2015 Civil Justice Update

This paper recaps key civil justice reforms that occurred in 2015. Part I focuses on broad trends, Part II provides an overview of federal and state reforms adopted in 2015, and Part III highlights key court cases in 2015 that addressed civil justice and liability law issues. Significant civil justice reform legislation was enacted in 2015, particularly in West Virginia and with respect to a few areas that have become (or remained) trends: asbestos bankruptcy trust claims transparency, transparency in private attorney contracts (TiPAC) entered into by state officials on a contingency fee basis, codification of traditional common law duties owed by land possessors to trespassers, and appeal bond limits. Courts upheld a number of past reforms, rejecting the vast majority of constitutional challenges that were decided in 2015. Judicial decisions expanding liability in broad new ways were

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