Now for those outside of California this next concept may seem odd or foreign but considering that one of Jim Beall's communities, San Jose, suffered through the Andrew King sex abuse case, it will not seem surprising – California AB 1628 would do away with secret settlements in civil cases involving molestation. The victim's identity is still protected; the accused is not.
The purpose of this "Scarlet Letter" is exactly that, to openly brand and prevent clubs, teams and other youth organizations to secretly hide a nefarious history with a non-disclosure agreement.
The bill has just moved out of the Public Safety committee and now goes to the Judiciary Committee next Tuesday.
From Around the Capitol:
"... This bill would delete those provisions and instead would prohibit any confidential settlement in a civil action seeking damages that is based in whole or in part on an act of childhood sexual abuse. The bill would make an agreement entered into on or after January 1, 2013, containing a confidential settlement provision void as a matter of law and against public policy, and would make a violation of those provisions by a party or any attorney a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000. The bill would also specify that an attorney who demands a confidential settlement agreement as set forth above shall be subject to disciplinary action by the State Bar. By creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. ..."
I am the SCAQ Blogger and I support this bill.