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Sara Warner
Sara Warner is publisher of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit California Courts Monitor website, as well as the National Courts Monitor, which focus on civil courts and related funding-capacity issues.

Entries by Sara Warner

Lawyers, Lightning and Building Codes

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 1:44 PM

Even if you balk at the idea that plaintiffs' attorneys can become "the common people's attorneys general," you still have to admit that some of the research and advocacy that goes into lawsuits can help advance public safety - we may collectively mock those slip-and-fall lawsuits, but they sure get...

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In Congress, NY's Silver Case Becomes Asbestos Reform Political Football

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 5:51 PM

It will be months before Sheldon Silver, the ousted New York Assembly Speaker facing federal corruption charges, finally gets his day in court. But Mr. Silver, or at least his case, got a few hours of judicial review in the halls of Congress last week.

While the discussion was legislative,...

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Asbestos-Victim Families May Face Govt. Repayment Issue

(1) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 12:41 PM

In the hardball political world of mesothelioma litigation, the asbestos-related cancer that fuels all those commercials, it's getting hard to tell if some victims are going to be branded as Medicare "scofflaws" or embraced as important whistleblowers. If recent accusations of fraud against a handful of plaintiff's attorneys is true,...

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Asbestos Litigation Industry Buzzes Over NYC's Silver Case, 'Iron Triangle'

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 3:06 PM

For a while it was looking like a heavyweight showdown of sorts, at least as civil litigation panel discussions go, being billed as the "Battle in the Big Apple," featuring a name attorney from the Weitz & Luxenberg firm at the apex of New York's wildest political scandal in years.

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In California's 'Hip Hop City,' Mayor Looks 'Beyond Brooklyn'

(3) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 11:01 AM

When Time Magazine profiled Compton, California Mayor Aja Brown in July of 2014, parallels were drawn between the recent economic renaissance of Brooklyn and the potential for Compton -- yes, the one you know from hip hop music fame -- to follow a similar path.

But, noting...

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GOP, Media Positioning Victims' Attys as '1%ers'

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 11:46 AM

Last Summer, I posted about Democrats being tone-deaf about veterans and asbestos reform issues, and now I'm afraid we are equally tone deaf as Republicans combine the Sheldon Silver arrest scandal, a few high-profile cases and their control of congress to position victims' attorneys as predatory "1 percenters."

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Dems Must Defend 'Trust' System, Even As Asbestos Trusts Deplete

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 11:48 AM

The new Republican-controlled congress rolled up its sleeves and rolled out its agenda over the last week, and along with immigration and budget issues it turns out "asbestos litigation reform" is an apparent priority. The powerful House Judiciary Committee held a formal hearing in Washington in what amounts...

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'Bribery Pawns' Join 'Perjury Pawns' In Asbestos Litigation Concerns

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 10:34 AM

With last week's arrest of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on federal charges stemming largely from an asbestos-cancer patient referral scheme, it seems like our concern over "perjury pawns" in bankruptcy cases needs to be expanded. From the Speaker Silver scandal, welcome the term "bribery pawns" into our...

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On Immigration, The Lame Duck Quacks Back

(3) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 11:49 AM

While there is a longstanding Washington tradition of mocking ineffective "lame duck" administrations, President Obama's State of the Union speech bucked the trend and showed this duck still has a lot to quack about -- especially as it relates to immigration.

As one of many special guests, a...

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2015's Top 5 Civil Justice Issues

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 2:15 PM

Begin With Koch-Holder Agreeing

It takes a real national crisis to unite the Koch brothers with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, but justice rationing has managed to just that as the conservative-backing Koch Industries is closing out 2014 by drawing praise from the A.G. because of a "major grant" to...

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How Newport News, Va., Works Around State's Pro-Business Laws

(7) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 9:01 PM

In the community of American asbestos litigation, the realm that creates all those mesothelioma ads, attorneys hotly debate the merits of specific jurisdictions and if state law is better than federal law -- but it turns out the best place to sue asbestos-related corporations uses neither.

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Obama Does Congress' Job on Immigration, Court Reform Next?

(2) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 4:58 PM

President Obama on Thursday made it clear that, if a gridlocked Congress won't do its job on immigration reform, he will do that job himself. Now we should hope that he can also turn attention to an immigration challenge that falls under his own branch of government: immigration courts.

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CSX Civil Lawsuit, Midterm Victories Are Tort Reform Victories (Update)

(93) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 3:40 PM

Correction (11/13/2014 12:00pm EST): Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this post identified CSX as an affiliate of Koch Industries. It is not. I apologize for the error. - Sara Warner.

Don't look now, but the midterm elections are not the only huge November win for the...

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Can New GOP Senate Tackle Border Kids, Perjury Pawns?

(2) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 9:33 PM

As election results rolled in and Republicans were clearly taking control of the United States Senate, we embattled and map-weary Democrats scanned those results for silver linings. It appears one of those positive outcomes rests on the motivation to create a new "playbook" - meaning that Republicans who have been...

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In Iowa Senate Race, 'Lawyer Issue' Remains Relevant

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 5:23 PM

As we are mere weeks away from the national midterm elections, it's worth noting how that "lawyer vs. nonlawyer" theme is developing in Iowa, where a race for United States Senate is both deadlocked and growing nastier by the day.

The Daily Beast branded this year's election as "

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'Kafka's' Immigration Trials Spark State and National Response

(3) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 10:32 AM

In Franz Kafka's "The Trial," an ambitious banker is arrested from his home by two wardens. Having done nothing wrong, the charges are as invisible as the court system is untouchable. He spends the remaining year of his life awaiting a trial for charges he doesn't understand, and yet with...

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Immigration 'Court' Reform More About Justice Than Immigration

(6) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 2:41 PM

President Obama may have "delayed" his promise for major immigration reform to accommodate the politics of the Nov. 4 midterm elections, but there remains an opportunity for massive improvement to the immigration "court" system. The reason that such measures can gain consensus support is the same reason that...

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High-Profile Asbestos Cases Leave Judges Pondering Trust

(3) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 11:03 AM

America's longest-running personal injury litigation arena is approaching full disruption, with high-profile cases and finger-pointing on issues ranging from concealing evidence to judges in the nation's largest trial court feeling "sad" at the disrespect shown by lawyers.

Those were a couple of the key take-aways from the annual...

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Asbestos Litigation Summit Tackles Issues of Trust

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 4:49 PM

The insular and well-heeled world of American asbestos litigation is gathering atop San Francisco's Nob Hill this week for what amounts to an annual current-events snapshot, and this year things may get a bit testy in the industry triangle of plaintiff attorneys, defense firms and insurance companies.

Granted, if outsiders...

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Like Payday Loans, Lawsuit Loans Increasingly Coming Under Fire

(3) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 1:25 PM

Lately, it seems everyone from Comedy Central's John Oliver to state lawmakers are blasting the "payday loan" industry, and surely a bit of that consumer heat will eventually focus on lawsuit lending, which the Wall Street Journal has called "the legal equivalent of the payday loan."

Crain's Chicago...

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