You can tell a lot about folks by the company they keep. That's especially true of our representatives in the U.S. Congress, who have the opportunity to join caucuses that focus on specific interests and goals.
We naturally want our representatives to join caucuses with goals that will redound to the benefit of our state and its citizens. A new, bipartisan caucus was formed in Congress this month to promote legal reform. Whether our three representatives join it will tell us a lot about their interests and goals.
The Civil Justice Caucus is the brainchild of Congressman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican representative from neighboring Virginia, and his colleague and co-chairman, Dan Boren (D-OK). The Caucus will serve as a forum for discussing medical malpractice reform, venue reform, patent reform, federal pleading standards, and other legal reform issues that affect the efficiency of our civil justice system and the vitality of our state and national economies.
"Excessive and frivolous litigation and inefficient rules and procedures drain U.S. companies of desperately-needed resources and hinder job growth and innovation," Goodlatte asserts.
He said "the cost of the U.S. tort liability system as a percentage of GDP is more than double the average cost of any other industrialized nation."
With the Civil Justice Caucus, Goodlatte and Boren hope to increase understanding in Congress, and among the general public, "of how civil justice issues affect the free enterprise system, America's global competitiveness, and businesses large and small."
Their long-term goal is to promote "a civil justice system that respects the rule of law and advances the United States' leadership in innovation, job creation, and economic growth."
We certainly hope that David McKinley (R-District 1), Shelley Moore Capito (R-District 2), and Nick Rahall (D-District 3) share the goals of the Congressional Civil Justice Caucus and want to be part of it. It's the kind of company we'd like them to keep.