More lawsuits, fewer jobs.

Frivolous lawsuits hurt everyone. They increase the cost of everything Colorado families purchase. They suppress wages paid to Colorado workers. They waste time, increase stress, and hamper innovation and productivity at Colorado businesses.

Tell Us Your Lawsuit Story.

Everyone is hurt by frivolous lawsuits: through lower wages, lost jobs, and higher prices. Have a story about how you or your business have been affected? Let us know!

More lawsuits, fewer jobs.

Frivolous lawsuits hurt everyone. They increase the cost of everything Colorado families purchase. They suppress wages paid to Colorado workers. They waste time, increase stress, and hamper innovation and productivity at Colorado businesses.

Tell Us Your Lawsuit Story.

Everyone is hurt by frivolous lawsuits: through lower wages, lost jobs, and higher prices. Have a story about how you or your business have been affected? Let us know!

Civil Justice Review of 2022 Colorado General Assembly

When the Colorado General Assembly adjourned on May 11, its record on civil justice was nothing to write home about.

For advocates of Common Sense in the Courtroom, this was no surprise given the expansions of liability handed to TV lawyers over the past four years.  But for Colorado’s business community, it was another round of “the beatings will continue until morale improves.”

To be sure, this year wasn’t a total loss.  Legislators did come together to restore sanity to our state’s premises liability law (SB 115), stopped an attempt to undermine employers’ ability to make workplace safety decisions (HB 1152), and put the brakes on an attempt to kill one of the few remaining protections against frivolous lawsuits (HB 1272).  CCJL members are grateful to legislators for those stands.

Unfortunately, legislators of both parties cast too many votes to expand liability and to transfer or entrust responsibility for enforcing our state’s laws to private contingency-fee lawyers (HBs 1071, 1119, 1253 and 1285, plus SBs 97 and 161).

Increasingly, lawmakers seem to believe that Colorado’s wonderful climate is they key to our economy and believe business can always be absorb one more burden.  One look at the steady decline of California should disabuse anyone of that notion. read more…

Want to encourage frivolous lawsuits? Pass HB 1272.

Not long ago, Colorado discouraged frivolous or speculative lawsuits. But such safeguards have been eroded. The penalty for filing a lawsuit that is frivolous, groundless or vexations (Section 13-17-101, C.R.S.) is so seldom invoked by judges that it’s essentially a dead letter.

Now comes House Bill 1272 (Reps. Gonzales-Gutierrez and Benavidez; Sens. Gonzales and Rodriguez) which would implicitly encourage frivolous lawsuits by ensuring that plaintiffs who file implausible claims are never responsible to pay the legal costs incurred by a defendant who is dragged into court on dubious grounds.

Civil litigation in our state is a field increasingly tilted to favor plaintiffs. Numerous bills passed over the past three years have required losing defendants to pay attorney fees and costs to winning plaintiffs – even if the defendant had a strong case and loses on a close call.

HB 1272 shafts the defendant again by taking away the ability to recover attorney fees and costs even when the plaintiff’s claims are so flimsy or baseless they cannot survive a motion to dismiss.

Consider that for a defendant to win a motion to dismiss, the court must assume that ALL of the plaintiff’s claims are true and must construe all other assumptions in the plaintiff’s favor. If a plaintiff’s claims aren’t plausible even when assumed to be true, then these claims are, in fact, frivolous.

HB 1272 would entirely repeal Section 13-72-201, C.R.S., which is an important tool. It encourages counsel for both parties to confer to consider an early, efficient, inexpensive resolution which is good for an injured party. Also, the statute encourages plaintiffs counsel to have a hard conversation with a potential plaintiff when it is obvious that the case simply lacks merit and is destined to fail – i.e., that it is a waste of time.

Finally, keep in mind that a motion to dismiss occurs early in the legal process – before an attorney’s billable hours are greatly enlarged by time-consuming discovery. So, a losing plaintiff won’t be on the hook for monstrous legal bills.

If it is ever just to require the plaintiff to reimburse the defendant’s legal bills, it is precisely when a plaintiff’s claims are so meritless that they cannot survive a motion to dismiss.

