CALA to honor Alberto Gonzales at annual fundraiser event

David Yates Oct. 7, 2010, 7:00am


One of Texas' most proactive tort reform groups will honor former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during its 5th annual fundraiser.

Hoping to raise funds and awareness on the continued importance of tort reform, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Central Texas will host the fundraising reception in Austin on Thursday, Oct. 28.

"In the most recent regular session of the Texas Legislature, personal injury lawyers reportedly spent more than $9 million in their efforts to pass new laws that would roll back reforms or create new ways to sue," said Roger Borgelt, board chairman of the Central Texas CALA.

"Although these efforts were thwarted, the victory was not easy. We are expecting the same fight again during this upcoming session. Now more than ever, we need funds to continue our momentum."

In recent years, CALA engaged in extensive media campaigns with billboards, radio and television commercials.

The organization's "Cracked Commercial" won recognition as the Campaign Media Analysis's "Best of 2009" political advertisement, said Stephanie Gibson, executive director of the Central Texas CALA.

Gibson said some of CALA's other campaigns include Reform Works, Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week and Good Judges Matter. CALA also recently conducted a survey of state voters which revealed bi-partisan support for the civil justice reforms in Texas.

"As we continue to enjoy strong support from local employers and consumers, our annual reception is an essential part of our work." said Gibson.

" Funds raised at this event allow us to implement and continue activities aimed at highlighting lingering abusive legal practices in Texas and their impact on all of us; illustrating how Texans have benefited from a predictable civil justice system; promoting the importance of voting for judges who interpret and not make the law; and encouraging jury service."

CALA groups act as legal watchdogs working to highlight lawsuit abuse and efforts that might undermine tort reform progress.

"The problem with the lawsuits burdening our courts is that most – some put estimates as high as 89 percent – are filed on behalf of plaintiffs with questionable claims or who are not impaired," Gibson said.

"We want the public to know that we are not against all lawyers. We all might face a situation where we need representation for a legitimate reason, and we want the civil justice system to be there – working – for the citizens of our great state."

Individual tickets for the event are $100 and may be purchased online at or by contacting Gibson by phone at 512.497.7071 or by email at Sponsor and host levels are also available.

The event will be held at the Inter Continental Stephen F. Austin inside the Capital Ballroom, located at 701 Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78701.

Judge Gonzales was born in San Antonio and raised in Houston. He graduated from Texas public schools and then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After serving, Judge Gonzales received a nomination to the U.S. Air Force Academy. He attended the Academy for two years before graduating from Rice University and Harvard Law School.

After winning a statewide election in 2000 to remain on the Texas Supreme Court, Judge Gonzales resigned from the bench to accept a commission as Counsel to the President of the United States.

Judge Gonzales served as White House Counsel for four years prior to his confirmation as Attorney General at the age of 49.

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