Kia Franklin

Election ‘08—Will the Candidates Care about Civil Justice?

I haven't blogged much about the 2008 Presidential Elections--and do you want to know why? Well, being that this is the "Civil Justice Defense Blog," and seeing as how we're all about "Protecting Americans' Access to the Courts," the candidates just have not been giving us much to work with. Maybe we need to be more demanding of the candidates rather than passively taking in whatever we're being told to take in by network coverage of the primaries.

Here's a thought: instead of worrying about which sound bites have worked for Obama and whether Hillary’s tears helped demonstrate her humanity, or thinking about whatever one thinks about in the Huckabee/McCain back and forth, why don’t we focus on asking the candidates real questions about how they will work to protect our legal rights?

In the spirit of being proactive and sparking dialogue about how the next President can improve our civil justice system, I am pleased to announce DMI's new report: Election '08: A Pro Civil Justice Presidential Platform. The report outlines six key challenges and policy solutions that, if implemented, would drastically improve Americans' access to justice. (The report is available in PDF or you can browse the report on TortDeform.) Specifically, it suggests that the next President can:

o ensure that those who need it get access to representation,
o strengthen people’s constitutional right to a day in court by declaring binding mandatory arbitration unconstitutional in contracts between people and big corporations
o defend states' rights to protect their citizens against corporate abuse with protective laws, without federal law preempting them ,
o preserve the public’s right to know information about corporate behavior that could impact their health and safety,
o prioritize Americans’ rights as patients to safe care and honest information about their treatment,
o protect consumers against insurance fraud by regulating the insurance industry.

If anyone knows about it, the folks who've been reading TortDeform do: for regular Americans whose legal rights are being compromised--not for big corporations, or for important politicians, or for super-rich celebrity types, but for regular Americans--justice is often just beyond reach.

Call it "audacious hope," call it wisdom from experience, call it the populist in me, but I'm pretty convinced that it doesn't have to be this way. With effective leadership and his or her straightforward commitment to some simple, clear policies, the next President can help make the civil justice system work better for real people.

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 9:28 AM, Jan 10, 2008 in Arbitration | Bad Faith Denial | Civil Gideon | Class Action "Fairness" Act | Federal Preemption | Health Care | Insurance Industry | Presidential Election | Pro-Civil Justice Reforms | Reports | reports and research
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o ensure that those who have been unjustly sued can collect all of their legal fees and costs from the party that sued them. A simple defense verdict should entitle the defendant to reimbursemnet of all legal fees and costs
o strengthen people’s constitutional right to a day in court by raising the limits for actions in small claims courts to at least $25,000.00
o defend individual rights by stronger regulation of the legal profession to prevent the many abuses committed by attorneys against their own clients and against the general public
o appointment judges who understand that the right to legislate and to tax is expressly reserved by the US Constitution to the legislative branches of the goverment and is outside the valid domain of the judiciary
o protect the public against fraud by the abolition of class-action lawsuits and contingency fee arrangements
0 imposition of term limits on all branches of government including the judiciary

Posted by: Paul W Dennis | January 10, 2008 9:44 PM

Click here to read about the candidates' stances on consumer issues.

Posted by: Kia | January 28, 2008 11:20 AM