Monday, February 21, 2011
Press Conference Announcing House Civil Justice Caucus
Here is a video of the press conference introducing the new House of Representatives "Civil Justice Caucus," a group whose mission apparently is to reform our civil justice system to make sure civil liability does not interfere with companies' "productivity" and profitability. Using all the familiar tort reform rhetoric, they emphasize the need to eliminate "frivolous lawsuits." I do not know of anyone who would disagree with this goal. There is not one single person out there advocating for a right to bring frivolous lawsuits. Unfortunately, as usual, the problem is that many of the proposals that are being presented by tort reform groups are really not intended to eliminate frivolous lawsuits but to limit access to representation or recovery by people who have a right to bring valid ones. If this group is really serious and honest about achieving fair reform, the key is to find ways to allow the system to continue to provide access to representation and compensation to those who deserve it, and letting the torts system work to improve safety. That is not an easy task, and, unfortunately, not one that I think they are interested in. I could be wrong, but judging from the med mal bill currently under discussion in Congress, I am not optimistic. For more on that bill go here, here, here and here.