Author Archive

Do You Know Where Your Candidates Stand on Lawsuit Reform?

Texas, which once had the biggest lawsuit abuse problem in the country, is now a leader in the lawsuit reform movement. 

The changes made have helped:

The progress made has been hard-fought making it important we elect officials who work just as hard to defend those reforms that have ensured our courts are used for justice, not greed. These reforms have helped Texas become a place where businesses want to be – and that means more jobs and a stronger economy. We must continue to protect these reforms and elect officials who will, too.

As the March elections approach and you consider your options on the ballot, do you know where your candidates stand? Every day candidates talk about the need for continued job growth and the importance of access to health care– each vitally important to the continued wellbeing of Texans.  But are your candidates willing to protect lawsuit reform and fight against attempts by some personal injury lawyers to undo those reforms?

Before you head to the ballot box make sure to research your candidates and ask them questions.

Early voting starts on February 18and ends February 28, 2020.

Election Day is March 3, 2020.

If you need to check if you’re already registered or find out where you need to vote, click HERE.

For more voting information on the upcoming primary elections, visit VoteTexas.gov.

Texas Recognized as State of the Decade

Earlier this month, Texas was named the 2019 State of the Year by Business Facilities Magazine.  The state is now the first to win the award for the fourth time after receiving the designation in 2007, 2012 and 2016.  The magazine’s editor in chief, Jack Rogers, called Texas an “economic development success story.”

In a radio interview on News Radio 1080 KRLD in Dallas-Fort Worth, Rogers went even further stating, “Business Facilities doesn’t have a State of the Decade Award, but if we did, Texas would be the hands-down winner.”  Listen to the interview here.

Texas’ place as a leader in job creation and innovation is due in part to legal reforms implemented over the past 20-plus years.  Employers are attracted to the positive business climate that lawsuit reforms have helped create.  Curbing lawsuit abuse helps small businesses flourish.

Following the Business Facilities announcement Governor Greg Abbott stated, “The Texas success story is just beginning. Together, we will continue to cultivate an environment of economic growth and opportunity that creates a brighter future for every Texan.”

Governor Abbott is right.

Texans must work together to ward off relentless efforts to undermine reform or create new ways to sue.  For Texas to keep its status as #1 in the country, policymakers must be reminded: Reform Works.

Ringing in the New Year Without a Lawsuit

As Texans prepare to celebrate the holidays at office parties and social gatherings, it’s important for party hosts to keep liability in mind as they plan celebrations especially those that involve alcohol. Partygoers should be encouraged to take personal responsibility for their own actions as a way to curb lawsuit abuse this holiday season.

Following these suggestions can help avoid lawsuits being served at your holiday party:

Judicial Hellholes 2019-2020 Report

The 2019-2020 Judicial Hellholes report from the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) is out!

The report identifies areas of the country where lawsuit abuse is rampant and justice is not evenly applied.   While questionable legal practices and junk lawsuits continue to be a problem in Texas, our state’s work to shed its reputation as the nation’s lawsuit abuse poster child continues to make the grade: Texas is not on this year’s hellholes list.

Texas not only avoided the Judicial Hellholes list but was recognized for positive lawsuit reforms enacted by our state Legislature in 2019.

However, other areas, including neighbors to the east in Louisiana and north in Oklahoma, still have their work cut out for them.  

Check out the complete report here and follow the conversation online using #JudicialHellholes.

Say “Boo” to Lawsuits

Halloween – a time for creepy crawlers, ghosts, witches and things that go “boo” in the night. But there is more to this fun holiday than meets the eye. 

While you are trying to decide what costume to wear and what party to attend, some personal injury lawyers may be gearing up for ways to use Halloween – and our courts – to make a buck over the ghostliest reasons.

But there are precautions you can take to keep from falling into a lawsuit trap.  If you are accepting trick-or-treaters:   

If you are hosting a party, here are a few tips for keeping a lawsuit out of your plastic pumpkin:

You can help keep Halloween-like horrors away and ensure that access to our courts is preserved for justice — not greed, boos or bumps in the night. 

Personal Injury Lawyer Ads Plaguing Consumers: Texas Responds

Personal injury lawyer advertising continues to raise eyebrows across the United States. A new study examines how Philadelphia personal injury lawyers continue to unleash legal services ads on that city’s consumers. The problem isn’t limited to the East Coast, as Texans, too, have seen in recent years.

Personal injury lawyer ads with terms such as “medical alert,” “public service announcement” or “drug alert” have proliferated in recent years. For example, from October to December 2018, television viewers in the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio markets alone saw more than 132,000 advertisements for legal services, according to an American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) report.

Thankfully, the Lone Star State is a leader in smart-minded, consumer-friendly reforms. A new Texas law aimed at addressing the same practice was passed in 2019 and took effect on Sept. 1. The new law protects Texans from deceptive lawyer ads.

The law prohibits certain statements and requires warnings and disclosures for legal services advertisements, and ultimately penalize those who violate the rules. Lawsuit ads relating to pharmaceutical drugs or medical devices are required to state that consumers should not discontinue medication until speaking to a physician. In addition, ads are not allowed to display logos of federal or state agencies in a manner that might be viewed as an endorsement or official government notice. The Texas law also states that these types of ads will disclose they are paid advertisements for legal services, among other requirements.

The proliferation of these ads nationally, as well as the new requirements in Texas offer up a good and timely reminder: Don’t let a lawyer be your doctor.

Texas Lawsuit Reforms Attract New Physicians

Since Texas voters approved medical liability reforms 16 years ago, the number of new doctors practicing in the state has grown significantly.  Read more from the Texas Alliance for Patient Access:   

TEXAS LICENSES A RECORD NUMBER OF NEW PHYSICIANS AT THE 16-YEAR MARK OF LIABILITY REFORMS

The Texas Medical Board licensed a record 4,760 new physicians for the fiscal year that ended in August.

