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Senate committee passes tort reform bill
THE WASHINGTON TIMES ^ | February 4, 2005 | Charles Hurt

Posted on 02/04/2005 9:46:09 AM PST by neverdem


The Washington Times
www.washingtontimes.com

Senate committee passes tort reform bill

By Charles Hurt
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published February 4, 2005

The bill aimed at curbing class-action lawsuit abuse, which Democrats filibustered last year, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday with bipartisan support.


    After the panel's 13-5 vote, the Class Action Fairness Act now is headed for the Senate floor, where bill backers say they have the 60 votes needed to overcome any new filibuster by Democrats.


    The bill would divert many of the largest class-action lawsuits out of state courts and into the federal court system.


    Such a move, supporters say, would prevent lawyers from shopping their cases around in search of judges and juries who are friendly to plaintiffs and who have a reputation for providing huge damage awards.


    "Right now, people across the country can be dragged into lawsuits unaware of their rights and unarmed on the legal battlefield," said Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, one of the three Democrats on the committee to vote with Republicans in favor of the measure.


    "What our bill does is give back to regular people their rights and representation. This measure may not stop all abuses, but it moves us forward," he said.


    The bill also would curtail the payment of tiny awards -- in some cases, coupons of small value -- to consumer plaintiffs while their attorneys walk away with massive payments.


    "Consumers are too often getting the short end of the stick in class-action cases, recovering coupons or pocket change while their lawyers reap millions," Mr. Kohl said.


    Several Democrats remain opposed to...


(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...


TOPICS: Breaking News; Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 109th; senate; tortreform; triallawyers
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1 posted on 02/04/2005 9:46:09 AM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

WHOO HOO!


2 posted on 02/04/2005 9:47:48 AM PST by ConservativeMan55 (DON'T FIRE UNTIL YOU SEE THE WHITES OF THE CURTAINS THEY ARE WEARING ON THEIR HEADS !)
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To: neverdem
Why did Rome fall....?

Ans: Lawyers

/sarcasm

3 posted on 02/04/2005 9:48:17 AM PST by maestro
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To: neverdem

Has anyone heard John Edwards' response? </s>


4 posted on 02/04/2005 9:49:18 AM PST by Unknown Freeper (Real men play (football) in the snow.)
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To: Unknown Freeper

"There are two kinds of lawsuits..."


5 posted on 02/04/2005 9:50:31 AM PST by Darkwolf377 (Brotherhood of Dim-Bulbs of the Illuminati!!!!!!)
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To: OXENinFLA

WOW ... That was fast .. LOL!!


6 posted on 02/04/2005 9:55:52 AM PST by Mo1 (Question to Liberals .. When did supporting and defending Freedom become a bad thing??)
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To: neverdem

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile.


7 posted on 02/04/2005 9:56:37 AM PST by Trust but Verify (Their candidate uses rock stars to attract crowds. Ours IS a rock star!)
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To: Dales

Busy, busy!


8 posted on 02/04/2005 9:56:38 AM PST by Howlin (It's a great day to be an American -- and a Bush Republican!!!!)
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To: neverdem
The Dem Nightmare continues...

Go Bush Go

9 posted on 02/04/2005 9:59:21 AM PST by PRND21
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To: El Gato; All

Does anyone know if this bill deals with asbestos and silica class action lawsuits?


10 posted on 02/04/2005 10:00:07 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

Next needed is limits on awards for non-economic damages; i.e. pain & suffering.


11 posted on 02/04/2005 10:00:46 AM PST by mark502inf
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To: neverdem
Sen. Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin Democrat, said: "There isn't a crisis."

Another head-in-the-sand dem with presidential aspirations.

12 posted on 02/04/2005 10:01:07 AM PST by Bahbah
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To: neverdem

John Edwards is deeply saddened.


13 posted on 02/04/2005 10:01:40 AM PST by paulcissa (Only YOU can prevent liberalism.)
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To: neverdem

Who were the Nay's?


