House Civil Justice Committee Completes Work

The House Civil Justice Committee today finished business for the year, working off a 29-item calendar. Among the bills addressed:

Lawyer Regulation -- A bill (SB 779/HB 635) to impose criminal sanctions on Board of Professional Responsibility panel members, staff, lawyers subject to discipline and their counsel for certain procedural violations could see action in committees in both chambers. The TBA resisted this unwelcome intrusion in the Supreme Court’s disciplinary process. This bill will be dealt with in the summer study.

Tort -- Codification of comparative fault with limitations of joint and several liability in several types of cases that the courts have carved out by common law -- including products liability and cases with combined intentional and negligent actors -- was recommended for adoption. (SB 56/HB 1099)

Court Reporting- The bill (SB443/HB206) to prohibit court reporting by reporters who contract with companies or intermediaries to provide court reporting services was deferred to 2014.

Conservatorship- The TBA’s bill (SB 555/HB 692) to improve conservatorship practice and procedure, with the agreed upon amendments, was unanimously recommended.