?>

Sen. Missy Irvin has filed SJR8, a constitutional amendment that takes away our constitutional right to a jury trial. Call your state senator today and tell them to vote NO on SJR8! SJR8 is extremely dangerous for Arkansans because it:

  1. Takes away our right to fight back in court
  2. Takes away our right to hire the legal representation we need to protect ourselves from corporate interests and insurance companies
  3. Puts an arbitrary, one-size-fits-all value on life
  4. Prevents juries from holding harmful entities accountable for causing harm
  5. Gives lobbyists and politicians control of our courts

Call and email your state senator TODAY. Not sure who your senator is? Click this link: http://www.arkansas.gov/senate/senatorSearch.html

And, here is a link to the bill:

http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2017/2017R/Bills/SJR8.pdf

Here are a few things to consider when calling your senator:

Before you introduce yourself, consider your audience and try to tailor the conversation to the individual.

Introduce yourself and ask if it’s a good time to talk about an issue that’s important to you.

Ask if they are familiar with SJR8, the tort reform amendment.

You might tell them you are happy that they are not listed as a sponsor on the bill. Then ask if they have taken a position on SJR8 or not. If they haven’t taken a position, start a conversation with them about the points listed below. If they are with us, thank them and encourage them to reach out and call you for help at any time. If aren’t with us, ask if they had considered some of the information listed below. Thank them for their time and offer to be of help in the future.

Now that you’re ready to talk with your senator, arm yourself with the talking points below.

1. SJR8 is a proposed constitutional amendment that takes away our 7th Amendment constitutional right to a jury trial. SJR8 is extremely dangerous for Arkansans because: SJR8 places an arbitrary, one-size-fits-all value on life.

a. This amendment is an attack on the value of human life, and holds that one life is worth more than another. An infant would not hold the same “economic” value as an adult, working man or woman.

b. The amendment encourages careless behavior by limiting “non-economic damages” that pay people back for very real harms caused by carelessness. Many very valuable members of our society have only “non-economic” harms they can suffer, like children and infants, unborn babies, the elderly, and stay at home moms.

2. SJR8 handcuffs local juries, leaving them unable to hold wrongdoers accountable for causing harm by limiting punitive damage awards.

a. Setting a pre-determined amount a jury may award negates the sacred function and duty of a local jury, who our Founders wanted to hear the facts of each individual case.

b. When a person is hurt or killed because someone else is careless, the careless person is required to pay money to the injured person to make up for the harm he or she caused – it is our system of accountability. Without punitive damage awards, harmful entities will only receive what amounts to a slap on the wrist for causing harm like continuing to make faulty GM ignitions and exploding Ford Pintos. SJR8 destroys the system of checks and balances that our Founding Fathers established.

3. The separation of powers safeguards our freedoms by preventing systematic abuse, and is a tenet of our democracy. SJR8 takes away our right to hire the legal representation we need to protect ourselves from corporate interests and insurance companies.

a. This bill limits contingency fees for plaintiff’s attorneys. This is a red herring thrown in to help pave the way to limiting an injured person’s recoveries.

b. Capping plaintiff’s attorney fees will make legal representation out of reach for many plaintiffs. Note that there is no proposed cap on defense attorney fees. How would a plaintiff have a level playing field against a corporation?

c. Contingency fees allow someone who might not be able to afford legal representation the ability to fight back and have their day in court. Fighting back against insurance companies and corporations takes significant time and money, not to mention the plaintiff’s attorney’s upfront investment that pays the cost of the case until a jury gives a verdict or a settlement is reached.

If you aren’t sure which senator is yours, please click here and enter your address: http://www.arkansas.gov/senate/senatorSearch.html
Our senators’ contact information is listed below:

Senator Bart Hester (District 1)
479-531-4176
bart.hester@senate.ar.gov

Senator Jim Hendren (District 2)
479-787-6222
jim.hendren@senate.ar.gov

Senator Cecile Bledsoe (District 3)
479-636-2115
Cecile.Bledsoe@senate.ar.gov

Senator Uvalde Lindsey (District 4)
479-444-6752
uvalde.lindsey@senate.ar.gov

Senator Bryan King (District 5)
870-438-4565
bryan.king@senate.ar.gov

Senator Gary Stubblefield (District 6)
479-635-4314
gary.stubblefield@senate.ar.gov

Senator Lance Eads (District 7)
479-435-5139
Lance.Eads@senate.ar.gov

Senator Jake Files (District 8)
479-648-9216
Jake.Files@Senate.ar.gov

Senator Terry Rice (District 9)
479-637-3100
Terry.Rice@senate.ar.gov

Senator Larry Teague (District 10)
870-845-5303
Larry.Teague@senate.ar.gov

Senator Jimmy Hickey, Jr (District 11)
903-824-8861
jimmy.hickey@senate.ar.gov

Senator Bruce Maloch (District 12)
870-235-7041
bruce.maloch@senate.ar.gov

Senator Alan Clark (District 13)
501-262-3360
alan.clark@senate.ar.gov

Senator Bill Sample (District 14)
501-624-3445
Bill.Sample@senate.ar.gov

Senator David J. Sanders (District 15)
501-682-6107
davidjamessanders@gmail.com

Senator Greg Standridge (District 16)
479-968-1562
greg.standridge@senate.ar.gov

Senator Scott Flippo (District 17)
870-421-3420
Scott.Flippo@senate.ar.gov

Senator Missy Irvin (District 18)
870-269-2703
Missy.Irvin@senate.ar.gov

Senator Linda Collins-Smith (District 19)
870-378-1434
Linda.Collins-Smith@senate.ar.gov

Senator Blake Johnson (District 20)
870-323-1766
Blake.Johnson@senate.ar.gov

Senator John Cooper (District 21)
870-761-0130
john.cooper@senate.ar.gov

Senator David Wallace (District 22)
870-919-8046
David.Wallace@senate.ar.gov

Senator Ronald Caldwell (District 23)
501-682-6107
ronald.caldwell@Senate.ar.gov

Senator Keith Ingram (District 24)
870-735-9580
friendsforkeith@gmail.com

Senator Stephanie Flowers (District 25)
870-535-1032
Stephanie.Flowers@senate.ar.gov

Senator Eddie Cheatham (District 26)
870-364-5659
eddie.cheatham@senate.ar.gov

Senator Trent Garner (District 27)
870-818-9219
Trent.Garner@senate.ar.gov

Senator Jonathan Dismang (District 28)
501-766-8220
dismang28@gmail.com

Senator Eddie Joe Williams (District 29)
501-286-9366
EddieJoe.Williams@senate.ar.gov

Senator Linda Chesterfield (District 30)
501-888-1859
lchesterfield@comcast.net

Senator Joyce Elliott (District 31)
501-603-9546
Joyce.Elliott@senate.ar.gov

Senator Will Bond (District 32)
501-396-5400
Will.Bond@senate.ar.gov

Senator Jeremy Hutchinson (District 33)
501-773-3760
Jeremy.Hutchinson@senate.ar.gov

Senator Jane English (District 34)
501-257-7670
jane.english@senate.ar.gov

Senator Jason Rapert (District 35)
501-336-0918
Jason.Rapert@senate.ar.gov