In a status hearing to resolve certain issues before a scheduling order could be issued, Judge Lee Yeakel discussed how he wanted to avoid procedural posturing and get as quickly to the real issues in the case in Winnett v. Frank, a constitutional challenge to the Texas statutory limits on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. CCL's Robert S. Peck represents the plaintiffs in the action and agreed with the judge that he would seek to avoid skirmishes that have little to do with deciding whether the Seventh Amendment's right to trial by jury prohibits legislative interference with the jury's determination of facts. 

     Peck, along with co-counsel Hartley Hampton, had recently filed an amended complaint that sought to avoid the fights and complications of a plaintiff class action by adding two associations as plaintiffs because their members were involved in medical malpractice cases and the organizations were committed to finding damage caps. No party seemed to object to this means of assuring that standing would exist throughout the course of the litigation, including any appeals. 

     The parties now have sufficient guidance from the judge to develop a proposed schedule for the case.