June 23, 2000

Chula Vista Student Awarded Scholarship, Mayoral Certificate

San Diego County Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) awarded Castle Park High School (Chula Vista) student Jacqueline Silva a $250 CALA Scholarship at the first annual Scholarship Luncheon held at the Mission Valley Hilton Hotel on Thursday, June 1st. Chula Vista Mayor Shirley Horton authorized a certificate to be presented to Jacqueline Silva in honor of her third place winning essay on "Does Lawsuit Abuse Undermine Principles of Individual Responsibility?" The State Board of Equalization, on behalf of Board Member, Claude Parrish, prepared a certificate of congratulations and recognition for her accomplishment.

Silva' essay was selected as one of four winners in CALA's first annual High School Essay/Scholarship contest. All entries were judged on the following criteria: 1) The definition of lawsuit abuse 2) The relationship between frivolous lawsuits and personal responsibility, and 3) The effect lawsuits have on our economy.

Silva stated in her essay that "Not only does filing abusive lawsuits waste taxpayer dollars that could be better spent elsewhere, but it also causes the price of consumer goods and services, including health care and insurance to be inflated. Fighting lawsuits is very expensive and often can cost a person his/her life's saving.... defendants often have to file out of court settlements with plaintiffs in order to not be ruined financially. People need to learn to take personal responsibility for their own actions instead of using lawsuits to shield their blame. If the court system in the United States ever wants to be taken seriously and respected, then lawsuit abuse needs to end.

Other scholarship winners were: Darcy Richardson of Rancho Bernardo High School, Christina Kytasty of Poway High School, and Melody Morsaint of Oceanside High School.

More than 200 guests including local regional, state, and federal elected officials (or their representatives witnesses Jackqueline Silva receiving her honors.

CALA is a nonprofit, grass-roots public education organization dedicated to serving as a watchdog over the legal system and those who would seek to abuse it for undeserved gain. More than 7,500 San Diego residents are CALA supporters.

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