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Henry Fails to Show Leadership on Lawsuit Reform

Governor Brad Henry: "The thing I don't like about it right now is that we are dwelling on this (Stratton Taylor) letter and this (Wall Street Journal) editorial when we ought to be talking about how do we get past that; what are our challenges and let's address those head-on." – Tulsa World, 12-23-03

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – The Republican leader in the State Senate said Governor Brad Henry has failed to show leadership in the wake of a letter by State Senator Stratton Taylor inviting out-of-state trial attorneys to file lawsuits in lawyer-friendly Oklahoma. Taylor’s letter prompted a Wall Street Journal editorial criticizing the state for its lack of lawsuit reform.

“So far, Governor Henry’s only response has been to say that instead of talking about this letter and editorial, we should be identifying ‘our challenges’ and addressing those ‘head-on,’” Williamson said.

“I would say to the governor that we don’t need another one of his task forces or studies – we need action. We know what our challenge is: Texas has implemented the most far-reaching lawsuit reforms in the nation, while Oklahoma remains a haven for trial lawyers and jackpot justice,” Williamson said.

“The head-on solution is for Oklahoma to meet or beat the reforms Texas has implemented. The question is whether Governor Henry has the will necessary to say that Oklahoma needs Texas-style lawsuit reform, and then to stand up to the trial lawyers and Stratton Taylor to make it happen,” he stated.

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