Central California Regional Director Tracy Leach blogged about Juror Appreciation Week for Red County. She wrote:
"May 11th-15th is officially “Juror Appreciation Week” in California. This annual recognition during the second full week of May was established by the legislature in 1998 and serves to honor those citizens who take the time to participate in and protect the invaluable right of free citizens to a jury of their peers."
CALA supporter George Coles had an op-ed published in the San Diego Business Journal about jury service. He wrote:
"As a business owner, I know firsthand the inconvenience that can come with employees – or me personally – being called for jury service. Especially in today’s tough economic climate, businesses are running lean and looking for every way to save money, preserve jobs and just keep afloat.
But I fully recognize that it is a part of the price we all pay to preserve a judicial system that is fair and reflects our diverse community. In our litigious society, civil disputes are becoming more commonplace – contracts, product liability, insurance, employment disputes, and so on. We need to do our part to ensure jury pools that understand these issues and the role they play in business operations.
Businesses most subject to frivolous, abusive lawsuits should play a role in protecting justice by encouraging jury service among their employees. One of the reasons I founded Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse in San Diego in 1994 was specifically to encourage business professionals and employers to support jury service to help improve our civil justice system."
Assemblyman Van Tran had an op-ed in the Orange County Register about Trial Lawyer Lobby Day. He wrote:
"Unfortunately, special interests play a powerful role in shaping California's legislative and regulatory structure, and therefore our economy and our ability to produce our much needed government revenues. One of the most powerful and formidable special interest groups – the trial lawyers – this week descends on the Capitol to lobby the Legislature. This year, trial lawyers will have an extra incentive – with 25 freshman lawmakers, the time to educate and influence is ripe.
"Central to their lobbying efforts each and every other year, the trial lawyers will try to sell the Legislature on their theory that liability laws need to be expanded at the expense of small businesses and consumers, who are ultimately the ones who pay for the higher costs of doing businesses in the state. With many legislators being former attorneys and many more counting the trial lawyers among their biggest campaign contributors, "lobby day lawyers" are likely to encounter a sympathetic audience."
Maryann Maloney Marino was interviewed for an article in the San Fernando Valley Business Journal about AB 298, a class action reform bill that recently died in committee. She noted that giving class-action defendents "immediate appeal" rights would streamline the judical process, saying:
“AB 298 was a sensible proposal,” said CALA spokesperson, Maryann Maloney Marino. “Class action certification involves actions that effect a large number of people and are very expensive to the parties, to the court system, and to the citizens of the state.”
According to Marino, California has a reputation among some in the nation’s business community as a “class-action hell hole.”
For that reason, she said, the death of the bill is a blow to the state budget and the economy.
“…Immediate appeal is sensible and beneficial because it allows the parties to ensure, through appeal, that the order was correct,” said Marino. “And it also allows the Court of Appeal to correct errors and develop the law relating to class action certification.”
California CALA Executive Director Tom Scott was interviewed for an article about trial lawyers tactics for surviving tough economic times. He noted that the trial bar is trying to capitalize on the new leadership in the White House and increased majorities in Congress, saying:
"You can see that everywhere at the federal level, whether it is the recent Wyeth decision or arbitration. And that does not even touch how they have been moving against the private sector with class actions," he said.
Scott noted that in California, trial lawyers' legislative agenda seems be on hold pending what happens in the District of Columbia.
"The bottom-line is that trial lawyers are about money and profit. It is not about victims. Victims are simply a vehicle for them to attain their financial goals," he said.
San Diego Regional Director Lorie Zapf appeared on KUSI to discuss the implications of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Watch the video here.
San Diego Regional Director Lorie Zapf had a commentary published in this week's San Diego Business Journal about the well-intentioned but flawed Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which went into effect on February 10, 2009. In it, she notes:
"Billions of dollars — billions — of perfectly safe toys, clothing, books, bikes, and other children’s products are being taken off store shelves and thrown away, small businesses have been forced to close their doors forever, nonprofits and charities are being hurt, jobs are being lost — all in the name of helping consumers.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act sounds like a worthy law and was well intentioned, but it has turned into an economic train wreck for hundreds of thousands of small businesses, nonprofits and charities — including some in San Diego."