WisBar News: Senate will act today on bill undercutting business and consumer rights :

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  • WisBar News
    October
    27
    2011

    Senate will act today on bill undercutting business and consumer rights 

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    Oct. 27, 2011 – The full Wisconsin Senate will vote today on proposed legislation that, if enacted, will undermine the rights of Wisconsin businesses and consumers who seek to enforce their statutory, administrative, and contractual remedies.

    Senate will act today on bill undercutting business and consumer rights 

    Capital in Fall
concludes

    Oct. 27, 2011 – The full Wisconsin Senate will vote today on proposed legislation that, if enacted, will undermine the rights of Wisconsin businesses and consumers who seek to enforce their statutory, administrative, and contractual remedies.

    2011 Special Session Senate Bill 12 would limit attorney fees to no more than three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded in any action not governed by section 814.04, which places caps on attorney fees except as provided in fee-shifting statutes. While a pending amendment (SA 2) would make the hard cap proposed in the bill a presumptive cap that can be exceeded by the court if deemed reasonable, even the amended form of the legislation will have unintended, adverse consequences for Wisconsin’s business community, on whose behalf the legislation was offered. 

    The new limits imposed by the bill may impact as many as 280 statutes and administrative rules, including many that are frequently brought by Wisconsin businesses against those who have violated the law. These statutes also are frequently used to successfully defend against frivolous claims brought against an innocent party by someone who has actually violated the law.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin opposes the proposed legislation because Wisconsin business owners and consumers cannot afford a measure that will clog our courts with avoidable litigation and further delay the resolution of civil cases.

    If you wish to share your insights on 2011 Special Session Senate Bill 12 with your senator, contact information is readily available on the Legislature’s website.