The board licensed 246 more doctors this year than last, said Austin internist Howard Marcus, M.D, chairman of Texas Alliance For Patient Access.

“The number of new physicians applying for a Texas license also reached a near all-time high,” said Dr. Marcus, “topping 5,000 applicants for the fifth successive year,” he said.

“The state medical board is now licensing twice as many doctors per year than in the medical crisis years before lawsuit reforms were enacted,” said Marcus.

“Texas needs all of the high-quality doctors we can get, and we’re doing a good job of attracting them,” said Marcus.

Article above found on TAPA homepage: www.tapa.info

Stopping Lawsuit Abuse Starts With You!

September 30 through October 4 marks 2019 Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week in Texas (LAAW) and across the country. This effort puts a spotlight on abusive lawsuits and questionable legal practices – and to educate Texans on the cost lawsuit abuse imposes on all of us. LAAW also focuses on personal responsibility and reminds each of us the pivotal role we play in ending lawsuit abuse and ensuring courts are used for justice, not greed.

That’s where “It Starts With You” comes in. It’s the message Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse groups are delivering this week and beyond.

Over the years, Texas legislators have passed significant lawsuit reforms. Texas has become a model for reform, instead of the poster child for lawsuit abuse. This year, lawmakers continued this week, including passing a new law to ensure consumers are better armed when they see or hear health care-related ads paid for by personal injury lawyers.

But at the end of the day, it shouldn’t be up to Texas lawmakers to legislate personal responsibility. It’s important that all of us remember that we all pay and we all lose when it comes to lawsuit abuse.

All Texans can be a part of the solution by serving on a jury when called, by educating themselves, friends and neighbors of their legal rights, and by making smart choices when they hire a lawyer or consider filing a lawsuit. Handy tips are found here in our Legal Consumer Guide.

Let’s do our part and put a stop to lawsuit abuse. Please join CALA and spread the word, “It Starts With You.”

Texas Legislature Making Strides to Protect Patients

As a physician, I strive to communicate openly and transparently with my patients. Building trust is a critical component in any treatment protocol – whether patients are navigating a life-threatening or debilitating illness, or one that is persistent and chronic.

Too many times, however, trust in the doctor-patient relationship erodes when a patient sees or hears information that effectively misleads them about their treatment in an advertisement paid for by personal injury lawyers.

Thankfully, the Legislature this year approved Senate Bill 1189 to protect Texans from such deception. Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new law that will prohibit certain statements and require warnings and disclosures for legal services advertisements, and ultimately penalize those who violate the rules. The measure, which had the support of the Partnership to Protect Patient Health coalition, took effect Sept. 1.

Kudos to policymakers for taking this stand; it’s a great step, because this type of misleading advertising has simply gotten out of hand.

Personal injury lawyer ads with terms such as “medical alert,” “public service announcement” or “drug alert” have proliferated in recent years. For example, from October to December 2018, television viewers in the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio markets alone saw more than 132,000 advertisements for legal services, according to an American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) report. These lawsuit ads far outnumbered those for pizza or hardware stores. In many instances, such advertising used innuendo or misleading information to scare people about unproven medical risks or threats to their health.

The expansion of such advertising can have a serious impact on patients. A 2016 survey of Texas doctors by Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse found 66% of physicians surveyed said patients have questioned their recommended course of treatment, citing concerns about claims they saw in a lawsuit ad. Eight out of 10 doctors surveyed said these types of ads could lead patients to discontinue their medical treatments.

Spending for lawsuit ads also has grown.

ATRA found  that an average of one legal services ad aired locally every minute across Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio media markets in the fourth quarter of 2018. From October through December 2018, an estimated $16.4 million in lawsuit ads aired – up $1.3 million from  the prior quarter.

It is critical that a patient consult her or his doctor before changing any prescribed treatment, and it certainly should not change based on a TV advertisement by a personal injury lawyer. That’s common sense, but personal injury lawyer ads are aimed at scaring consumers.

As of Sept. 1, lawsuit ads relating to pharmaceutical drugs or medical devices are required to state that consumers should not discontinue medication until speaking to a physician, among other consumer protection language. In addition, ads are not allowed to display logos of federal or state agencies in a manner suggesting the advertisement was presented by such an agency. And these ads will disclose they are paid advertisements for legal services, among other requirements.

My priority is the health of each one of my patients. My many years of training and continuing education to learn about new treatment protocols and new procedures are all aimed at improving my patients’ lives. Collaboration, built on a foundation of open communication and trust is paramount. With this new law, consumers will be better armed when they see or hear healthcare-related ads paid for by personal injury lawyers. That’s good news because, as we all know, patients shouldn’t let lawyers be their doctors.  


Dr. Christine L. Canterbury, M.D., specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Corpus Christi Women’s Clinic and also is past-President of Bay Area Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

Legal Consumer Guide

You’ve heard the old adage that nothing in life is free, and it especially applies when discussing the cost and consequences of lawsuit abuse.  After all, the fallout from questionable legal practices and lawsuits affects each and every one of us. 

For example – take a look at health care.  For far too long, some personal injury lawyers have trolled for clients through aggressive and misleading advertising aimed at scaring patients into suing over their medicines.  Fortunately, Texas legislators have put a stop to this, passing legislation that took effect on Sept. 1, 2019.  The new law requires legal advertisements to properly warn patients that it is dangerous to stop taking a prescribed medicine before consulting a doctor.

This is just one example of how some personal injury lawyers have abused the legal system.  In order to help consumers be more savvy in legal matters, Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse is sharing a Legal Consumer Guide consisting of handy tips to help Texans make informed choices when it comes to their legal needs.