Posts Tagged ‘Press Releases’

TALA Urges Support for Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          CONTACT: Jennifer Harris
Sept. 17, 2015                                                                                     (512) 773-7168

Legislation by Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21) would implement meaningful lawsuit reforms at federal level

AUSTIN –Today, Congress is expected to debate and vote on H.R. 758, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA) by Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21).

Ahead of the vote, Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (TALA) is urging voters to contact their Member of Congress to support LARA.

LARA would implement common sense lawsuit reforms at the federal level that have proven successful in state legislatures across the country, including in Texas. H.R. 758 would:

• Impose mandatory sanctions on trial lawyers who file abusive lawsuits in federal courts.
• Ensure that sanctions imposed on trial lawyers are monetary and include attorney’s fees and other costs that a victim of an abusive lawsuit incurs.
• Restore fairness and integrity to the federal court system.

“LARA takes a meaningful, successful model of reform from states across our country, including Texas, and brings that same consistency and clarity to our nation’s courts,” said TALA spokeswoman Jennifer Harris. “We applaud Rep. Smith for his work to bring the Texas model of lawsuit reform to the Capitol.”

LARA was passed by the House of Representatives in 2013 but failed in the United States Senate. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is co-sponsoring LARA companion legislation in the Senate.

TALA works with Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) groups throughout the state. Launched in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley in 1990, the CALA movement has spread across the country. In the Lone Star State alone, more than 25,000 Texans support CALA chapters in East Texas, Houston, Central Texas, Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grande Valley.

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RELEASE: TEXAS LAWSUIT CLIMATE RATED WORSE THAN THREE YEARS AGO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      CONTACT: Jennifer Harris

SEPTEMBER 10, 2015                                                                 (512) 773-7168

 

Survey of legal counsel and lawyers with experience in Texas gives low marks in state for judicial competency, and fairness of judges and juries

 

AUSTIN – (Sept. 10, 2015) A national survey released today shows that even with 20 years of legal reform, the every day actions of judges and juries continue to impact perceptions of the Texas legal climate with excessive awards in key areas, driving down confidence in the legal system here and dropping Texas four places in the 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States.

 

“This survey, and our drop in the ranking, is a clear reminder that when it comes to a legal reform, our work in Texas is never done and our successes in the Legislature cannot be taken for granted,” said Jennifer Harris, spokesperson with Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse. “Beyond the State Capitol, judges and juries are the lifeblood of our civil justice system and their actions, and perceived level of competency, impact our litigation climate on a daily basis. At TALA, it’s one of the reason we continue in every election cycle to remind Texans that Good Judges Matter and urge citizens to answer the call to serve on a jury.”

 

Harris noted the survey likely does not reflect many recent legislative improvements to Texas’ lawsuit climate, including some passed in 2015.

 

“Even with the passage of some key reforms in 2015, this is a wake up call for Texas,” Harris said. “We are seeing outsized verdicts in some jurisdictions and we have suffered the effects of aggressive and entrepreneurial personal injury lawyers who turn litigation into a cottage industry that can impact the entire state. The excessive rise in litigation related to two hailstorms in Texas is a perfect example of how quickly a new rash of lawsuits, from enterprising personal injury lawyers, can take hold of the state.”

 

The survey was released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). Texans ranked 40th out of 50 states, a drop of four places since the survey was last conducted in 2012.

 

It also showed that companies say a state’s lawsuit climate is more important than ever in deciding where to grow, with 75 percent of attorneys at U.S. companies say a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, including where to locate or expand. That is an 18 percent increase from eight years ago, and an all-time high, according to ILR.

 

Also of note for Texas, survey participants also singled out East Texas, Los Angeles, California, and New Orleans/Orleans Parish, Louisiana, as some of the least fair jurisdictions nationally.

 

Harris Poll, a global polling firm, conducted the 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey through telephone and online interviews between March 9 and June 24, 2015. The respondents were more than 1,200 general counsels and senior attorneys or leaders in companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million. A full copy of the 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey is available online at:http://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/.

 

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.

 

Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (TALA) is a non-profit, statewide grassroots coalition 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. Created by citizens concerned about junk lawsuits and the price we all pay for lawsuit abuse, TALA is supported by thousands of small businesspeople, health care providers, consumers and taxpayers.

 

TALA works with Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) groups throughout the state. Launched in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley in 1990, the CALA movement has spread across the country. In the Lone Star State alone, more than 25,000 Texans support CALA chapters in East Texas, Houston, Central Texas, Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grande Valley.

