Interesting Consensus in Texas
Texas Governor Rick Perry has signed legislation intended to deter frivolous lawsuits–so-called loser pays legislation.
Usually, this kind of thing gets trial lawyers riled up, and this occasion was no different. The Wall Street Journal‘s Law Blog reports,
Texans for Lawsuit Reform, a pro-business group, hailed the measure, saying in a statement that it was “bitterly opposed by the Texas Trial Lawyer Association until the last minutes of deliberation.”
But what about those last minutes of deliberation? It turns out that the final bill received the support of both the legal reform group and the trial lawyers. The Texas Lawyer explains,
Groups that previously fought on opposing sides — Texans for Lawsuit Reform and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, among others — lined up in support of Committee Substitute House Bill 274….
Speaking in interviews before the Senate passed the bill, Mike Gallagher, past president of Texas Trial Lawyers Association and Alan Waldrop, outside counsel for Texans for Lawsuit Reform, shared their views on the committee substitute.
“It’s obviously much better than the House version,” said Gallagher, who said he participated in “heated negotiations” over the substitute bill. He said he thought the Senate would not pass loser pays without trial lawyers’ input.
It’s not often you see those two groups joining hands. Nevertheless, tort reformers seem optimistic. See here for example. And here’s a more tempered view of an earlier, less watered down version of the bill.