Tort reform comes up in Texas every couple of years. "Million dollar lawsuits are ruining the Texas economy," I have heard off and on since the 1970’s. Tort reform does tend to attract Republican support. I agree there is always room for improvement, but the claims are often overblown. The "lemon law king" of Wisconsin agrees. A Milwaukee lawyer, who styles himself the "lemon law king," has vowed not to represent Repubicans anymore. See ABA Bar Journal report.
Wisconisn recently passed a law limiting attorney’s fees in that state. The law was apparently passed in part because Mr. Megna was awarded $150,000 in attorney’s fees on a $12,500 damages settlement with a car dealership. The dealership had been accused of performing unauthorized repairs on a truck. Republican critics claimed his fee was excessive. The sponsor of the new statute is Republican.
Gov. Walker recently signed into law a measure that would cap attorney’s fees at no more than three times the damages awarded. Mr. Megna responded that it is unfair to cap attorney’s fees for consumer lawyers, but not for the corporate attorneys who unnecessarily prolong lawsuits.
What is good for the goose ought to be good for the gander. If reform works for one side, it ought to work for the other. But, he is right that so-called "tort reform" always seems to actually mean "plaintiff lawyer" reform. I do not disagree with Mr. Megna in principle. But, really, isn’t his reaction a bit overblown, too?