Civil Litigation Reform Bill – AB 773/SB 645

The Wisconsin litigation reform agenda for 2017-18 includes common-sense reforms to address the high transactional cost of litigation. For example, reforms to discovery and class action suits will save all litigants time and money, including state and local government. Other reforms will promote efficiency and reduce costs while assuring the Wisconsin civil justice system remains fair to all parties.

AB 773/SB 645

Summary of the Bill

Cosponsorship Request from 18 Wisconsin Business Groups

Written Testimony in Support of AB 773/SB 645
John H. Beisner – U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
Mark Behrens – American Tort Reform Association

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