TORT REFORMS ON BALLOT IN CALIFORNIA

Proposition 200: Creates a no-fault auto- insurance system requiring motorists to collect for personal injury from their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. Also abolishes tort liability for auto-accident-caused deaths or injuries, regardless of who is at fault. Bars lawsuits against other drivers unless a specific crime is proven.

Proposition 201: Limits suits by shareholders against companies and class-action suits based on securities-laws violations by requiring losers to pay legal expenses of winners.

Proposition 202: Limits contingency fees that plaintiffs' attorneys may collect in personal-injury, wrongful-death, and other tort cases. Encourages early settlement of lawsuits by limiting lawyers' fees to no more than 15 percent of a settlement offer made within 60 days of a suit being filed. (If the client rejects the offer and later wins a bigger settlement, the lawyer still receives only 15 percent of the original offer. The fee for the amount above that is negotiated with the client.)

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