14 posted on 02/04/2005 10:03:06 AM PST by roaddog727 (The marginal propensity to save is 1 minus the marginal propensity to consume.)
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To: neverdem
Does anyone know if this bill deals with asbestos and silica class action lawsuits?

An alarm bell just went off: isn't that what Specter wanted?

15 posted on 02/04/2005 10:05:29 AM PST by Howlin (It's a great day to be an American -- and a Bush Republican!!!!)
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To: paulcissa; Carolinamom; Mo1

Thank God he's not on that committee any longer; he was so unimportant, the Democrats didn't even name somebody to replace him.

He was just there long enough to smear Charles Pickering.


16 posted on 02/04/2005 10:06:35 AM PST by Howlin (It's a great day to be an American -- and a Bush Republican!!!!)
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To: neverdem

Outstanding!!


17 posted on 02/04/2005 10:09:28 AM PST by advance_copy
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To: Howlin

I hear Johnny was back up in NH campaigning for 08


18 posted on 02/04/2005 10:16:27 AM PST by Mo1 (Question to Liberals .. When did supporting and defending Freedom become a bad thing??)
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To: Howlin

I'll never forgive Edwards for his deliberate manipulation of the facts. As a lawyer he KNEW what he was doing was WRONG, but as a dem he went right ahead, attacked, and slandered a good man.


19 posted on 02/04/2005 10:16:40 AM PST by Carolinamom
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To: neverdem

can we include the ACLU with this group


20 posted on 02/04/2005 10:16:41 AM PST by newfrpr04
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To: Mo1

GOP needs to keep it up while they are on the roll, Dems won't know what hit them.


21 posted on 02/04/2005 10:17:44 AM PST by newfrpr04
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To: neverdem
The bill would divert many of the largest class-action lawsuits out of state courts and into the federal court system.

Folks are cheering this? Maybe it's just me, but I remember when Conservatives believed in limited federal government and state's rights.

22 posted on 02/04/2005 10:19:12 AM PST by 1LongTimeLurker
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To: Unknown Freeper

BTW, John Edwards will be giving a speech to the dems in New Hampshire this coming weekend. It will be played and played and played on CSPIN.


23 posted on 02/04/2005 10:25:07 AM PST by OldFriend (America's glory is not dominion, but liberty.)
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To: neverdem

Don't let them get away with the threat of a filibuster again. If they want to be obstructionists, make them lose sleep to do it.


24 posted on 02/04/2005 10:25:24 AM PST by SmithL (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?)
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To: neverdem
Muzzling the lawyers - the most prominent activist cadre of the Left, would be a welcome and long overdue development. Tort reform alone will take a significant chunk out of the Democratic Party's most visible pillar.

Denny Crane: "There are two places to find the truth. First God and then Fox News."

25 posted on 02/04/2005 10:28:27 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: 1LongTimeLurker
Perhaps, but not dogmatically so in exclusion of all other principles. The federal government does have some responsibilities, and one of those is to guarantee in each state a republican form of government.
26 posted on 02/04/2005 10:38:46 AM PST by thoughtomator (How do you say Berkeley California in Aramaic?)
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To: newfrpr04
GOP needs to keep it up while they are on the roll, Dems won't know what hit them.

I agree

The Dems are gonna whine and complain anyhow .. might as well just go for it

BRING IT ON!!!

27 posted on 02/04/2005 10:40:44 AM PST by Mo1 (Question to Liberals .. When did supporting and defending Freedom become a bad thing??)
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To: neverdem

I would also like to see punitive damages to be awarded to the State.


28 posted on 02/04/2005 10:46:15 AM PST by Flyer (We are the pajamahadin ~ We know everything. ~ No forgeries no fakes no urban legends and no BS)
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To: neverdem
Does anyone know if this bill deals with asbestos and silica class action lawsuits?

I don't know about this bill but Bush's State of the Union speech mentioned it a couple of nights ago.

29 posted on 02/04/2005 10:52:14 AM PST by Paul C. Jesup
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To: neverdem
The bill also would curtail the payment of tiny awards -- in some cases, coupons of small value -- to consumer plaintiffs while their attorneys walk away with massive payments.

