Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tallahassee Lassie


This is the time of year when trial lawyers and business interests attempt to bribe -- I mean lobby -- state legislators in order to game the system -- I mean carefully enact legislation affecting important issues of public policy.

So far the business interests are winning:
Though it's still early in the nine-week session, lawmakers and lobbyists are focusing attention on three bills -- the attorney fee caps on state cases, the slip and fall protections and another measure to restore a parent's right to sign a negligence waiver for a child -- that are considered most likely to pass this year.

The momentum shift is putting the trial lawyers on the defensive.

Even a measure the group is backing to allow larger judgments in lawsuits against the state and local governments met ardent opposition in a House committee Tuesday morning.

The bill (HB1107) would have increased the sovereign immunity caps for damages against government entities from $100,000 to $250,000 with total claims from one incident capped at $1 million.

But the House Civil Justice and Courts Policy Committee dissolved into chaos as opponents crafted hand-written amendments to substantially weaken the bill, lowering the caps to $200,000 and $400,000 in the aggregate.

Later in the day, the House considered the litigation caps and slip and fall legislation with only moderate opposition from Democrats.

10 comments:

  1. In all seriousness, your profession needs to do a better job countering the smears and propaganda directed against it. There is big money in law, somewhere -- right? Where is the big money PR campaign to wake people up to the fact that it's not the 'trial lawyers' who will suffer, but them as well?

    The myopic Republican talking point that "everything is the fault of the trial lawyers" is gaining traction, and it's not just lawyers who will suffer from it, but anyone with a valid civil tort that cries for redress.

    I've been diligently defending you all in the blogosphere, but that only works on people who can both read, and read blogs.

    Nip this propaganda in the bud now, because a wave of insanity is rising up against you.

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  2. Look at HCR. Hard to match that money.

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  3. this blog (and even the comments) is the bestest, most fun blog in So Fla

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  4. A dollar for dollar match is not necessary when your side is in the right.

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  5. Berger Singerman just asked for $1.3 million for 'corporate' work but it's always about the 'trial lawyers.'

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  6. Today's column by Jordan Dresnick in the bar bulletin is a perfect example of what Godwhacker is referring to.

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  7. wow. i am so in love.

    NB - I like her hat.

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  8. I love this woman. Who is she????

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  9. If anybody wonders why the plaintiff trial lawyers' have a terrible reputation, just read the Rule 11 order that Judge Seitz entered yesterday in the Bautista case. You may think that the system worked in that the lawyers' mendacity is being punished, but the unfortunate fact is that they were probably surprised at being called out and sanctioned for their conduct. They no doubt saw it as business as usual. And they wouldn't be half-wrong.

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