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DON’T FIND A LUMP OF COAL OR A LAWSUIT IN YOUR STOCKING THIS HOLIDAY

For Immediate Release Contact: Jennifer Harris
December 3, 2014 (512) 773-7168

Social host liability tips can ensure your parties, guests shine, not sue

AUSTIN, TEXAS –Office parties and social gatherings will dot calendars between now and the New Year, and with these festive occasions come the threat of lawsuits. Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) organizations across Texas are urging party hosts to keep liability in mind as they plan celebrations that involve libations.

“By keeping a few simple tips in mind, you can keep a lump of coal or a lawsuit out of your stocking and make sure your holidays shine,” said Diane Davis of East Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (ETALA). “If you’re hosting a holiday gathering, make sure you are taking responsible measures to create a safe and liability free holiday season.”

“In our overly litigious society, it could be lawsuits, not eggnog that is served at your holiday party,” said Jennifer Harris of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Central Texas (CALACTX). “By thinking through things like transportation and simple safeguards to keep guests from overindulging, your holiday party can shine, and you can avoid getting sued.”

The following tips are holiday suggestions for keeping a lawsuit out of your stocking:

 For parties in your home, plan transportation for your guests, including designated drivers or cabs for a safe ride home, and have ample and appealing nonalcoholic beverages for your designated drivers;
 For office parties, consider a bus or taxi service for your employees;
 Avoid providing a self-service bar, opting instead for a bartender well-versed in identifying underage and intoxicated drinkers;
 Halt the flow of alcoholic beverages long before the party ends; and
 Take action if a guest does overindulge, arranging for transportation home.
“A few common sense steps can help ensure holiday parties are memorable but safe from lawsuits,” said Connie Scott of Bay Area Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (BACALA). “Stopping lawsuit abuse starts with each of us taking responsibility and using common sense.”
“By encouraging partygoers to take personal responsibility for their own actions, you can help curb lawsuit abuse this holiday season,” said Hazel Meaux of Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (TALA). “Holiday festivities shouldn’t be dampened by the threat of a lawsuit.”

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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, the CALAs are 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.

Launched in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley in 1990, the CALA movement has spread throughout the state, with chapters in East Texas, Central Texas, Corpus Christi, as well as the Valley, and across the country.

New Hidalgo County Study Raises Questions About Influx of Lawsuits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         Contact: John Horton
August 18, 2014                                                       Phone: 512-476-8626

McALLEN, Texas- Rio Grande Valley Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (RGVCALA) today unveiled a new study highlighting a “rush to the courthouse in Hidalgo County” and raising the possibility that the sudden upsurge in lawsuits reflects widespread practices of lawsuit abuse that may be going unnoticed.

The study, commissioned by RGVCALA and conducted by MB Public Affairs, Inc., examines lawsuit courthouse filings stemming from two hailstorms that struck the county in March and April of 2012. According to the study, almost half of all hailstorm lawsuits were filed in the two month period of March-April 2014, as the statute of limitations neared for insurance disputes from the Hidalgo County hailstorms. The study also revealed that this multitude of lawsuits was filed by a small number of law firms.

“As a local watchdog on our legal system, we noticed this influx of lawsuits and wanted to make sure that our system isn’t used for greed with a rush of filings,” said RGVCALA Executive Director Febe Zepeda. “It’s our organization’s job to make sure we’re educating citizens so they don’t fall prey to any trial lawyer tactics trying to stir up lawsuits for personal profit.”

Key findings from the RGVCALA Hidalgo County hailstorm study include:

• Between April 1, 2012 and April 30, 2014 a total of 5,740 “Hail Storm 2012” cases were filed in Hidalgo County.
• Of those cases, 2,513 were filed in March and April of 2014, meaning just under half of all the “Hail Storm 2012” cases were filed in the final two months of the period reviewed.

The full study can be found online by clicking here.

According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), insurance companies paid out claims to homeowners in Hidalgo County, totaling more than $550 million, with an additional $47 million in payouts going to vehicle owners in Hidalgo and Cameron counties.

“Despite these payments, trial lawyers flooded the county in the final months of the filing period looking for more,” said Zepeda. “Even as Texas has made major strides in curbing abusive lawsuits, trial lawyers are still finding ways to file questionable lawsuits and clog our courts.”

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