•To limit expansion of tort liability
•To reduce lawsuit defense costs
•To speed resolution of lawsuits
•To improve fairness & certainty of
civil justice system
The LRC membership is a broad
See our member list of over 70 Washington organizations
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News from the LRC
LRC shines bright light on the Supreme Court
The LRC has released the eighth installment of its Judicial Scorecard, which is a two-year look back at the significant liability rulings of the Supreme Court and how the nine justices ruled. The results are interesting, if not alarming. Only one justice ruled consistent with the LRC’s position in at least 50 percent of the cases. Two justices received paltry scores in the teens. The rest are somewhere in the in middle. The rulings from this powerful branch of government warrant careful and consistent monitoring and the LRC will continue to do so.
After interviewing all candidates and analyzing their background and experience, the LRC recommends Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, Judge Dave Larson and Professor David DeWolf for the Supreme Court. The LRC, with a broad membership of Washington state’s most influential businesses and trade associations, supports qualified candidates who share its views on limiting the expansion of tort liability and reducing the cost of litigation, yet speeding the resolution of civil actions and improving fairness and certainty within the civil justice system. The ballots for the November 8 election will arrive in voters’ mailboxes mid-October.
LRC recommends Judge Dave Larson
Judge Dave Larson has a long career as a trial lawyer, handling civil cases in state and federal courts for 23 years before becoming a Federal Way municipal court judge, where he currently serves as Presiding Judge. Originally appointed in 2008, Judge Larson is now serving his second full term after winning elections in 2009 and 2013. Before his time on the bench, he served as President of the Federal Way School Board, was a member of the city’s Human Services Commission and was the first chair of the city’s Board of Ethics.
Judge Larson is running against Justice Charlie Wiggins. Justice Wiggins is wrapping up his first term on the Supreme Court. During his six years on the court, Justice Wiggins earned only a 19 percent Lifetime Score on the LRC Scorecard, which is down three percentage points from two years ago.
Judge Larson demonstrated his thorough knowledge of liability issues facing Washington’s businesses and governmental entities in his nearly hour-long interview with the LRC Judicial Affairs Committee. According to the Seattle Times, “Voters should welcome the chance to add new voices to the court and elect Dave Larson over incumbent state Supreme Court Justice Charlie Wiggins.”
BarLRC recommends Justice Barbara Madsen
Chief Justice Barbara Madsen has served on the Supreme Court since 1993. An extensive analysis of her 24 years on the bench revealed she has a lifetime score of 64 percent on the LRC Judicial Scorecard, which puts her in first place. She is a strong asset to the Court and the LRC supports her bid for another six-year term.
Justice Madsen faces a strong challenger in Greg Zempel. Mr. Zempel is the Kittitas County prosecutor with a strong resume and a solid understanding of liability issues; however, given Justice Madsen’s Lifetime Score, she has earned the support of the LRC.
LRC recommends David DeWolf
Former Gonzaga law professor David DeWolf has the recommendation of the LRC over incumbent Justice Mary Yu. Professor DeWolf taught constitutional law at Gonzaga for 28 years and in his interview with the LRC demonstrated his knowledge and understanding of how the court has expanded civil justice law and what that means for LRC members. His books on tort and contract law have been cited over 100 times in Washington appellate cases as an authority on Washington law.
Justice Yu garners only a 25 percent score on the LRC Scorecard.
The LRC's Record of Success
For the past 30 years the LRC has helped protect Washington’s citizens and businesses from more lawsuit abuse. No organization more aggressively fights the trial lawyers’ trade association than the LRC. The LRC has published a Record of Success which shows the long list of bills this organization has managed to defeat in Olympia, to the chagrin of the plaintiffs lawyers.
Jury awards boozer truck driver over $119,000
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal and posted on overlawyerd.com blog is one you don’t want to miss:
In 2009, a driver with Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., admitted to the company that he had an alcohol problem. The company told him that it would no longer allow him to drive heavy trucks for the firm. (It said it offered him a less safety-sensitive, but also significantly lower-paying, dock job.) The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stepped in and sued on his behalf under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It conceded that Old Dominion could (and indeed had to) take the keys away from a heavy truck driver it found to be currently drinking on the job, but contended it had failed in its obligation to “make an individualized determination as to whether the driver could return to driving and provide a reasonable accommodation of leave to its drivers for them to obtain treatment.” Of course backsliding and remission are common following rehab treatment, which means as a group drivers with known past alcohol problems will have a higher risk profile than drivers without. That is why at an earlier stage of the case I asked, “Are we really required to take chances with 18-wheelers on the highway?”
Now we know the answer: Yes. A jury agreed with the EEOC and awarded the driver $119,000 in back pay.
The posting is from Walter Olson, a commentator, author and critic best known for his work on American law. A senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C., he has written a series of widely acclaimed books on our legal system, beginning with The Litigation Explosion, The Excuse Factory, The Rule of Lawyers: How the New Litigation Elite Threatens America’s Rule of Law, and most recently Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America On the web, he founded and continues to run Overlawyered.com, widely cited as the oldest blog on law as well as one of the most popular. The Washington Post has described him an "intellectual guru of tort reform".
The LRC was honored to have Mr. Olson as a keynote speaker several years ago at our Annual Meeting.