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STATEMENT: LRANY Responds to Trial Lawyers’ Opposition to Uber Upstate

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June 20, 2016

LRANY Responds to Trial Lawyers’ Opposition to Uber Upstate

“Last week’s news that the trial lawyers scuttled ride-sharing upstate is another example of the trial lawyers putting their profits over the people of New York. Their endless rhetoric about ‘safety’ has been exposed as hypocrisy, as their meddling managed to suppress a measure proven to reduce drinking and driving.”

-Tom Stebbins, Executive Director, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

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Contact: Phoebe Stonbely | PStonbely@LRANY.org | 518.512.5265  

The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit association of businesses, professionals, healthcare providers, membership organizations, taxpayers, and concerned citizens committed to changing New York’s legal system to help create jobs and energize our economy.

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LRANY Congratulates Adam Morey on 40 Under 40 Rising Star Achievement

adamThe Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) would like to congratulate Adam Morey on winning a spot as a 2016 City & State 40 Under 40 Rising Star. Adam began working for LRANY in January of 2016 as our Government Affairs Specialist, and has since excelled in this role. Prior to joining LRANY, Adam devoted years as the General Operations Manager of Empire Wine where he successfully advocated for a bill that limited the powers of the State Liquor Authority for interstate wine shipping, an accomplishment that illustrated Adam’s determination and proficiency working with state government. Adam has become an integral part of the LRANY team, demonstrating an ability to think outside the box, extraordinary attention to detail, and a willingness to dive into his new role head-first.

LRANY would also like to congratulate our former colleague and one of the founding employees of LRANY, Scott Hobson, on also being recognized as a 2016 City & State 40 Under 40 Rising Star.

See the Full List of Winners Here

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ‘Collette’s Law’ Introduced to Curb Abusive Lawsuits in New York

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2016
Contact: Phoebe Stonbely
pstonbely@lrany.org
518.512.5265/518.708.3578

‘Collette’s Law’ Introduced to Curb Abusive Lawsuits in New York
Assemblywoman, Reform Advocates Push for Tougher Sanctions for Abusive Lawsuits

Albany, NY – In April of 2014, Collette McLafferty’s life was turned upside down. After performing just one $75 gig with a P!nk cover band, the singer was served with a $10 million lawsuit by the group’s co-creator. The lawsuit accused McLafferty of being “ugly and untalented,” hurting his image and entitling him to millions in damages. Collette had never met the accuser.

Assemblywoman Maritza Davila (D-Bushwick) took notice of Collette’s story and today she introduced the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, also known as “Collette’s Law” in the New York State Assembly. The bill increases sanctions against those who file abusive lawsuits and requires them to pay the other party’s legal costs. Collette herself spent over ten thousand dollars in legal fees defending herself in her lawsuit.

“Collette’s story really resonated with me, a hardworking talented woman was stopped on her path of success by a deceitful and selfish act of abuse. We need to prevent others from using our legal system as a weapon and instill regulations that bring actions against those who try,” stated Assemblywoman Davila.

“This situation has humiliated me publicly, damaged my reputation, my career, and my livelihood. This is harassment; legalized extortion plain and simple. Nobody should have to go through what I’ve been through. This is the first step in the fight for justice for lawsuit abuse victims,” said Collette McLafferty.

Longtime advocates for legal reform were similarly pleased with today’s bill introduction, “We applaud Assemblywoman Davila’s courage and compassion. Collette’s Law will ensure the legal system is used to protect, not abuse, New Yorkers,” declared Tom Stebbins, Executive Director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York.

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The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit association of businesses, professionals, healthcare providers, membership organizations, taxpayers, and concerned citizens committed to changing New York’s legal system to help create jobs and energize our economy.

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POLL: NEW YORKERS SAY LAWSUIT ABUSE COSTLY, TIME FOR REFORM

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***For Immediate Release***
June 6, 2016
Contact: Phoebe Stonbely
pstonbely@lrany.org
O: 518.512.5265/ C: 518.708.3578

NEW YORKERS SAY LAWSUIT ABUSE COSTLY, TIME FOR REFORM
Siena Poll Finds Legal Reform Enjoys Bipartisan Support;
Majority of Voters Say System Out of Date and Often Abused by Lawyers

Albany, NY – Today the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) released the results of a recent Siena Research poll showing that a vast majority of New Yorkers agree that lawsuits have a negative impact on the state’s economy. 75% of respondents agree that lawsuit abuse costs jobs, drives healthcare costs, and results in higher taxes. 79% of those surveyed say that the civil justice system is out of date and rife with abuse by personal injury trial lawyers. Other notable results:

  • 86% of Republicans and 76% of Democrats support reforming New York’s civil justice system
  • 79% of those surveyed believe that it is time to bring New York in line with the other states by enacting common sense reforms including ensuring that liability is proportional to fault and raising the standards for court room evidence
  • By age group, broadest agreement that the system needs reform is from 18-34 year olds (84%)
  • Union households reported 78% support for legal reform
  • Regionally, strongest support (81%) from NYC suburbs, who were also most likely (9%) to have been involved in a lawsuit within the last five years

“This confirms that most New Yorkers, whether Democrat or Republican, agree with our position that the state’s civil justice system is broken and taken advantage of by self-serving lawyers. The end result – as 75% of those surveyed agree – is a crumbling economy with fewer jobs, higher taxes, and sky-rocketing healthcare costs,” said LRANY Executive Director Tom Stebbins.

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The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit association of businesses, professionals, healthcare providers, membership organizations, taxpayers, and concerned citizens committed to changing New York’s legal system to help create jobs and energize our economy.

