12 Wishes for 2011 and Beyond

A new legislature has been sworn in and we are now in the process of shaping our state's future, which is faced with serious unemployment and deficits and a very unclear future. Even the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke has said this economy might take 4-5 years to straighten out. So what better to do than to put California on a positive legal reform course, which would help economic recovery? If I had 12 wishes for legal reform in California it would probably go something like this:

1.  A Governor and legislature who worked to make California a places businesses want to grow and can thrive.

2. For all California residents to serve when called for jury duty.

3. An end to class action lawsuits, at least as the system is designed now. They keep on coming and the consumers lose every time.

4. Leave the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 alone. It has worked.

5. More arbitration and mediation, fewer lawsuits.

6. An end, and I mean an end, to shakedown ADA lawsuits. Reform efforts thus far have not done the trick.

7.  Reform the Proposition 65 Private Settlements - if there ever was a shakedown this is it.

8. Reform of the Sue Your Boss laws. These laws have been the mother lode for trial lawyers in CA.

9. Less litigation in our schools.

10. An Attorney General who is an enforcer, not an activist.

11. Less junk science in our courts.

12. Less lawsuits period! There has got to be a better way to resolve issues.

I know it is asking a lot and maybe not all of these wishes will come true, but a person can dream can't he? The fact is that this state needs to completely re-think how it is doing business. And if you do not think litigation impacts business and business development, just look around - there is plenty of proof. Litigation is impacting our schools, cities, counties and state government and the cost is huge.

As much as I hate to use the word change, it is what is needed. By putting legal reform in the same sentence as tax and regulatory reform you will put this state on the road to recovery. Happy holidays to everyone and here is to a great 2011.

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