Passing HB 1272 will invite plaintiffs and TV lawyers to file baseless lawsuits knowing they can use the threat of running up legal fees as leverage to seek a quick settlement.

Legislators honored with ‘Common Sense’ awards for 2021

DENVER — Colorado Civil Justice League announced winners of its  Common Sense in the Courtroom Awards, given to state legislators who have demonstrated a commitment to curtailing lawsuit abuse and protecting small business and working families from the cost of frivolous litigation.

CCJL is the only organization in Colorado exclusively dedicated to stopping lawsuit abuse while preserving a system of civil justice that fairly compensates legitimate victims.

“Common Sense in the Courtroom requires justice for those who have been harmed by someone else, balanced by fairness for those who may be wrongfully accused,” said CCJL executive director Mark Hillman.

Unfortunately, this year’s Colorado General Assembly passed several bills that will increase the costs and risks of lawsuits: expanding liability for agricultural employers (Senate Bill 87), enabling medical lien companies to hide the amounts they pay to providers for medical care (House Bill 1300), and creating additional liability risks for employers when someone is injured by an employee’s negligence (House Bill 1188).

However, state legislators also defeated a bill that would have allowed contingency fee attorneys to bring class action lawsuits under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and another to create the nation’s most draconian definition of a “hostile work environment.”

“At CCJL, we are grateful for the bipartisan support of legislators who understand the importance of an efficient and balanced court system to our state’s economic health,” Hillman said.

Common Sense in the Courtroom Award recipients include:

Representatives Mark Baisley (Roxborough Park), Adrienne Benavidez (Commerce City), Shannon Bird (Westminster), Rod Bockenfeld (Watkins), Mary Bradfield (Colorado Springs), Terri Carver (Colorado Springs), Marc Catlin (Montrose), Speaker Alec Garnett (Denver), Tim Geitner (Peyton), Ron Hanks (Penrose), Richard Holtorf (Akron), Colin Larson (Littleton), Stephanie Luck (Penrose), Mike Lynch (Wellington), Hugh McKean (Loveland), Rod Pelton (Cheyenne Wells), Andy Pico (Colorado Springs), Kim Ranson (Douglas County), Janice Rich (Grand Junction), Shane Sandridge (Colorado Springs), Marc Snyder (Manitou Springs), Matt Soper (Delta), Kerry Tipper (Lakewood), Donald Valdez (La Jara), Tonya Van Beber (Eaton), Kevin Van Winkle (Highlands Ranch), Perry Will (New Castle), Dave Williams (Colorado Springs) and Dan Woog (Erie).

Senators John Cooke (Greeley), Rhonda Fields (Aurora), Bob Gardner (Colorado Springs), Chris Hansen (Denver), Dennis Hisey (Fountain), Chris Holbert (Parker), Larry Liston (Colorado Springs), Paul Lundeen (Monument), Kevin Priola (Brighton), Bob Rankin (Snowmass Village), Ray Scott (Grand Junction), Cleave Simpson (Alamosa), Jerry Sonnenberg (Sterling) and Rob Woodward (Loveland).

This year’s awards presentation is sponsored by American Furniture Warehouse, COPIC, Colorado Hospital Association, State Farm, Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association, Husch Blackwell, Spencer Fane and Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell.

CCJL to honor ‘Common Sense’ legislators at Oct. 28 event

Colorado Civil Justice League will recognize leading state legislators on Thursday, Oct. 28 during its annual Legislative Awards Luncheon at the Denver Four Seasons.  CCJL’s Common Sense In The Courtroom Awards are given to state legislators who have demonstrated a commitment to curtailing lawsuit abuse and protecting working families from the cost of frivolous litigation.

CCJL is the only organization in Colorado exclusively dedicated to stopping lawsuit abuse while preserving a system of civil justice that fairly compensates legitimate victims.

“Common Sense in the Courtroom requires justice for those who have been harmed by someone else, balanced by fairness for those who may be wrongfully accused,” said CCJL executive director Mark Hillman. read more…