Calif. AG candidate honored by tort reform group

Chris Rizo Oct. 8, 2009, 12:56pm

Tom Harman (R)

COSTA MESA, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-A California tort reform group has honored state Sen. Tom Harman, the Republican candidate for attorney general, for his efforts to curb lawsuit abuse in the Golden State.

Harman, R-Huntington Beach, was honored Tuesday by the Orange County chapter of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. He was given the group's Champion Against Lawsuit Abuse award.

Harman was recognized for his legislation -- Senate Bill 1608 -- that gives business owners some time to fix violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act before they can be sued in state courts.

Harman, vice chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said some trial lawyers exploited the law by filing lawsuits against small ADA infractions.

"Business is the backbone of the state and the sooner we put an end to the frivolous lawsuits that plague our businesses and communities, the sooner we can get our economy rolling again. These suits serve no public good other than to pad the pockets of greedy attorneys," Harman said in a statement.

In the 2007-08 legislative session, Harman authored Senate Bill 1202, which would have allowed judges to withhold part of the plaintiff's attorney's fees in class action lawsuits until all class members have been contacted and have received their share of settlement funds.

Harman is seeking to succeed Attorney General Jerry Brown as California's chief legal officer. Brown, a Democrat, is widely considered to make a run for governor in 2010, leaving the AG post open.

Harman is the only Republican to toss his hat into race, so far. A crowded field of Democrats is vying for the post.

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