LOCAL LEGAL WATCHDOG GROUP KICKS OFF “SMALL BUSINESS SUMMER” CAMPAIGN

TALA  Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse

Campaign Will Highlight the Importance of Protecting Small Businesses Against Lawsuit Abuse

Austin, Texas – Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) organizations across Texas today launched a “Small Business Summer” campaign to highlight how lawsuit abuse plagues small businesses in the state and educate local businesses on how to avoid abusive litigation.

The local effort is part of “Create Jobs, Not Lawsuits,” a national campaign to bring attention to the negative impact of lawsuit abuse.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and a single abusive lawsuit could put many of them out of business and their employees out of a job,” said Garry Bradford, Chairman, Bay Area CALA. “While we’ve passed meaningful reforms in Texas, ‘Small Business Summer’ is a reminder that we must work to protect these reforms to ensure a successful future for the small businesses that drive our economy.”

Diane Davis, Executive Director, East Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse, added, “We are declaring this July and August as ‘Small Business Summer’ – an opportunity to bring to light how lawsuit abuse can harm small businesses and ensure that the voices of small business owners are heard.”

Texas CALAs are partnering with small businesses throughout their local communities for the summer effort. As part of the campaign, the CALAs will distribute legal consumer guides geared toward small businesses, flyers relating how lawsuit abuse hurts small businesses and their consumers and employers, and window decals that businesses can display to show they are a “Small Business Partner” in the national “Create Jobs, Not Lawsuits” movement.

Nationally, lawsuits cost small businesses hundreds of billions of dollars, according to the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). More than one-third of small businesses surveyed by ILR said they have been sued while more than 60 percent say they take burdensome precautions to protect themselves from litigation that makes their products and services more expensive. Texas is home to more than 350,000 small businesses, employing 2.9 million Texans.

“Fighting a lawsuit can destroy a small business – even if the lawsuit is unwarranted – because many business owners don’t have the resources to fight a junk lawsuit in court,” said Febe Zepeda, Executive Director, Rio Grande Valley CALA.

“However, armed with the right information, business owners can take steps to protect themselves from abusive lawsuits, and that’s a message we want to spread during our Small Business Summer activities.”

While Texas has passed reforms, Jennifer Harris, spokesperson for CALA of Central Texas, noted that reforming the civil justice system should be a national priority.

“In Texas, we’ve led the way, continuing to build on the smart, successful lawsuit reforms we’ve passed. It’s time our leaders in Washington step up to the plate and embrace legal reforms that will help small businesses across the country– and the consumers and the families that depend on them. We need more jobs, not more lawsuits.”

+++++

About CALA:  Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) is a grassroots movement of people concerned that lawsuit abuse hurts Texas families and Texas employers and can ultimately cost jobs and limit access to all types of goods and services.  With more than 25,000 supporters in Texas, CALA is a community-based movement dedicated to educating the public about the cost and consequences of lawsuit abuse, challenging those who abuse our legal system, and returning common sense and fairness to our courts.