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Open Access to Courts Bill introduced in Congress

The attorneys at Levin & Perconti received a recent update from the American Association for Justice and wanted to spread the word about this bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The much needed bill aims to restore standards required to file court cases and strengthen the basic legal protections of Americans. The bill comes after two U.S. Supreme Court decisions unexplainably added difficulty for litigants seeking justice in many civil cases.

For over seventy years, plaintiffs in cases such as personal injury lawsuits could file their cases by filing a short and plain statement describing the facts of the case. The two recent Supreme Court cases have now interpreted the rules differently. This different interpretation is disturbing because it blocks many plaintiffs attempts to build their cases in important matters. Now, cases are being dismissed even before litigants can obtain evidence that would support their allegations. So, the new heightened standard effectively requires individuals to know the evidence supporting their cases before they even file their complaint!

The interpretation is also troublesome because many cases are proven by documents never revealed until a complaint is file. These new standards threaten to enable corporations to escape accountability. Senator Specter has introduced a similar bill in the U.S. Senate. Please let your legislator know how you feel about the Open Access to Courts Act of 2009.

To learn more about the new bill introduced in the House.