Archive for the ‘Editorials’ Category
On January 27, 2011, Gov. Walker signed into law 2011 Wisconsin Act 2, which contained numerous civil liability reforms supported by the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council. One of the most important pieces of this legislation was the adoption of the Daubert standards for the admission of expert opinion evidence, bringing Wisconsin in line with the entire federal system and a majority of states.
Thanks to Act 2, Wis. Stat. § 907.02 now requires experts to be qualified by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education. Testimony must be based upon sufficient facts or data, it must be the product of reliable principles and methods, and the witness must apply the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.
While it is clear that Daubert is now the absolute standard for expert testimony going forward, a recent court of appeals decision highlights the fact that there are still a limited number of cases in which it may not be applied. (more…)
The Wisconsin Civil Justice Council has been the vanguard of the civil justice reform movement in Wisconsin since its 2009 formation. The many reforms championed by WCJC over the past three years will be highlighted by the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) at its Annual Legislative Conference for State Coalition Leaders this fall.
The U.S. House of Representatives is voting today on the bi-partisan Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act, which would require asbestos trust claimants to disclose certain information about relief they have sought before pursuing litigation. (more…)
Christian Schneider’s most recent piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exposes the questionable legal action Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) is taking to seek remedy for her lung cancer – suing 70 companies that she believes contributed to her exposure to asbestos when she was a child while not mentioning she has been a smoker for 40 years. As Schneider explains, lawsuits like this threaten the solvency of trusts set up to compensate actual asbestos victims by firms that went bankrupt, while also placing a burden on solvent companies. (more…)
In her article that appears in The Hill Blog, Lisa Rickard, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, discusses federal legislation that ensures future asbestos victims will be compensated.
According to the article, the federal Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act (H.R. 982) would require various asbestos trusts to file quarterly reports with the bankruptcy courts detailing who has filed a claim and how much money was paid out. (more…)
The Wisconsin legislature is considering two proposals that would change the way the chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is selected.
Assembly Joint Resolution 67 and Senate Joint Resolution 57 direct the justices on the high court to elect their chief justice for a two-year term. The proposal limits justices to three consecutive two-year terms. (more…)
The State Bar of Wisconsin is advocating for a change in how members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court are elected. While current law allows members of the high court to run for an unlimited number of 10 year terms, the governing board of the Bar recently decided it would prefer justices only serve one term of 16 years.
Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson delivered the annual State of the Judiciary Address at the Wisconsin Judicial Conference on November 6. Her remarks, titled “Back to the Future,” focused on effort to improve the judiciary by applying cutting-edge innovation to evidence-based lessons learned in the past. Abrahamson focused specifically on judicial selection and recusal, touched on the financial challenges the courts face, and detailed new criminal and family initiatives. (more…)