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July 8, 2003

Assembly Poised to Pass 'State-Sanctioned Extortion' Bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif.- July 8, 2003 - The following statement was issued by Maryann Maloney, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse:

"Senate Bill 122 (Escutia) is a gift to personal injury lawyers that is masquerading as reform. It does nothing to address the fundamental flaws of the state's Unfair Competition Law which make it a tool for abuse and extortion. Specifically, there is still no requirement to provide any evidence of actual harm.

"SB 122 makes the problem worse by adding a "disgorgement" provision, which would allow lawyers to extract more money from a company even when there are no real plaintiffs or evidence of any harm. No other state has a law like this.

"Despite attempts to make the bill seem more palatable, SB 122 is simply a sham. It will still allow the extortionate misuse of the unfair competition law to continue and will make the current situation worse for business owners throughout the state.

"SB 122 was drafted by personal injury lawyers - who profit from abuses of the legal system - without any input from consumers or victims of lawsuit abuse. Personal injury lawyer-supported amendments to a bad law are NOT the answer. SB 122 and its evil twin, AB 95 (Corbett) should be defeated and the legislature should instead pursue meaningful reform that will end the extortion, protect jobs and help our economy."

CONTACT: Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Maryann Maloney, 714/259-8400.

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