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On April 25, 2003, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (“UNLV”) Center for Democratic Culture (“CDC”) and the William S. Boyd School of Law sponsored a one-day symposium addressing issues of tort reform. In particular, the Forum addressed concerns regarding construction defect litigation and medical malpractice, two areas of current and substantial concern in Nevada. As reflected in the discussion at the Forum, both topics received considerable attention from the Nevada State Legislature during its 2003 Session. Ultimately, the legislature enacted amendments to state statutes governing claims for defective construction. Despite significant lobbying by physicians and insurers, the legislature did not revise the state's medical malpractice statute that had been enacted in a 2002 special session. Both topics remain actively debated in Nevada. Medical malpractice concerns have also received substantial attention across the nation, as have other tort reform issues such as punitive damages, limits on non-economic damages, regulation of attorney fees, and control of class actions. At the same time, many in the legal and political community regard the very term “tort reform” as a more political than descriptive term, one that masks a movement designed not to improve the legal system but only to limit victims' rights. As reflected in the Forum's comments and discussion, there are a variety of intermediate and nuanced positions on the issue.

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4 Nev. L.J. 377 (2003).