The civil justice system is in jeopardy. A series of tort reform bills coming to the floor in early March could be devastating to Americans’ access to justice.
Last week, I talked about H.R. 985, which seeks to eliminate the rights of Americans to bring class actions or multidistrict litigation (MDL) efforts against those who have harmed them. Class actions and MDLs level the playing field; people injured by big companies’ negligence would otherwise not likely have the resources to seek compensation from those companies, which certainly pay for the best defense representation in the country.
The American Association for Justice (AAJ), including many members of Women En Mass (WEM), are determined to stop these bills, but they need our help. Thousands of dollars have already been raised to fight this legislation that threatens the American civil justice system. Firms who are interested in helping the cause can click here to donate.
WEMbers like Julie Braman Kane of Colson Hicks Eidson have been pounding the pavement to make the voices of American citizens heard. She explained that the level of disconnect she saw between the anti-civil justice members of the House Judiciary Committee and the other members was shocking. Members of the public waiting in line to hear the proceedings were excluded from a committee room with at least fifteen empty seats, and for no appropriate reason. The tenor of the committee will not change on the issues that will impact our clients. To echo her message: We have a lot of work to do.
Lawyers, please engage your clients, who are their own best allies. AAJ, through its Take Justice Back campaign, has created a website with materials to help you activate your clients to oppose H.R. 985. Materials include a sample letter to encourage them to contact their elected officials in Washington. Take Justice Back also has an online tool that allows clients find the names and contact information for the Congressperson and Senator as well as form letters.
This site will continue to grow and improve, but it’s critical to start the process of opposition to these bills today.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).