Protecting Small Businesses in the Legal Process

Protecting Small Businesses in the Legal Process

The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCC) has taken a leadership role in assuring that the state civil courts are free of frivolous lawsuits, legal proceedings are less costly and small businesses maintain their rights to protect themselves against big business.

The SCSBCC has successfully supported legislation to:

  • require state courts to inform defendants of the Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act which empowers the defendant to request actual and punitive damages against plaintiffs and their attorneys for bringing a frivolous lawsuit.
  • restrict where civil lawsuits can be filed to reduce costs to a defendant.
  • limit liability of defendants found to be less than 50%at fault.
  • reduce time limit for filing lawsuits related to real property.
  • strengthen sanctions against frivolous lawsuits.
  • require S.C. Department of Insurance to assess whether insurance companies are passing on savings from tort reform to policyholders.

In addition, in 2010 the SCSBCC successfully blocked legislative efforts to severely restrict the ability of small businesses to file a civil lawsuit against a bigger business regarding unfair trade practices.  A civil lawsuit is often the only method of obtaining balance between a well-financed big business and a small business in trade matters where the big business has engaged in unfair trade practices resulting financial harm to the small business.