846,000 residents. On November 4, he was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to fill the 4th District Riverside County Supervisor seat and will be sworn into that position on December 1.

The Civil Justice Association of California annually recognizes lawmakers whose commitment to balance and fairness in California’s civil justice system benefits consumers, taxpayers, and businesses of all kinds.

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