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Liability Reform Insider

Liability Reform Insider

About the Insider

Overview

Liability Reform Insider is CJAC’s regular update of developments in the California Legislature, appellate courts, and more impacting civil liability.

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Press Release

Sen. Hurtado and Asm. Nguyen Receive 2022 Civil Justice Gavels

March 16, 2022

Senator Hurtado and Assemblymember Nguyen Recognized as Champions of Legal Reform

Civil Justice Association of California Announces 2022 “Civil Justice Gavel” Recipients

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (March 16, 2022)— The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) is pleased to announce that Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-14) and Assemblymember Janet Nguyen (R-72) are this year’s Civil Justice Gavel recipients.

Article

CJAC Releases 2021 Legislator Scorecard

CJAC has released its second annual Balance Scorecard for the 2021 legislative year, which evaluates legislators and their efforts to promote a fair, balanced civil justice system – placing them in the top or bottom half of all California legislators.

The Balance Scorecard analyzes legislators’ votes and related efforts on CJAC priority bills that promote or impede balanced civil liability policies, including bills that create unwarranted liability expansions, frivolous litigation, or private rights of action (PRAs).

Article

New Bill Broadly Prohibits Confidential Settlements

Senator Connie Leyva (D) recently introduced SB 1149, which prohibits confidential settlement agreements in lawsuits alleging defective products or environmental conditions that pose a danger to public health or safety – defined to mean “a product or condition that has caused, or is likely to cause, significant or substantial bodily injury or illness, or death.”

SB 1149 is jointly sponsored by Consumer Reports and Public Justice.

Article

Two-Year Bill Summary: Only Two of 20 CJAC Oppose Bills Advance

A total of 18 two-year bills that CJAC opposed last year remained stalled or finally failed as of the two-year bill deadline that occurred January 31. While these bad ideas can be revived elsewhere (and a couple already have), we obtained closure on the following particular bill vehicles which are now dead:

Article

High Court to Review CA’s PAGA Arbitration Waiver Rule

On March 30, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Angie Moriana. CJAC filed an amicus brief in the case on February 7.

At issue is whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires enforcement of a bilateral arbitration agreement between employer and employee providing that the employee cannot raise representative claims, including under California’s statutory Private Attorney General Act (PAGA).

Article

Appellate Court Ruling Conflicts with CA’s Policy to Encourage Settlement

CJAC recently filed an amicus brief in the Third Appellate District in Madrigal v. Hyundai Motor America, C090463. The issue is whether CCP section 998’s “cost-shifting” expert witness and attorney fee provisions apply when a defendant car seller makes a monetary offer of settlement in Song-Beverly litigation and the buyer-plaintiffs reject it, and then settle with defendant before trial for less than the amount of that offer.

Article

New Privacy Agency Invites Preliminary Comments to Rulemaking

Ahead of formal rulemaking, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) invited preliminary comments on proposed rulemaking under the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (CPRA). CJAC collected member feedback and filed comments their behalf in early November.

CPPA asked for input specifically around topics including:

Article

Review Denied In Qaadir V. Figueroa

Earlier this month the California Supreme Court denied review in Qaadir v. Figueroa, et al. CJAC had filed a letter brief on September 29 urging the review of Second Appellate Court’s decision.

Article

Ninth Circuit Reinstates AB 51 Ban on Mandatory Workplace Arbitration

Last week, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled, 2-1, in Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta to lift the injunction on California’s Assembly Bill 51, which bans arbitration agreements that are required as a condition of employment. 

The panel held AB 51’s ban is not preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In a confusing analysis, the court reasoned that AB 51 merely deals with “pre-agreement behavior” and only prohibits agreements that are not “consensual.” 

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