CMD's Executive Director Lisa Graves was honored recently by the Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ). WAJ is the largest voluntary bar organization in Wisconsin representing the trial bar profession. WAJ presented Lisa with the President's Award for her ongoing work exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), particularly ALEC's "tort reform" efforts which make it harder to hold corporations accountable when their products injure or kill consumers. She was presented with the award at WAJ's Winter Seminar and Annual Meeting at the Pfister Hotel and Tower in Milwaukee.
CMD has been covering ALEC's "tort reform" agenda since it launched its ALEC Exposed project, and identified how the very first bill Governor Scott Walker called for upon taking office drew liberally from the ALEC playbook. ALEC member Rich Zipperer went on to propose two major changes to the Wisconsin civil justice system in the 2011-2012 session, one to protect big corporations from interest rate charges when they lose a lawsuit (cheating consumers and victims of needed funds) and another to give global corporations that manufacture drugs and medical devices immunity from suit when their products injure or kill. Zipperer was recently appointed as Walker's Chief of Staff.
In September of 2012 Lisa Graves was invited to write an article about Walker's ALEC-inspired tort reforms for WAJ's publication, The Verdict, titled "Echoing ALEC's Playbook, the Real Story of Walker's Tort 'Reform'".