Lawsuit and Regulatory Reform on Gov. Walker’s Small Business Agenda

On Sept. 26, Gov. Walker set forth his small business agenda while hosting the seventh annual Small Business Summit. His plan to improve Wisconsin’s business climate includes lawsuit and regulatory reform.

At the summit, the governor renewed his commitment “to enact lawsuit reforms to protect small businesses.” According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a typical small business is six times more likely to be sued than to sue.

The Wisconsin Civil Justice Council (WCJC) hailed the renewed commitment to litigation reform, with WCJC President Billy G. Smith noting “the easiest way to lower litigation costs for everyone, including large and small businesses, state and local governments, plaintiffs and defendants, is to address the escalating transaction costs associated with discovery.”

A recent study found that most of the documents retrieved in discovery are never submitted as evidence. In 2008, for example, of the close to 5 million pages of documents produced in discovery in major cases that went to trial, only 4,772 exhibit pages were marked. That means over 99.9 percent of those documents retrieved were never used. “That is an incredible waste of time and money,” according to Smith.