The maneuvering around House Bill 4143A, which would allocated unclaimed monies from class action lawsuits to legal aid for low-income Oregonians, will continue Tuesday morning in an 8 am meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill has generated strong feelings on both sides, with trial lawyers, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and former Gov. and AG Ted Kulongoski and former AG Hardy Meyers advocating for joining 48 other states in forcing those who lose class action suits to actually pay the award the court says they owe. On the other side, former AG Dave Frohnmayer, whose law firm represents BP and Phillip Morris, both of which could lose financially if the bill passes, is arguing for the status quo.
Joining Frohnmayer in opposition are many of the state's business organizations, including Associated Oregon Industries.
Now one group—the Oregon District Attorneys Association—that carries a lot of clout with moderates who might be swayed by the business lobby, is weighing in.
On Feb. 23, the District Attorneys submitted a letter strongly supporting the bill.
Here's that letter: