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ATRA 'Disappointed' by Jindal's Endorsement of Hughes for High Court

CONTACT: Darren McKinney dmckinney@atra.org
202-682-0084
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Orleans, LA, November 15, 2012 -- As the American Tort Reform Association wrapped up its fall legislative conference in New Orleans yesterday, it voiced disappointment with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent endorsement of the “trial lawyers’ candidate” in the upcoming runoff election for a seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court.

“Though Gov. Jindal has never established himself as a true civil justice reformer, his eventual willingness last June to facilitate compromise legislation limiting the toll that legacy lawsuits take on Louisiana’s critical onshore oil and gas industry was encouraging,” observed ATRA president Tiger Joyce.  “Those lawsuits, as everyone in Louisiana knows, have hindered critical economic growth and job creation.

“But the governor’s endorsement of Judge Hughes for a seat on the state’s high court is a very discouraging setback,” Joyce continued, referring to First Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Jeff Hughes, who will face Judge John Michael Guidry in the December 8 runoff.   “Judge Hughes’ connections to and support from those who have driven often unscrupulous legacy lawsuits in Louisiana alone should be enough to disqualify him from the high court.

“Pelican State citizens rightly expect their governor to promote jobs and economic expansion,” Joyce added, “and Gov. Jindal’s record on education and some other related issues has been positive. 

“But the governor’s support of Judge Hughes for the Supreme Court should worry every Louisianan who’s looking for work, and it should motivate the state’s business community to redouble its efforts to enlighten the governor about the economic virtues of reasonable limits on tort liability,” he concluded.