Appeal Bond Reform

Problem

In an era when billion-dollar verdicts are no longer uncommon, appealing a jury verdict can force an individual, a company, or an industry into bankruptcy.

ATRA's Position:

ATRA supports appeal bond reform legislation that limits the size of an appeal bond when a company is not liquidating its assets or attempting to flee from justice.


Opposition Opinion:

The personal injury bar’s argument in support of appeal bonds – that appeal bonds secure damages awards owed to a plaintiff – fails to address the hardship imposed by the bonds on defendants who are forced to choose between risking bankruptcy by posting billion-dollar bonds, many of which are ultimately overturned by an appellate court, and forfeiting their right to appeal.

Appeal Bond Reform: S.B. 2125 (2010)

Oklahoma|2010

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay.

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Waiver Act: H.B. 1524 (2001)

Louisiana|2001

Places a $150 million limit on the amount that defendants

[…]

Places a $150 million limit on the amount that defendants have to post to obtain a bond during the appeals process (Pursuant to the Master Settlement Agreement entered into between this state and tobacco product manufacturers)


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 92 (2003)

Idaho|2003

Limited appeal bonds on punitive damages to only first of

[…]

Limited appeal bonds on punitive damages to only first of $1,000,000 of any judgment.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 3250 (2006)

Hawaii|2006

Limited the appeal bond to $25 million, regardless of the

[…]

Limited the appeal bond to $25 million, regardless of the amount of judgment.  Provided a provision for small businesses that limits the appeal bond to $1 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: S.B. 134 (2015)

Nevada|2015

Limits appeal bonds to the lesser of $50 million or

[…]

Limits appeal bonds to the lesser of $50 million or the amount of the judgment.  It also includes a small business exception of $1 million or the amount of the judgment.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 164 (2015)

Maryland|2015

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $100 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 1529 (2016)

Mississippi|2016

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to 50 percent of an appellant’s net worth not to exceed $35 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 196 (2007)

Wyoming|2007

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million. For small businesses, defined as having 50 or fewer employees, limits the amount to secure the right to appeal to $2 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 194 (2007)

West Virginia|2007

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to $50 million

[…]

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to $50 million for all judgments against all defendants.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 671: (2004)

West Virginia|2004

Broadens the $100 million limit from 2001 to include punitive

[…]

Broadens the $100 million limit from 2001 to include punitive damage awards.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 661 (2001)

West Virginia|2001

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $100 million.  This limit applies to all damages except punitive damages.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: A.B. 548 (2003)

Wisconsin|2003

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $100 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: S.B. 6541 (2006)

Washington|2006

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $100 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 430/S.B. 172 (2004)

Virginia|2004

Expands limit of $25 million on appeal bond amounts for

[…]

Expands limit of $25 million on appeal bond amounts for punitive damages to apply to appeal bond amounts for all forms of damages.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 1547 (2000)

Virginia|2000

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal a punitive damages award to $25 million.  Applies in out‑of‑state judgments during the stay period only.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: Sup. Ct. Order 2005-03-22 (2005)

Utah|2005

The Utah Supreme Court imposed a limit on the amount

[…]

The Utah Supreme Court imposed a limit on the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal by amending UCRP governing appeal bonds.  The limitations are: (1) $25 million for compensatory damages, applied to class actions and actions involving multiple plaintiffs where damages are not proved for each plaintiff individually; (2) $0 for punitive damages, applied to all actions and eliminates bond requirements for appealing a punitive damage award.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 2008 / SB 1522 (2011); Tenn. Code Ann. § 27-1-124

Tennessee|2011

Lowers the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Lowers the amount a defendant can be required to pay to appeal a decision from $75 million to $25 million not to exceed 125% of the judgment.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 1687 (2003)

Tennessee|2003

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $75 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: Sup. Ct. Rule 03-13 (2003)

South Dakota|2003

The South Dakota Supreme Court promulgated a rule which limits

[…]

The South Dakota Supreme Court promulgated a rule which limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 3775 (2011)

South Carolina|2011

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to $25 million

[…]

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to $25 million for all judgmnets against defendants with 50+ employees and gross revenue of $5 million, and $1 million for all judgments against all other defendants.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H. 4823 (2004)

South Carolina|2004

Provides that judgments are to be stayed during the appeal

[…]

Provides that judgments are to be stayed during the appeal of a judgment by signatories to the Master Settlement Agreement.  Such defendants are not required to post an appeal bond.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform- S.B. 2509 (2008); R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-133-11.1

Rhode Island|2008

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $50 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 1718 (2003)

Pennsylvania|2003

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $100 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 2368 (2003)

Oregon|2003

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $150 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 1603 (2009)

Oklahoma|2009

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million.  Eliminates bonding requirement to appeal a punitive damages judgment.


