Author Archive

What’s next with these junk lawsuits? Taking the pop out of our soda?

Over the years we have seen an increase in silly lawsuits related to the food industry. Heard the one about a lawsuit against Junior Mint for too much air in the candy boxes?.  This ginger ale lawsuit is just the latest among many brought against the Dr Pepper Snapple Group. But questionable suits hurt us all.  We all pay and we all lose when it comes to lawsuit abuse.  After all, even the silliest of suits has to be defended.  Who ultimately pays for those costs?   We all do.  Let’s stop lawsuit abuse.

Read the complete story here: Ginger ale doesn’t contain any real ginger, lawsuit alleges.

Reform Works

Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse groups across Texas have been proud to be a part of the lawsuit reform movement for over 20 years. Thanks to lawsuit reform Texas has become a place where businesses want to be – and that means more jobs and a stronger economy.

Read more here: Texas is CNBC’s Top State for Business in America this year

Texas lawyer who filed fraudulent hail-damage lawsuits sentenced to 5 years

A personal injury lawyer who took advantage of some Texas homeowners by filing fraudulent hailstorm-related lawsuits will serve five years in prison, a Tarrant County judge has decided. Read the complete story here: Texas lawyer who filed fraudulent hail-damage lawsuits sentenced to 5 years.  H/T to the judge in this case.

Stand Up For Summer

Whether it’s a slip and falls on wet surfaces like swimming pool decking, dog bites by a neighbor’s pet, burns from a charcoal grill or fireworks’ accidents. We want to encourage and educate Texans about using common-sense to avoid being on the receiving end of lawsuit and to think twice before filing a suit themselves.

Legislation Needed, Not Litigation

For many personal injury trial lawyers, the dream is to one day hit the next big litigation jackpot and land a multi-billion-dollar settlement, deploying lawsuits against one American industry after another in a scheme to strike it big. Now, some attorneys believe they’ve uncovered the City of Gold and are ready to cash in on climate change.

Read the complete story: Climate Change: A Plea For Legislation, Not Litigation

Some personal injury lawyers are on the hunt for scooter injury cases

People are getting hurt riding (or hit by) scooters in California and some personal injury lawyers are on the hunt for cases.

Check out the complete article here: Now the Personal Injury Lawyers Have Scooters in Their Sights

The Imperfect Storm: Harvey Litigation Will Be Fought Under Hailstorm Bill’s Rules, While ‘Menchaca’ Looms in the Background

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall in late August 2017, it was the first major hurricane to hit Texas since Hurricane Ike, nine years before, which spawned a wealth of litigation against carriers.

Most of these cases have been resolved by 2017, leaving many policyholder and carrier attorneys with extra time on their hands. Harvey litigation undoubtedly means these lawyers will be back in business, but several other significant events mean they now operate on a much different playing field than before.

One event was arguably good for carriers. This was the passage of the so-called “Hailstorm Bill,” an act designed to curb the actions of “storm chaser” attorneys, and applicable to Hurricane claims. The statute took effect Sept. 1, 2017—shortly after Harvey had finished its destruction.

Read the complete article here.

Worth a read: Is “Loser Pays” a Vestige of Oppression?

Is “Loser Pays” a Vestige of Oppression? Part I

In response to a recent post on my blog, Misrule of Law, regarding the award of attorneys’ fees in litigation, a friend of mine scolded me for criticizing the so-called “American rule,” pursuant to which each side generally bears its own attorneys’ fees in lawsuits (subject to contractual or statutory cost-shifting). In my blog piece, entitled “One-Sided Loser Pays is the Worst of Both Worlds,” I remarked that “the entire legal system incentivizes litigation, and nowhere is this more apparent than the treatment of attorneys’ fees. The United States, practically alone in the world, does not follow the so-called English rule—loser pays. The ‘American rule’ [means]…that a defendant who incurs a fortune defending a meritless lawsuit has no recourse against the unsuccessful plaintiff.”

Critics of the American rule tend to view the filing of a lawsuit as a form of economic aggression: The plaintiff’s commencement of litigation—invoking the coercive powers of the state—undeniably alters the status quo by requiring the defendant to incur substantial legal expenses to defend himself. If the defendant does nothing, he loses by default and is subject to government-enforced execution of the resulting judgment. In addition to imposing enormous expense, litigation also subjects a defendant to significant intrusion (such as through pretrial discovery), inconvenience, and aggravation. Although sometimes necessary to enforce contracts and property rights, litigation itself is not a form of “private ordering,” such as consensual exchanges in a free market.

If the lawsuit turns out to be unmeritorious, and the defendant prevails, he is nonetheless saddled with large—and wholly unnecessary—legal bills. Surely justice imposes some obligation on the unsuccessful plaintiff to compensate the defendant for his financial injury, caused by the commencement of an unmeritorious lawsuit. Moreover, failing to penalize plaintiffs for bringing unmeritorious lawsuits incentivizes predatory litigation by rigging the cost-benefit analysis in favor of pursuing marginal claims. If the plaintiff wins, he gets a judgment or settlement; if he loses, he walks away scot-free. Without the risk of adverse consequences, the rational plaintiff will err in favor of pursuing weak claims. Discouraging frivolous litigation is sound public policy.

Read the complete article here: Is “Loser Pays” a Vestige of Oppression? Part I

 

 

 

Don’t let fear get to you before you get the facts: weather-related lawsuits edition

An opinion piece by Texas Watch used old data to misrepresent the state of insurance claims during the recovery and blamed the Legislature for passing bills that hurt property owners.

Texans should know that the laws passed were meant to protect consumers and remove incentives for storm-chasing personal injury lawyers to troll for new clients. Don’t let fear get to you before you get the facts.

Read our other pieces on weather-related lawsuit abuse: A Storm of Misinformation, Harvey Alert: Be Aware of Misinformation on Hail Storm Lawsuits, Small Business, Consumer Lawsuit Abuse Groups Laud Passage of HB 1774 and more.

Get out and vote!

Primary Runoff Election Early Voting: May 14- 18, 2018

Primary Runoff Election Day: May 22, 2018

Need more election information? Visit VoteTexas.gov.