Now THAT’s Model Legislation

By June 9, 2010Briefly Legal

From the American Legislative Exchange Council, a news release, “Georgia Governor Signs Important Lawsuit Transparency Legislation: Georgia First in Nation to Tackle Implied Rights to Sue”:

June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) today lauded the Georgia legislature and Gov. Sonny Perdue as he signed S.B. 138 into law, requiring transparency in the legislative creation of new rights for private individuals to sue.  ALEC is the nation’s largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators, and its model legislation, the Transparency in Lawsuits Protection Act, was the basis for the new Peach State law.

“Often goaded by plaintiffs’ lawyers,” explained ALEC Civil Justice Task Force DirectorAmy Kjose, “courts sometimes infer from vague legislative or regulatory language new rights to bring private lawsuits.  These so-called ‘implied causes of action’ can bog down court dockets with frivolous litigation and otherwise work to undermine economic growth and job creation.”

The Transparency in Lawsuits Protection Act asks legislators to answer directly the primary question judiciaries consider in the creation of an implied cause of action: Did the legislators intend to create a new right to sue?

The bill passed with large majorities in both chambers and should be a model for other states to follow, not only to clearly delineate the Legislature’s policy-making intent, but also to remind the public of the political power of the cash-seeking plaintiffs’ bar. They’re against transparency, you know.

The legislative history and text of S.B. 138 is here. The chief sponsor, Senate Majority Whip John Wiles (R-Kennesaw), issued a news release, “Wiles’ Transparency in Lawsuits Protection Act becomes Law.” Ted Frank comments at Point of Law, “Georgia passes lawsuit transparency legislation.”

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