Hulshof outlines court plan

Hulshof outlines court planSteps can be taken to make state’s judicial system more job-friendly

St. Louis, Mo – Kenny Hulshof continues to outline specific plans to improve Missouri’s job climate. Today, he presented a package of reforms that would increase fairness within the state’s judicial system and encourage job creation.

Although important reforms have recently been made, there is still room for improvement. According to the Institute for Legal Reform, Missourians are burdened by the 20th worst legal system in the United States.[1] The ratings are even worse for judicial impartiality and venue requirements (33rd in both categories).

“Disorder in the courts is preventing job growth in Missouri,” Hulshof said. “A state’s legal system is a key factor for potential employers when they are considering a state for business. We can take commonsense steps to clean up our legal system and make our state more attractive for business.”

Hulshof’s proposals:
1. Reserving Missouri courts for Missourians.
2. Designated damages only for those who are injured.
3. Limiting the punitive claims of uninsured drivers.

In addition, Hulshof is proposing a series of modifications to the Missouri Plan.

“While the intentions of the Missouri Plan remain sound, the current system is broken,” Hulshof stated. “A small sector of attorneys has an inordinate amount of influence on the system. It’s time to balance the scales.”

Despite making up just four percent of total attorneys in Missouri, personal injury lawyers account for 100 percent of the Appellate Judicial Commission. This has resulted in the transformation of a non-partisan, non-ideological process into a politically-slanted one. Nineteen of the last 21 nominees for the Supreme Court have been Democrats. Four of the last six have been members of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.

In order to restore balance, Hulshof is proposing the following reforms:
1. Remove special interests from the Appellate Judicial Commission.
2. Replace the Chief Justice on the commission with a retired Supreme Court judge.
3. Increase the number of nominees.
4. Allow the governor to veto up to two slates of nominees.

“The Missouri Plan was designed to keep politics out of our courtrooms. Unfortunately, that isn’t what we’re seeing today,” Hulshof said. “Trial attorneys are stacking the deck in an attempt to tilt the scales in their favor. This is bad for job creators, doctors, and anyone else upon whom the trial lawyers set their sights. It’s time to restore fairness and balance to the Missouri Plan.”

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