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August 7, 2013

Okla. lawmaker wants session sooner than later

OKLAHOMA CITY —

A spokesman for the Oklahoma Senate’s leader says he wants a special legislative session to take up civil justice reforms “sooner rather than later.”

Nathan Atkins, spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, said Wednesday Bingman believes lawmakers should gather before the end of the year to consider overhauling the state’s civil justice system. Legislation passed in 2009 was struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court as unconstitutional in June.

Atkins says the ruling has created “a legal morass” and uncertainty among the legal community about which statutes govern medical malpractice and product liability lawsuits.

Atkins says it is up to Gov. Mary Fallin to decide when to call lawmakers back to the Capitol. A spokesman for Fallin, Alex Weintz, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

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