CALA Co-Chair David Houston's editorial touting reforming the civil justice system as a way to turn California's economy around was published in the Santa Monica Daily Press. He said:
"More than 600,000 of Los Angeles County's workforce is now unemployed due to our national economic crisis. Public tax revenues have plummeted, critical services have been slashed, family incomes have stagnated and the business climate is depressed. While we struggle to find a comprehensive solution to these economic woes, one obvious, critical remedy is consistently ignored: civil litigation reform. California's burdensome and biased litigation climate discourages new start-up businesses, slows the growth of our existing small companies and threatens millions of jobs at the very moment we need them the most.
California has one of the worst litigation climates in the nation. Pointless, wasteful and unnecessary civil lawsuits are immensely expensive. Unnecessary civil actions drive up prices, slow the growth of small companies, kill jobs, and push new business startups out of our state. In an economy as depressed as ours, we simply cannot afford to waste critical resources or hinder the business recovery. Right now, we need jobs, not lawsuits."
CALA San Diego Local Leadership Council Member George Coles had a letter-to-the-editor published in the San Diego Union-Tribune about the importance of judges. Here's what he had to say:
"Businesses take note of a state’s legal climate when deciding where to expand or locate. With California’s reputation favoring plaintiff lawyers over small business, it’s more important than ever for voters to make informed choices for judges – and state lawmakers for that matter. In a recent statewide survey, two out of three California small business owners said they would be able to create more jobs if they were better protected against abusive lawsuits. I encourage voters to consider judicial candidates a top priority."
California CALA San Diego Local Leadership Councilmember George Coles had a commentary published in the San Diego Daily Transcript. He said:
"These days it seems everyone knows someone who is considering pulling up stakes in California and relocating his or her business and/or personal life to another state. As a native San Diegan and long-time business owner, I am experiencing the crush of taxes, regulations and litigation that is driving so many other businesses and taxpayers to states with less hostile business climates. Business survival has never been so difficult.
"According to the Wall Street Journal, California leads the country in job losses. For the past four years in a row, America's top CEOs ranked California "the worst place in which to do business." One contributing factor is California's lawsuit climate, which dropped again this year in the Institute for Legal Reform's annual Lawsuit Climate study, and is now ranked 46th out of the 50 states.
On average, more than four class action lawsuits are filed every business day in California. And some weeks are worse than others -- just during the first week of April, 53 new class actions were filed in state and federal courts, including San Diego."
Keith Wolaridge, member of CALA's Kern County Local Leadership Council, had an op-ed in the Bakersfield Californian about how legal reform is key to California's economic recovery. Here is what he had to say:
"With the constantly worsening economy, the time to reform our legal system is now. We need government policies that will create the conditions necessary for businesses to thrive and create jobs, not pile on more taxation, regulation, and litigation.
"We are encouraged that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger now recognizes that legal reform is absolutely critical to helping businesses prosper so that they can create jobs.
"The governor has included legal reform as a top priority in his California Jobs Initiative. He has called for creating or retaining 100,000 jobs. In so doing, Schwarzenegger has joined the forces calling for more jobs, not more lawsuits. His plans also call for eliminating abusive lawsuits that punish California's small businesses, saying, 'Unfair and frivolous suits impact where companies locate or expand.'"
Executive Director Tom Scott was quoted in a article on Legalnewsline.com titled, Justice Moreno: Arbitration Becoming 'Judicialized.' Scott pointed out that arbitration takes pressure off the state's overloaded civil docket. Here is what he had to say:
"The point of arbitration is to resolve legal issues outside of the courtroom in an effort to avoid the time and expense involved in the court process. It's often faster and fairer and saves time, money and stress for everyone involved," Scott said. "The biggest critics of arbitration are often the personal injury bar, because it eliminates their chances at walking away with millions in attorney fees."
"Reforming our legal system is one of the most overlooked, yet powerful and effective ways California lawmakers can help small businesses grow and local economies thrive. Now Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recognizes that legal reform is integral to helping businesses flourish and create jobs.
"He has included legal reform as a top priority in his California Jobs Initiative, which calls for creating or retaining 100,000 jobs. The initiative also calls for eliminating frivolous lawsuits that punish California’s small businesses, saying, “Unfair and frivolous suits impact where companies locate or expand.”
"Government policy should create the conditions necessary for businesses to thrive and create jobs … not pile on more taxation, regulation and litigation that kill jobs and hurt small business."
The whole article can be found here (subscription only).
Southern California regional director Maryann Marino responded to a commentary in the Orange County Register titled, "Governor Targets Frivolous Lawsuits." Marino illustrated the connection voters are making between lawsuits and the economy. Here is what she had to say:
"Here in California, people now see legal reform as a way to turn the state's economy around. Legislators who resist legal reform should take note."