2009 Regular Session . May 19, 2009
SB 65, Electronic Discovery Bill, Fails in Senate But Could Be Reconsidered
Contact Senators Now!
SB 65 by Sen. Jack Donahue, an electronic discovery bill promoted by the U.S. Chamber and its local initiative “Coalition for Common Sense,” failed to pass the Senate by a vote of 19 to 19 following a spirited debate by those who understood the procedural and evidentiary issues. It takes 20 votes to pass this bill, so the proponents are only one vote short. The author asked for reconsideration of the bill. That means he can bring it up for a vote as early as tomorrow. The vote margin is too close for comfort. Contact your senator now if you care about big business re-writing the Code of Civil Procedure.
Non-lawyers were pushed hard by the usual cadre of big business lobbyists, who argued that SB 65 would protect small businesses. They cited an ALEC article to support their claim that it costs up to $2.5 million to retrieve electronic records in a mid-size case and without this protection, small businesses would have no recourse but to settle every case.
Don’t wait to contact your senator for a NO vote on SB 65. The reconsideration vote can come up tomorrow or any day thereafter.
Chinese Drywall a Problem for You or Your Clients?
SB 257 by Sen. Julie Quinn addresses a special problem faced by homeowners in southeast Louisiana who are learning that the drywall installed in their homes during rebuilding following the 2005 hurricanes was manufactured in China from toxic and hazardous waste materials mixed with gypsum.
People with Chinese drywall in their homes are facing health problems and deterioration of their homes, appliances, furniture and personal belongings from corrosive particles and gasses given off by the materials in the drywall. They turned to the Legislature for help after learning that their homeowner’s would not cover the cost to replace the drywall and the appliances and other items destroyed.
SB 257 was reported out of Sen. Judiciary A committee this morning by a vote of 3-2, with Sens. Quinn, Murray and Claitor voting in favor and Sens. Donahue and Kostelka voting against the bill. The bill was amended in committee, but the amendments won’t be incorporated into the bill for public viewing until tomorrow afternoon.
If you or your clients have an interest in SB 257, contact your senator now in support of this bill.
Nursing Home Services Included as Med Mal Act
Do you have a client or a family member in a nursing home? HB 72 by Rep. Greg Cromer would treat as medical malpractice any acts or services in a nursing home that involve supervision, monitoring and assistance with activities of daily living. What is now a negligence action against the nursing home will become an act of medical malpractice, complete with a medical review panel, the associated delays and costs and a cap on damages.
Rep. Cromer’s bill passed out of House Civil Law and Procedure Committee on Monday, May 18.
Call LAJ for more information on any of these bills that are of interest to you. These four House bills could be up for a floor vote later this week or early next week.
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