One of the key things CALA will be doing this spring and fall is sending questionnaires to candidates asking where they stand on key legal reform issues. Our questionnaires cover topics such as the impact of litigation on the economy, class action reform and penalties for filing frivolous lawsuits, among others. Most importantly we will be asking them whether they will be accepting contributions from the Consumer Attorneys of California or any of its affiliated political action committees.
According to the Civil Justice Associaton of California, the trial lawyers have given approximately $35.2 million dollars in contributions over the past decade. The trial lawyer influence in elections run vast and deep. Just in 2009, they gave approximately $1 million to incumbent state officials and candidates.
California needs to focus on creating jobs, not a legal climate that encourages more litigation. The reason we are in this economic mess is due to too many taxes, over regulation and a legal climate that is out of control. The legislature needs to adopt legal reforms that will help create jobs in our state, not drive them away.
This goes also to the candidates who run for office. These are not normal times. The status quo is not going to get you to the finish line and towing the party line is not going to make you friends. Trial lawyers do not check party affiliation before they file a lawsuit. Voters must ask their candidates were they stand on legal reform.
Voting is the one time "we the people" can have a say in the process. If you do not like the course we are on, then do something about it. The reason 97% of incumbents get re-elected is because people do not ask questions. Do you really know where your candidate stands and how they have voted in Sacramento? I do not think the vast majority of people do. If ever there was a time to ask, it is now.
CALA believes in voter education and will do its part to make sure the citizens of this state know who they are voting for in the coming elections. Demand legal reform from your candidate!