Oklahoma tort reform, that is. It’s more than OK!

From OKC.Biz:

The major reforms agreed upon include the following:

  • Adoption of an expanded federal rule (#2023) as a foundation for class actions in Oklahoma;
  • Specific procedures and guidelines set out the court must follow in appointing an attorney to represent the class;
  • Specific findings that must be included in an order certifying a class;
  • More specific information that must be included in the notice provided to potential class members if a class is certified;
  • More specific court oversight of the case, particularly regarding dismissals and settlements;
  • Limiting non-resident membership in state class actions;
  • Allowing the court to stay, transfer or dismiss a case if it should be heard in another court;
  • Requiring the appellate court to immediately review certification orders using the de novo standard;
  • Allowing the appellate court to also review orders determining whether the class has exhausted administrative procedures;
  • Requiring the case to be stayed while an appeal of the certification order is pending;
  • Providing that settlements in which coupons are awarded, the attorney shall also receive his fee in coupons; and,
  • Providing specific guidelines the court must follow in awarding attorney fees to the attorney representing the class, which includes allowing the court to appoint an independent attorney to represent the class during the fee hearing.
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