This Siena College Poll was conducted May 22-26, 2016 by telephone calls conducted in English to 825 New York State registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., is an independent, non-partisan research institute that conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in New York State.

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Poughkeepsie Journal: Legal Reform Would Benefit Business in New York

adamThis week, the Poughkeepsie Journal published a letter to the editor from LRANY’s Adam Morey. The LTE was in response to a piece written by policy analyst E.J. McMahon that noted reform to the Scaffold Law as a way to improve business climate in New York. Morey elaborated on the current hindrances of the law and explained how legal reforms translate to mandate relief calling to other past due reforms such as expert evidence reform and fair-share liability.

An excerpt:

“E.J. McMahon’s recent column in the Poughkeepsie Journal champions reform of New York’s Scaffold Law, possibly the most litigation-friendly statute in the nation (“N.Y. leaders have means to improve business climate,” May 16).

His attention to the law highlights how New York’s dysfunctional civil justice system creates an enormous economic burden for the state’s small businesses, medical professionals, municipalities and nonprofits. The Scaffold Law has been pointed to as a hindrance to everything from school construction to Habitat for Humanity’s efforts following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.”

Read Full Letter

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: On NYSTLA Lobby Day, LRANY Decries Trial Lawyer Influence

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For Immediate Release
May 17, 2016
Contact: Phoebe Stonbely
pstonbely@lrany.org
518.512.5265

On NYSTLA Lobby Day, LRANY Decries Trial Lawyer Influence
Deemed “the single most powerful political force in Albany,” by Governor Cuomo, legal reform group calls for end to shadow government and no-show jobs

POA-Report-2016-Web-Layout_HI-RESOLUTION-_PS-(002)-001ALBANY – As the trial lawyers roam the halls of the Capital and Legislative Office Building for their annual lobby day, the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY), the state’s only advocacy group dedicated to civil justice reform, is calling the out-sized political influence of the trial lawyer lobby a “shadow government.” The Albany-based group recently released its annual “Power of Attorney” report, which analyzes the lobbying spending and political contributions of New York’s plaintiffs’ lawyer lobby. LRANY found that for the sixth consecutive year, the plaintiffs’ lawyer lobbying spend continued to surge, a 64% increase since 2010. According to the report, in 2015 plaintiffs’ lawyers, their lobbying groups, and associated Political Action Committees (PACs) spent a combined $2.64 million to influence state elected officials.

“It is no secret that the strong influence of the trial lawyers translates into lawsuit friendly policies that hurt our local businesses, healthcare professionals and municipalities,” said Tom Stebbins, LRANY Executive Director. “Even though trial lawyers were at the center of the biggest corruption scandal to hit Albany in years, and that’s saying something, their influence remains strong thanks to the money they continue to shower on Albany politicians.”

The group features former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on the report’s cover to highlight the disgraced politician as an indisputable example of the trial lawyers’ influence over the New York legislature. “Dozens of bills were blocked by the former speaker, promoting policies that continually lined the pockets of the trial lawyers’ at the expense of the taxpayer and the state’s economy.” Stebbins explained, “the vicious cycle of political influence flourished as the millions made suing New Yorkers went right back into the coffers of high ranking elected officials.”

LRANY is hopeful that following the change in legislative leadership, New York may begin to see overdue civil justice reforms enacted. “Our elected officials are meant to represent the people, not the interests of their wealthiest donors,” argued Stebbins.

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The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit association of businesses, professionals, healthcare providers, membership organizations, taxpayers, and concerned citizens committed to changing New York’s legal system to help create jobs and energize our economy.

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LRANY Video Series – Too Much Ice in Starbucks ICED Beverages: Most Outrageous Lawsuit of the Month May 2016

This month Phoebe Stonbely will discuss a lawsuit puts the ICEing on the cake for ridiculous.

A Chicago woman has brought a $5M lawsuit against the coffee giant Starbucks for adding TOO much ice in their ice beverages.

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STATEMENT: LRANY Executive Director Response to Silver Sentencing

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May 3, 2016

LRANY Executive Director Response to Silver Sentencing

“We have said – for years now – that Sheldon Silver’s payments from New York’s wealthiest personal injury law firm were an out-sized political contribution masquerading as legitimate income. Silver defrauded the people, choosing his allegiance to the trial lawyers over his public service. Now convicted, disbarred, and sentenced for his crimes, lawmakers in Albany must act on the common sense civil justice reforms he blocked for decades from ever coming to the floor.”

-Tom Stebbins, Executive Director, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

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Contact: Phoebe Stonbely | PStonbely@LRANY.org | 518.512.5265

The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit association of businesses, professionals, healthcare providers, membership organizations, taxpayers, and concerned citizens committed to changing New York’s legal system to help create jobs and energize our economy.

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Times Union – Letter: Injury Lawyers Use Clicks for Cash

adamThis week, the Albany Times Union published a letter written by LRANY’s Adam Morey. The letter focused on the amount that lawyers spend on online advertising to reign in clients.

An excerpt:

“It is refreshing to see the legal industry moving toward the use of technology to better serve and cut costs for its clients (“Law faces a cyber future,” April 23). But the truth is, just as they spend big on Albany politics, personal injury lawyers invest heavily in online marketing, with the most prized search terms going to the highest bidder.

In fact, 23 of the top 25 most expensive Google keywords in 2015 were accident attorney-related. For the first half of that year, eight of the top 10 most expensive cost-per-click keywords were asbestos/mesothelioma-related. Law firms also create non-branded websites, like “asbestos.com” to steer traffic toward their legal services.”

Read Full Letter