When we gather with friends and family this July 4th, it is the perfect time to reflect on some of the things that make our country great – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights provide a solid foundation for our roles as citizens, but unfortunately, our founding fathers were a bit vague in the area of personal responsibility.

Maybe they assumed we all had common sense and a feeling of accountability for our actions. However, it seems like we could have used some guidance in these areas. All too frequently, we see people – urged on by lawyers seeking to profit from the abuse of our lawsuit system – forsake their own responsibility and head straight the courts when they believe there is money to be made. This even happens in cases where no one has been truly injured.

Consider the town of Manteca, where a California lawyer has filed over 3,000 lawsuits against businesses alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act against  dozens of small businesses. No one is injured in these cases, yet businesses are being shaken down for tens of thousands of dollars through abusive lawsuits.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not see lawsuits like the ones just mentioned. Maybe this is the reason California is one of the nation’s worst “Judicial Hellholes,” or has been named the  worst state for business 11 years in a row.

This July 4th, let’s exhibit some personal responsibility of our own and declare our independence from abusive lawsuits. These lawsuits clog our courts, taking up valuable time and money while slowing access to the court system for those who are truly injured. Is this the pursuit of happiness or pursuit of fast cash?

CALA hopes you have a wonderful July 4th weekend. We hope you enjoy time with family and friends and exercise personal responsibility.