Folks who know me well, know that I have not been a big fan of this General Assembly, so I want to take any opportunity I can to broadcast some good news coming from Raleigh. Session Law 2013-159 brought about a few important changes in how civil cases will be litigated, and for the most part I think there’s a lot more good than bad.
- Small Claims Court can now hear disputes up to $10,000;
- District Court is allowed to hear claims up to $25,000;
- Arbitration may be required for many more small disputes, with new penalties for parties that appeal the arbitration award and lose; (I’m reserving judgment on that one.)
- Insurance companies now have greater incentive to settle lawsuits up to $25,000. If a Plaintiff wins a higher amount at trial than what the insurance company offered, the insurer may be required to pay the Plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and costs. (The old limit was $20,000. There are a lot of requirements and considerations that go into this, so be sure to check with an attorney in you need more details!)