Unnecessary Supersedeas Bond Legislation Redux

Yesterday, Senate Bill 2052 was proposed for introduction.  The legislation would limit the amount of an appeal bond in civil actions to $50 million.  This same legislation was proposed in 2012, and in prior years, but was not adopted.  It was unnecessary and counterproductive then, as discussed here.  It is even more so now, since, in the interim, the Supreme Court approved amendments to the Court Rules that expressly give trial level judges the flexibility to impose full or reduced supersedeas bonds, or even dispense with them entirely, based on a list of criteria. 

Trial courts have long had the discretion, based on good cause shown, to deviate from the ordinary requirement of a full supersedeas bond.  The Rule changes now make that authority explicit and provide express guidelines for such decisions.  This proposed bill contradicts the Court Rules and creates an arbitrary ceiling for which there is no need.  There is no basis for the Legislature to expend time on this bill when there are so many other legislative, investigative, and other priorities to which the Legislature must attend instead.