NAMIC Reviews State Efforts on Legal Reforms

August 19, 2004

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies announced that it has updated its comprehensive online overview of existing and recently enacted laws that represent efforts to overhaul the state civil justice system.

“This update to NAMIC’s Overview of State Legislative Efforts to Improve the Legal System adds several more states to the growing list of those that have approved laws addressing one or more key components of tort reform,” said the bulletin.

“The primary focus of our recent update to this popular online information tool is once again to examine state tort reform efforts within the context of several specific themes identified as necessary elements of meaningful state-based reform by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), organizations with which NAMIC is affiliated,” stated Ken Marshall, NAMIC State Affairs Information Manager.

“These themes include the regulation of appeal bonds, state government attorney retention, class action, collateral source payments, common sense scientific/technical evidence standards, intrastate forum shopping, joint and several liability, jury duty, non-economic damages, punitive damages, prejudgment interest and product liability,” he continued.

Peter Bisbecos, NAMIC’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, noted: “As the general public has become aware of the abuses in our civil justice system, and the impact that these abuses have on their everyday lives, the tort reform movement has gained momentum. This reality is reflected in NAMIC’s comprehensive review. We are gratified to see the growing movement to correct abuses that have damaged the reputation and effectiveness of our justice system.”

NAMIC described the updated report as representing “a concise overview of the broader aspects of this important issue as well as more specific information about each of the 12 individual tenets of tort reform enumerated above. In addition, the report provides a comprehensive chart describing the various statutory provisions and recently enacted laws approved in all 50 states that specifically address each of the key tort reform elements as well as statutory citations and links to the complete text for each state law.”

“Clearly, the impetus to rein in the excesses and rampant abuses that have marred the state court system has not waned in the interim as 14 more states have recently taken steps to curb civil justice abuses by passing new laws aimed at one or more of these key components of tort reform,” Marshall concluded.

The complete report may be viewed on NAMIC’s website at:

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