[hide]

Challenged and Struck Down

Held unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in Douglas v. Cox Retirement Properties, June 2013.

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 1275 (2004)

Oklahoma|2004

Broadens the cap put in place in 2001 to include

[…]

Broadens the cap put in place in 2001 to include MSA affiliaties.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 2661 (2004)

Oklahoma|2004

The court is given discretion to lower the bond if

[…]

The court is given discretion to lower the bond if the judgment debtor can show that it is likely to suffer substantial economic harm if required to post a bond in the amount required by statute (which is double the judgment).  Applies to all cases except those involving signatories to the Master Settlement Agreement.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 372 (2001)

Oklahoma|2001

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 161 (2002); ORC Ann. 2505.09

Ohio|2002

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $50 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: AB 576 (2001)

Nevada|2001

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $50 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: S.B. 335 (2007)

New Mexico|2007

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to $100 million

[…]

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to $100 million for all judgments against MSA signatories.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 2738 (2003)

New Jersey|2003

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $50 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: L.B. 1207 (2004); Amended R.R.S. Neb. § 25-1916.

Nebraska|2004

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to the lesser of the amount of the judgment, 50 percent of the appellant’s net worth, or $50 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 2273 (2005); N.D. Cent. Code, § 28-21-25

North Dakota|2005

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 33 (2011)

North Carolina|2011

The amount of the undertaking that shall be required by

[…]

The amount of the undertaking that shall be required by the court shall be an amount determined by the court after notice and hearing proper and reasonable for the security of the rights of the adverse party, considering relevant factors, including the following: (1) The amount of the judgment; (2) the amount of the limits of all applicable liability policies of the appellant judgment debtor; and (3) The aggregate net worth of the appellant judgment debtor.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: S. 784 (2003); Amended N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-289

North Carolina|2003

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal all judgments to $25 million regardless of legal theory.  Provides that foreign judgments cannot be executed in North Carolina if appeal is pending in a foreign jurisdiction or the judgment has been stayed by the court that rendered it and a bond has been posted.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 2 (2000); Amended N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1750

North Carolina|2000

Places a $25 million limit on bond requirements in punitive

[…]

Places a $25 million limit on bond requirements in punitive damages awards during the appeal process.  Provides that limits on bond appeals for out-of-state judgments apply during the stay period only.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Cap Reform: H.B. 224 (2013)

Montana|2013

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $50 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: Rule 8 (2001)

Mississippi|2001

By rule, the Mississippi Supreme Court imposed a limit on

[…]

By rule, the Mississippi Supreme Court imposed a limit on the amount that defendants can be required to post to secure a bond to appeal a punitive damages award to the lesser of: (1) 125 percent of the judgment; (2) 10 percent of the defendants net worth; or (3) $100 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 393 (2005); § 512.099 R.S.Mo.

Missouri|2005

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal $50 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: S.B. 242 (2003); § 512.085 R.S.Mo.

Missouri|2003

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $50 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.F. 1425 (2004); Amended Minn. Stat. § 550.36

Minnesota|2004

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $150 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 5151 (2002); MCLS § 600.2607

Michigan|2002

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million.  Provides that this limit will be adjusted on January 1, 2008 and again on January 1 every five years after that by an amount determined by the state treasurer to reflect the annual aggregate percentage change in the Detroit consumer price index since the previous adjustment.  Provides that a court will rescind the limit if an appellee proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the party for whom the bond to stay execution has been limited is purposefully dissipating or diverting assets outside of the ordinary course of business for the purpose of avoiding ultimate payment of the judgment.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 1819 (2003); Amended La. R.S. 39:98.6

Louisiana|2003

Broadens 2003 cap to include affiliates of signatories to the

[…]

Broadens 2003 cap to include affiliates of signatories to the Master Settlement Agreement.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 1807 (2001); Amended La. C.C.P. Art. 2124

Louisiana|2001

Places a $50 million limit on the amount a signatory

[…]

