The federal government and the states each play an important role in addressing the problem of lawsuit abuse. While for the past several years most legal reform activity has occured at the state level, with states enacting several effective, high-profile reforms, many important legal reforms have also been enacted and implemented at the federal level. With the changing political landscape, an increase in legal reform action at the federal level can be expected.
Congress is currently considering a number of important legal reform proposals that would help restore balance to America's civil justice system. These include asbestos litigation reform, mandatory sanctions for filling frivolous litigation, protecting innocent parties from being unfairly or fradulently joines into a lawsuit, class action and multi-district litigation reforms, increased certainty where the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is concerned, and reform of over-broad laws that threaten individuals and business with criminal prosecution absent any criminal intent, among others.
In addition to these proactive legal reform efforts, there is a need to defend against efforts by the plaintiffs’ bar to expand liability in Congress, federal courts, and regulatory agencies.