The state Senate has approved legislation that limits attorney fees in civil lawsuits. The bill would cap attorney fees in lawsuits to no more than three times the value of damages awarded in the decision.
State Senator Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) says the measure is meant to keep attorneys from racking up huge legal bills by dragging out a case. He says attorneys should not be rewarded with huge bills many times above the actual damages simply for delaying a decision.
Democrats charge the bill will stifle the ability of consumers with a small claim to have their day in court. Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) says attorneys will not want to take up those claims when they realize they can’t recover the cost of arguing the case.
Zipperer says an amendment, which allows judges to exceed the cap if they feel it is necessary, will prevent that from happening.
The bill passed Thursday on a 17-15 vote in the Senate and now heads to the Assembly.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:14)