AB 465: Trial Lawyers’ Attempt to Enrich Themselves

Maryann Marino
Regional Director, California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

The final weeks of the legislative session have arrived, and that means it is silly season in the State Capitol. At this time of year, trial lawyers use every trick they have to expand litigation and make sure our state’s lawsuit system continues to mainly serve the interests of lawyers rather than ordinary people.

One of their top priorities is getting Gov. Brown to sign AB 465 (Hernandez), which seeks to eliminate pre-dispute employment arbitration agreements. Put simply, this is a terrible idea. AB 465 would only drive up litigation costs by increasing individual claims and class action lawsuits against California employers.  Who stands to profit from all this additional litigation? That’s right, trial lawyers.

Arbitration has many advantages for both businesses and consumers, including being a faster, simpler and less expensive alternative to litigation. It helps California’s small businesses by cutting down on their legal expenses. And it helps consumers by allowing legal disputes to be fairly and efficiently resolved without incurring the cost, stress and often lengthy ordeal of a lawsuit.

The only ones who don’t benefit from using arbitration are the trial lawyers. When a dispute is resolved quickly and efficiently using arbitration, it means lower legal fees for lawyers. This is, of course, why they support AB 465 – at the end of the day, it means more money in their pockets.

AB 465 has been passed by the legislature, and if it is signed by Gov. Brown, it will create more lawsuits in California – a state that is known nationally as a “Judicial Hellhole” and has ranked dead last for 11 straight years in CEO Magazine’s annual “Best and Worst States for Business” survey. That’s why the California Chamber of Commerce has labeled it a “job killer” and it is opposed by a vast coalition of organizations.

If AB 465 is signed by the Governor, all Californians will pay the price.

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