Love for Lawsuit Reform
Lawsuit reform is a subject that only comes up in the psyche of the American political debate from time to time, but if you ask the average American, most will tell you they think there are too many lawsuits and that many of them do little more than make plaintiffs’ attorneys richer. According to polling done by Public Opinion Strategies, more than 4 in 5 Americans see the number of lawsuits as a serious problem. This spans party lines and finds agreement in tea party supporters and liberals alike. In fact, only nine percent of people think we would be worse off if there were fewer lawsuits.
With such resounding support for improvements, it’s no wonder why 70 percent of people are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports lawsuit reform. Political divisiveness seems to peg lawsuit reform as a Republican issue and lawsuit excess as a Democrat tenet, but majorities on both sides agree on this harmonizing issue: there are too many lawsuits and they’re impeding justice.
ALEC reforms in this area also find wide support. Eighty-three percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats support passing legislation that would provide sunshine in private attorney contracts with the government. ALEC’s Private Attorney Retention Sunshine Act requires disclosure and oversight when the government would like to contract with private attorneys to bring lawsuits. Simple, commonsense reform with which more than 4 in 5 Americans would agree.
Even 84 percent of people agree with asbestos lawsuit reform that ALEC has developed. When asbestos litigation is brought, an overwhelming majority of people think it is reasonable to require injured people to disclose what they’ve received from claims against the bankruptcy trusts of other asbestos-using companies. Disclosure here can root out fraud and ensure that all asbestos plaintiffs are able to recover their due. This is another commonsense reform.
ALEC’s lawsuit reforms are appealing because they target real problems in state legal systems and approach reform with even-handed policy insights that energize conservatives and liberals alike.