Negotiating Arkansas’s Law of Several Liability

Fall 2011

by Joseph R. Falasco |

“Life intersects art, sometimes. As a practicing lawyer, I have tried to employ rules, statutes, and laws in service of a defined and client- oriented goal. As a potter, I work to form a lump of clay into a functional piece of art. When the Arkansas General Assembly enacted the Civil Justice Reform Act in 2003, it provided a moist ball of clay. Tort reform is by nature controversial. We all knew that some of its provisions were going to be challenged—one way or another—in Arkansas’s courts. Regardless of how you feel about the Act, we can all agree that the General Assembly presented Arkansas lawyers with a new set of statutes to mold into a functional body of law. After some years of kneading by lawyers and the Arkansas Supreme Court, the Act as it exists today looks different than it did eight years ago. Yet, what remains of the Act must be further applied in a way so that it functions in a meaningful manner and does real work for all litigants. This writing provides background information on some lingering issues and suggests how the remaining clay can be put to good use by the legal potters–whether they be lawyers or judges.”

Note: The above is an excerpt from the article in The Arkansas Lawyer Fall 2011. Click the link below to read the actual publication.