Translation: companies will be able to get away with small abuses scot-free (what attorneys are going to take cases involving small damages to large numbers of people, if they can't get paid?)

So small abuses (on a large scale) will become common. Companies will screw you in small ways on a regular basis, because they can get away with it. Does that sound like "reform?"

The government has no right to interfere with our right to file lawsuits by preventing us from paying our lawyers!

30 posted on 02/04/2005 11:00:29 AM PST by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: neverdem

Class Action Fairness Act of 2004
Bill # S.2062

Original Sponsor:
Charles Grassley (R-IA)

Cosponsor Total: 14
(last sponsor added 06/24/2004)
6 Democrats
8 Republicans


About This Legislation:
2/10/2004--Introduced.

Class Action Fairness Act of 2004 - Amends the Federal judicial code to specify the calculation of contingent and other attorney's fees in proposed class action settlements that provide for the award of coupons to class members.
Prohibits a Federal district court from approving: (1) a proposed coupon settlement absent a finding that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate; (2) a proposed settlement involving payments to class counsel that would result in a net monetary loss to class members, absent a finding that the loss is substantially outweighed by nonmonetary benefits; or (3) a proposed settlement that provides greater sums to some class members solely because they are closer geographically to the court.

Specifies requirements for notices of proposed settlements.
Grants district courts original jurisdiction of any civil action in which the matter in controversy exceeds $5 million, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between citizens of different States, or citizens of a State and a foreign State or its citizens or subjects.

Lists those factors pursuant to which a district court may decline to exercise jurisdiction over a class action, and specifies those circumstances in which a district court must decline jurisdiction.

Sets forth provisions governing the removal of interstate class actions to Federal district court and the review on appeal of remand orders.

Directs the Judicial Conference of the United States to report on class action settlements, incorporating recommendations for best court practices to ensure fairness for class members and appropriate fees for counsel.

Detailed, up-to-date bill status information on S.2062.


https://ssl.capwiz.com/usatoday/issues/bills/?bill=6036236&size=full


31 posted on 02/04/2005 11:05:09 AM PST by kcvl
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To: 1LongTimeLurker; neverdem
Maybe it's just me, but I remember when Conservatives believed in limited federal government and state's rights.

Part of the abuse is "judge shopping" of filing national cases in Illinois and getting crazy judgements against national companies that cost all of us. Bouncing those cases into federal court requires much higher prosecution costs and thus higher barrier to entry/filing frivilously.

Or so I'm told. :-)

32 posted on 02/04/2005 11:14:12 AM PST by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: neverdem

YES!!!

Fianlly!!

Thank you President Bush! I'll thank the Senate once it's passed, but thrille dit got out of committee.


33 posted on 02/04/2005 11:43:31 AM PST by Soul Seeker
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To: neverdem
"Consumers are too often getting the short end of the stick in class-action cases, recovering coupons or pocket change while their lawyers reap millions," Mr. Kohl said.

Yea, I got a check from Chase for a credit card class-action suit. The check was made out for $3.45. I wondered how much the lawyer received for this case.
34 posted on 02/04/2005 11:56:26 AM PST by Eagle of Liberty ("Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind." —Albert Einstein)
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To: sam_paine

If this bill got through that easy it makes worry that things won't change much. Did I just miss something or was there no mention of a cap.


35 posted on 02/04/2005 12:02:55 PM PST by mammer
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To: neverdem; Grampa Dave; wardaddy; SAJ; AdamSelene235; rdb3; mhking; Perlstein; Nick Danger; WOSG; ...

Generic tort reform, medical tort reform, firearm tort reform...it's all coming.

The Right steamrolls on!

36 posted on 02/04/2005 12:18:29 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Bahbah

Didn't we hear rats like DEAN saying this country is in crisis, now there saying we have no crisis since Bush got reelected.


37 posted on 02/04/2005 12:34:18 PM PST by TheEaglehasLanded
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To: mammer

This is just being reported out of Senate committee I think.....this is going to be a crazy darn differnet bill after it goes thru the sausage grinder....


