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Lawyers are hopeful that last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Oregon punitive damage award will help reduce even further the soaring cost of civil litigation to insurers. The court is expected to hear oral arguments in the case in November or December.

The case is being reviewed against the background of two new, more conservative judges on the top court and passage last year in Congress of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005–designed to reduce abuses by helping defendants move cases to the federal court system.

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