Coalition For Common Sense

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The Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense (LCCS) is a group of professional associations, companies and individuals committed to ensuring a fair legal climate for both truly impaired individuals and small and large businesses operating in the state.

Formed in 2008, the group has been successful in passing legislation to clarify the rules on expert witness testimony, which saves the courts both time and money. The need for additional civil justice reform continues. 

The Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense and the Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch recently hosted a consortium called “Crisis Point: Lawsuit Abuse in Louisiana” to address the state’s legal climate. More than 100 people attended to hear keynote speaker Harold Kim, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform Executive Vice President discuss the economic impacts of litigation in Louisiana and opportunities to improve. The event also featured a panel discussion led by Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President Stephen Waguespack featuring local businesspeople directly impacted by lawsuit abuse, as well as a conversation between Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Gifford Briggs and Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association President Tyler Gray. To see brief interviews with the conference coordinators, legislators and participants, click here.


Why do we need civil justice reform?

The U.S. Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform issued the report Costs and Compensations of the U.S. Tort System in October 2018. The report concluded that, in 2016, costs and compensation paid in the U.S. tort system amounted to $429 billion, or 2.3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. 

Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch released the 2018 Economic Benefits of Tort Reform,
 an assessment measuring the impact of excessive civil court costs on Louisiana’s economy. The study, conducted by The Perryman Group for Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA), found that Louisiana is losing jobs and revenue because of the state’s civil justice system. 

The American Tort Reform Association in 2018 named Louisiana as #5 on the list of "judicial hellholes:"

For the ninth consecutive year, Louisiana has been named a Judicial Hellhole, with one of the worst legal climates in the country. This year, Louisiana moved up three spots in the ranings from number eight to five. According to the American Tort Reform Foundation, "The Pelican State once again appears on this year’s Judicial Hellholes list largely due to former plaintiffs’ attorney and now governor, John Bel Edwards’ (D) aggressive litigation agenda and propensity for hiring campaign donors to manage litigation on behalf of the state.

The total current impact of excessive tort costs on the Louisiana economy amounts to estimated losses of $1.1 billion in annual direct costs and about 15,556 jobs are lost when dynamic effects are considered."


The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey
 ranked Louisiana’s legal environment 50th — the worst in the nation. 

The Tort Reform Record is published each June and December and includes a state-by-state summary of the American Tort Reform Association-supported reforms enacted by states since 1986. See the June 2018 report here

“Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that our legal climate ranked as the worst in the nation this year,” said LLAW Executive Director Melissa Landry. “Litigation is a growing industry in Louisiana. From problematic venue laws, to widespread judicial misconduct, a lack of transparency in asbestos litigation and trust claims, broad misuse of consumer protection laws, and the highest jury trial threshold in the nation—there are many troubling aspects of our legal system that contribute to the perception that it is difficult, if not impossible, for some to get a fair shake in our courts.”

“When it comes to abusive litigation and plaintiff-friendly judges, Louisiana has had a terrible reputation for decades, and it has only gotten worse in recent years,”
said LCCS Director Jim Harris.  “We cannot continue to ignore this problem and hope it goes away. Until the governor and state lawmakers tackle these issues head on and enact meaningful legal reform, we will continue to be pegged as a judicial hellhole and new business, job growth and economic opportunities will continue to pass us by.”


LCCS continues to work to ensure a fair legal climate for Louisiana.

 

Louisiana Legislative Session

The 2019 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature adjourned on June 6. A full report of legislation of interest to the Louisiana Coalition For Common Sense can be found under "Legislation."

 

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