The Wisconsin Civil Justice Council’s mission is to promote fairness and equity in Wisconsin civil justice system, with the ultimate goal of making Wisconsin a better place to work and live. WCJC achieves this objective through policy development, legislative lobbying, and our appellate programs.


Civil Litigation Reform Bill to Lower Costs for WI Businesses and Government

Business groups across Wisconsin and the nation applaud the efforts of Reps. Born and Nygren and Sens. Tiffany and Craig that build on Wisconsin’s past tort reform successes. The heart of this initiative is aligning Wisconsin’s civil procedures for discovery and class actions to the corresponding federal rules.

Among other reforms, their legislation addresses the most pressing civil litigation challenge – escalating transactional costs relating to discovery. In one example of many, Hallmark Cards, Inc. was required to produce more than a million pages of electronic documents for discovery – and only one was used at trial. With technology continuously advancing, it is important to set reasonable guidelines to prevent such crippling litigation costs for small businesses. The modernization of these procedures will reduce litigation costs for both small and large businesses, as well as state and local governments who must spend taxpayers’ dollars responding to aggressive discovery practices. Click here for more information on the civil litigation reform bill.

In addition to state businesses, state and national leaders applaud these efforts to lower litigation costs:

I applaud Representatives Born and Nygren and Senators Tiffany and Craig for building off our tort reform accomplishments with this effort. These common-sense reforms provide additional certainty for our small businesses, additional transparency, and bring Wisconsin in line with the federal government and many other states.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

These common-sense reforms will make litigation simpler, less expensive for taxpayers, and more in line with the vast majority of states and the federal court system. As the state’s top civil defense law firm, DOJ’s representation of Wisconsin’s interests in court will benefit greatly from these efforts to reduce court costs and streamline our civil litigation system.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel

Wisconsin’s recent legal reforms have been critical to improving our business climate, but unfortunately, employers across the state still face an unwarrantedly high cost of litigation. The legislation introduced today will not only provide more certainty, it will reduce costs for state and local governments, consumers and businesses alike.

Scott Manley, Senior V.P., Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

The complexity and high transaction costs of civil lawsuits can be especially challenging expenses for small business owners. This legislation is a great step towards mitigating against future damages, increasing fairness and improving the predictability of Wisconsin’s civil justice system.

Bill Smith, State Director, National Federation of Independent Business-Wisconsin

When businesses have no choice but to settle cases that are completely meritless because they cannot afford their day in court, the system has failed them. We commend Wisconsin’s Legislature for standing up to the trial bar and offering reforms that can restore justice in Wisconsin courts.

Tiger Joyce, President, American Tort Reform Association

The 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey found that 85 percent of business leaders say a state’s litigation environment influences major business decisions, such as where to expand and hire. We applaud the introduction of these commonsense reforms which are necessary to continue Wisconsin’s growth, and ensure the litigation process in the state is balanced, less expensive, and less time-consuming for all parties.

Harold Kim, Executive Vice President, Institute for Legal Reform, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Coalition Memo from 30 Wisconsin Business Groups to Wisconsin Legislature


18 Wisconsin Business Groups Request Lawmakers Sign On To Litigation Reform Bill


WCJC Statement on Gov. Walker’s Small Business Agenda



Current Cases:

Ascaris Mayo, et. al. v. Wis. Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund, et. al. – WCJC amicus brief filed (Aug. 10, 2017)


For more information on these and other civil justice initiatives, go to the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council’s Legislative Priorities page.


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Representatives of WCJC and Hamilton Consulting at the the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s 14th Annual Legal Reform Summit in Washington, D.C. Scott Manley, Ed Lump, Bill Smith, Nick George, Robert Fassbender

Please contact Andy Cook or Rebecca Hogan at the Hamilton Consulting Group with any questions about the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council.


Wisconsin Civil Justice Council

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(608) 310-5312

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