Civil Justice Reform Passes Assembly, Held Up in the Senate

An amended form of the civil justice reform bill, AB 773/SB 645, WMC is championing (Assembly Substitute Amendment 2 to AB 773) successfully passed the State Assembly last Thursday on a voice vote. This is a large step towards decreasing transactional costs during litigation. The legislation now heads to the State Senate. However, some Senators are placing the needs of trial lawyers over their constituents and would rather continue the trend of increasing litigation costs than stand with businesses in their districts. With the end of session so close we need as much help as we can get to encourage Senators to reduce litigation costs and stand with employers, not trial lawyers.

The amended bill is the result of a compromise eliminates several provisions in the original bill:

  • Removes lawsuit lending provision
  • Removes two of the enhancements to Wisconsin’s class action rules
    Ascertainability
    Prohibition on no-injury class actions
  • Amends the five-year “look-back” limitation provision by exempting medical records, vocational records, and educational records.
  • Amends language dealing with the proportionality of discovery requests to directly mirror language contained in the federal rules of civil procedure (Rule 26).

This common-sense legislation will help improve Wisconsin’s litigation climate and encourage companies to locate and do business in the state. Over thirty business groups and trade associations from all sectors of Wisconsin’s economy have come together to endorse this package of reforms. The only group opposing this bill is the trial lawyers. Please consider reaching out to your state senator and encouraging them to support these necessary reforms.