Arkansas High Court Establishes Civil Case Panel

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas' highest court has created a panel to review the practices and procedures for civil cases after an unsuccessful effort in the Legislature to put new tort reform measures on the ballot next year.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Friday appointed a special task force to review and possibly revise sections of the state Rules of Civil Procedure. The nine-member panel will submit a final report by Dec. 31.

The new committee was formed after lawmakers unsuccessfully pushed for changing Arkansas' constitution to allow the Legislature to write court rules for civil cases. An effort to put that proposed amendment on next year's ballot failed during this year's session.

Supporters of the proposed amendment said it was needed to address recent rulings overturning parts of a 2003 tort reform law.

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