SACRAMENTO, Calif., October 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) today submitted two proposals for statewide initiatives to November 2022 ballot to ensure that wronged consumers receive more of the compensation they deserve and that they receive it sooner.
“California current legal system too often puts the interests of litigators ahead of those of aggrieved consumers,” said Kyla Christoffersen Powell, President and CEO of CJAC. “The Reported Theft of Millions of Injured Consumers by Celebrity Lawyer Tom Girardiwhich recently came to light, and decades of failed oversight by the State Bar of California demonstrate that litigators cannot be trusted to self-regulate their fees.”
The ballot measures introduced by CJAC today seek to prevent unethical lawyers from taking advantage of recently injured vulnerable consumers by having them sign 40-50% of their recovery, a common practice with contingency fee agreements.
The first measure, the “Consumer Legal Expenses Protection Act”, will prevent lawyers from taking more than 20% of their injured client’s compensation. Since 1946, the federal government has enforced a 20% cap on attorney fees in settlements of cases filed against it. By adopting this sufficient percentage in California preserves consumers’ ability to find high-quality lawyers, while being protected from excessive fees.
The companion “Pre-Trial Notice and Whether to Settle Law” creates a common-sense step for parties to spend 60 days trying to resolve their dispute before filing a lawsuit.
If their dispute is not resolved within 60 days, consumers may sue, but attorneys’ fees will be limited to a maximum of 20% of the amount recovered in court.
“Lawsuits are expensive and can take years to resolve. This proposal emphasizes that consumers get their recovery sooner and pay lower legal fees,” Christoffersen Powell said.
Under the current system, some lawyers have an incentive to pursue unnecessary lawsuits and delay resolution so they can raise their fees with no added benefit to their clients. This is why there are often cases where the award of attorney’s fees is greater than the recovery of the injured client.
CJAC has twice championed statewide ballot measures to improve the state’s civil justice system, and both have been overwhelmingly approved by voters.
To see the ballot measures submitted by CJAC today, visit www.cjac.org/ballot.
The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) has been a trusted source of legal reform expertise for nearly half a century. CJAC confronts laws, statutes and regulations that create unfair legal burdens for California businesses, employees and communities.
SOURCE Civil Justice Association of California