Places a $50 million limit on the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement must post to obtain a bond during the appeals process.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 426 (2007)

Kentucky|2007

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to $100 million

[…]

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to $100 million for all judgments against all defendants.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 316 (2000); KRS § 411.187

Kentucky|2000

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal a punitive damages award to $100 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 2457 (2005); Amended K.S.A. § 60-2103

Kansas|2005

Provides that if the appellant proves by a preponderance of

[…]

Provides that if the appellant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that setting the supersedeas bond at the full amount of the judgment will result in the appellant suffering an undue hardship or a denial of the right to appeal, the court may reduce the amount of the bond as follows: (1) if the judgment is less than or equal to $1 million, the supersedeas bond shall be set at the full amount of the judgment; or (2) if the judgment exceeds $1 million in value, the supersedeas bond shall be set at a total of $1 million plus 25 percent of any amount in excess of $1 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 64 (2003)

Kansas|2003

Limits the amount that signatories to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount that signatories to the Master Settlement Agreement are required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 1204 (2002); Ind. Code Ann. § 34-49-5-3

Indiana|2002

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 5151 (2013)

Illinois|2013

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $250 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 92 (2003)

Idaho|2003

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal punitive damages awards in any judgment to only the first of $1,000,000.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: S.F. 2306 (2004); Amended Iowa Code § 625A.9.

Iowa|2004

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $100 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform

Hawaii|2004

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million.  Limits the amount a small business can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $1 million.


[hide]

Challenged and Struck Down

Appeal Bond Reform: S.B. 2840 (2004)

Hawaii|2004

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to $150 million

[…]

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to $150 million for all judgments against MSA signatories.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: S.B. 411 (2004)

Georgia|2004

Expands the cap of $25 million on appeal bonds that

[…]

Expands the cap of $25 million on appeal bonds that applied to punitive damages and expanded the cap to cover all forms of judgments in all civil cases.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 1346 (2000)

Georgia|2000

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal a punitive damages award to $25 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: SB 2198 (2009)

Florida|2009

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $200 million.  The limit applies to Engle progeny litigation, and creates an overall appeal bond cap for all of these cases combined.  The entities covered by the statute include signatories to the Master Settlement Agreement, successors, and affiliates.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 841 (2006); Fla. Stat. § 45.045

Florida|2006

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal in any civil action, except for certified class actions subject 768.733, to $50 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: S 2826 (2003); Fla. Stat. § 569.23

Florida|2003

Limits the amount that signatories to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount that signatories to the Master Settlement Agreement are required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $100 million.


[hide]

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 1721 (2000); Fla. Stat. § 215.56005; Amending Fla. Stat. § 17.41

Florida|2000

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal punitive damages awards in class actions to the lesser of 10% of the defendants net worth or $100 million.  The reform applies in out‑of‑state judgments during the stay period only.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 1366 (2003); Amended C.R.S. 13-16-125

Colorado|2003

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: AB 1752 (2003)

California|2003

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $150 million and applies to all judgments in civil litigation regardless of legal theory.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: S.B. 1212 (2011), A.R.S. § 12-2108

Arizona|2011

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to the lesser

[…]

Limits the amount of an appeal bond to the lesser of the total amount of damages awarded excluding punitive damages, 50% of the appellant’s net worth, or $25 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: S.B. 937 (2005)

Arkansas|2005

Broadened 2003 law to apply to all causes of action

[…]

Broadened 2003 law to apply to all causes of action regardless of when they accrued.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 1038 (2003)

Arkansas|2003

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $25 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: H.B. 220 (2006); Code of Ala. § 6-12-4

Alabama|2006

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement

[…]

Limits the amount a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to $125 million.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: (1987)

Alabama|1987

Repeals Alabama’s affirmance fee rule, which assessed a fee of

[…]

Repeals Alabama’s affirmance fee rule, which assessed a fee of 10% of the judgment against defendants (but not plaintiffs) who appealed cases and lost.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Appeal Bond Reform: HB 4 (2003)

Texas|2003

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay

[…]

Limits the amount a defendant can be required to pay to secure the right to appeal to the lesser of 50% of a defendant’s net worth or $25 million.  Provides that defendants are no longer required to post a bond to appeal punitive damages.  Provides that foreign judgments cannot be executed in Texas if appeal is pending in a foreign jurisdiction and a bond has been or will be posted.


[hide]

Unchallenged