GONZALES — Attendees of the recent Ascension GOP Roundtable
received up-to-date information on lawsuit abuse and how it is being
handled on state and federal levels.
One of the featured speakers was Melissa Landry, executive
director of the legal watchdog organization Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse
Watch. The organization is dedicated to improving the state’s legal
system “through transparency, accountability and lawsuit reform,”
according to the organization's website.
She regularly visits with citizens and community leaders about issues
that impact the legal system.
“In Washington, the U.S. House of
Representatives just passed a slew of reform packages that, once
passed by the Senate and signed by the president, will go a long way
toward curbing lawsuit abuse,” she told the Louisiana Record.
“From class-action reform, to increasing transparency in asbestos
litigation to imposing sanctions on personal-injury lawyers who file
bogus suits — there’s a lot of great stuff happening at the
federal level with broad support from Louisiana’s congressional
However, Landry said the outlook is much different in Louisiana.
“The upcoming Legislative session will bring a number of new
obstacles and challenges for Louisiana’s business and legal reform
community,” she said. “During Gov. John Bel Edwards’ first year
in office, we saw a dramatic increase in taxes and legal attacks —
both of which have had disastrous impacts on our already weak
The stalled job market in the state also is a topic of concern.
“Over the last two years, Louisiana has lost more than 20,000
jobs, and according to some estimates, we now have the third-worst
unemployment rate in the country,” Landry said. “While the rest
of the country is growing, we are stuck in a recession. Our families
and businesses are struggling, and yet, Gov. Edwards is still pushing
policies that will create more taxes and lawsuits.”
The event was sponsored
by Ascension Republic Women, and was held March 16 at the Clarion Inn in