Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mixed bag of bills

In my Gavel to Gavel column in the Journal Record, I have described the mixed bag of bills offered up by the 2013 special session.  Some of the statutes enacted or amended by the 2009 Comprehensive Lawsuit Reform Act were re-enacted.  Some were not.  This leaves lawyers looking to the legislative history more in coming years, as we continue to sort through the fallout from the Douglas decision.
In practice, Oklahoma attorneys can expect that they will need to check legislative histories regarding whether a particular statute was amended or enacted by the 2009 act, whether subsequent amendments saved the statute, and whether this year’s special session resolved these issues.
Read more:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Deciphering the Special Session

From a quick look at the text of the bills signed by the Governor, the legislature appears to have played it safe by reenacting certain of the reforms that were stricken by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in the Douglas decision.

HB1024 is notably missing from the 23 bills showing up as signed by the Governor.  This was the special session bill that addressed summary judgment procedure.  This is speculation on my part, but it appears that the legislature left alone those statutes that were (i) enacted or amended as part of the 2009 tort reform statute and (ii) subsequently amended by the legislature as part of separate legislation.

So my quick reaction is that 12 O.S. 2056 remains a part of the Oklahoma statutes, having been amended and reenacted in 2011, even though the Douglas decision struck down the 2009 CLRA.

For an article on the Governor's approval of 23 special session bills, see:

For a list of special session provisions showing last action taken, go here:  Then, look for those "sent to Governor."

Text of measures can be found here:

Friday, September 6, 2013

ICYMI: Sorting through the "chaos" resulting from the CLRA logrolling decision

As Oklahoma lawyers watch the special session, here is an excerpt from my July column on sorting through the "chaos":
[S]ince 2009, the Oklahoma Legislature has amended some of the statutes that the CLRA amended or created. In an interesting twist, these later amendments may save certain provisions of the CLRA, based on the same constitutional provision that the court relied on in striking the CLRA.
The single-subject rule, also known as the rule against logrolling, is found in Article 5, Section 57 of the Oklahoma Constitution. Section 57 also requires that the Legislature re-enact laws when it amends them. 
As an example, Section 3226 of the Oklahoma Discovery Code was amended three times since 2009. Each time, the Legislature set forth the statute in its entirety. As a result, it appears that the Legislature saved the CLRA’s changes to Section 3226, simply by complying with the Oklahoma Constitution in its later amendments. 
This twist may affect a number of the CLRA’s provisions. As a result, the term “re-enactment” may join “logrolling” as part of our vocabulary.