38 posted on 02/04/2005 12:49:32 PM PST by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: mark502inf; Southack; DoughtyOne; Libertina

First a MEGAWHOOOHOOOO on the passage of this.

Second, your remark and my reply:

"Next needed is limits on awards for non-economic damages; i.e. pain & suffering"

NO WAY! Call me a RINO but that's where I draw the line. Y'see, the ACLU, PFAW and Americans for the Separation of Church and State have trampled my freedoms, insulted my intelligence, impugned my fairness/tolerance/righteousness ratio, robbed me and millions of others who have standing of our true civil liberties--and caused trillions of dollars of damages in pain and suffering to me and aborted babies and many of the mothers who had abortions....

< /not exactly sarcasm OFF

ACLU Foundation has $133 MILLION in assets. The New Deep Pockets, eh? LOOK:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm/bay/search.summary/orgid/3247.htm


39 posted on 02/04/2005 1:25:20 PM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (ATTN. MARXIST RED MSM: I RESENT your "RED STATE" switcheroo using our ELECTORAL MAP as PROPAGANDA!)
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To: Southack

"Generic tort reform, medical tort reform, firearm tort reform...it's all coming."

"The Right steamrolls on!"

All of this is Bush's fault and those of us who voted for him in both elections.


40 posted on 02/04/2005 2:08:20 PM PST by Grampa Dave (The MSM has been a weapon of mass disinformation for the Rats for at least 4 decades.)
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To: Southack; Poohbah; Howlin; Dog; dighton; mhking; veronica; section9; PhiKapMom; Once-Ler; ...

We also got some help from SCOTUS, too:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/887283/posts

You know, Ronald Reagan's quote about the arms race sometimes comes to mind vis-a-vis judicial activism...


41 posted on 02/04/2005 2:25:02 PM PST by hchutch (A pro-artificial turf, pro-designated hitter baseball fan.)
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To: neverdem

Beep beep.

42 posted on 02/04/2005 2:46:41 PM PST by polymuser
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To: Unknown Freeper
Has anyone heard John Edwards' response?

Who's John Edwards? Is that that psychic guy to TV?

43 posted on 02/04/2005 2:47:11 PM PST by !1776!
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To: !1776!

About time...we need a heck of lot more, though...we need to change the fundamentals of our culture...Bad things happen in life and the courtroom is not the way to solve your problems. Deal with it....


44 posted on 02/04/2005 2:55:10 PM PST by TortReformer
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To: neverdem

This is going to be a bad couple years for rats...But not as bad as the next 2 years when America rewards Republicans for fixing problems by electing even more Republicans.


45 posted on 02/04/2005 8:33:03 PM PST by Once-Ler (Beating a dead horse for NeoCon America)
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To: Unknown Freeper

IIRC he just got some job - but I didn't get the details.


46 posted on 02/04/2005 11:12:58 PM PST by CyberAnt (Where are the dem supporters? - try the trash cans in back of the abortion clinics.)
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To: Mo1

"The Dems are gonna whine and complain anyhow .. might as well just go for it"

I totally agree! Doing the right thing is more important than worrying what the dippy dims are going to say about it.


47 posted on 02/04/2005 11:34:48 PM PST by CyberAnt (Where are the dem supporters? - try the trash cans in back of the abortion clinics.)
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To: neverdem

very related:

Appeals Court: Gov't Can't Seek $280B From Tobacco
FoxNews ^ | 2/4/05 | Unknown
Posted on 02/04/2005 1:31:12 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1336191/posts


48 posted on 02/05/2005 7:01:56 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Ted "Kids, I Sunk the Honey" Kennedy is just a drunk who's never held a job (or had to).)
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To: neverdem

Is this constitutional? I'm not so sure.


49 posted on 02/05/2005 10:00:26 AM PST by montag813
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To: montag813
Is this constitutional? I'm not so sure.

Under the commerce clause when your talking about national companies and class action suits in multiple states, why not?

50 posted on 02/05/2005 11:31:18 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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