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January 27, 2015

The Indictment of Sheldon Silver and Its Impact on Legal Reform

The indictment of New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges continues to make headlines, especially as it relates to asbestos litigation abuse and legal reform. Here are some of today’s top stories on the issue:

Crain’s New York reports: “Mr. Silver, with his close ties to the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, has long been viewed as the primary roadblock to changes to the state’s tort laws, notably the so-called scaffold law, which holds contractors and property owners 100% liable for any gravity-related accident in which they are even partially at fault. Tort-reform advocates now see a ray of sunlight.”

• New York Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-101) writes in National Review: “Silver’s power is so immense he has singlehandedly held up a tort-reform bill sponsored by his own hand-picked majority leader because his trial-lawyer buddies and paymasters want it blocked.”

Bloomberg’s Henry Goldman notes that federal prosecutors “alleged Silver conspired to use his position to induce real estate developers and asbestos-injury victims to retain law firms in exchange for at least $5.3 million.”

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