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Thursday, October 27, 2005

H.R. 420 Approved by the House of Representatives

The vote was 228-184 and was largely along party lines. H.R. 420 would rewrite Rule 11 and stilt it in favor of large corporate defendants. Rule 11, to refresh, is a mechanism for sanctioning lawyers for so-called "frivolous lawsuits." Should H.R. 420 become law, legitimate claims will never be brought in court and average Americans will be forced to bear the costs of corporate negligence.

Don't expect a massive overhaul of Rule 11 just yet, however. A version of H.R. 420 still needs to pass in the Senate and Senate leaders have already said that this bill will not come up for a vote this year. Further, H.R. 420 passed last year in the House as well. The far-right House can vote on whatever they like, but the House cannot make law unless the relatively moderate Senate approves.

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