On Election Day, voters in several states made their voices heard on legal reform.
In California, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 64, an initiative to stop trial lawyer shakedowns of small business owners. (To learn more about Prop 64, read "Stopping Trial Lawyer Shakedowns in California.")
In Florida and Nevada, voters approved caps for damages in medical malpractice cases, while a similar proposal was defeated in Oregon. In Wyoming, voters approved a plan to reform the medical tort system by requiring mediation before a lawsuit can be filed, but they rejected award caps.
In addition, plaintiffs lawyers put a handful of proposals before voters in several states.
In Florida, voters passed a plan to widen access to medical records and a proposal to bar doctors who have committed three or more cases of medical malpractice from obtaining a medical license.
In Nevada, voters overwhelmingly defeated two trial-lawyer backed initiatives. The first would have lifted previously passed caps on damages in medical malpractice cases. The second would have prohibited limits on attorneys fees.
In Colorado, plaintiffs lawyers backed a proposal to expand legal liability for contractors and builders, but 77 percent of voters said "no."November 4, 2004