Federal

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 occurred 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.

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  1. Last Week's Statement Shows "New Vigilance" From DOJ

    September 18, 2018 | News

    The "Statement of Interest" filed last week by the U.S. Department of Justice signals a "new vigilance" in preventing fraud and abuse in the asbestos trust system, Bloomberg Big Law Business reports.... Read More

  2. Will New Data Privacy Laws Lead to a Litigation "Surge?"

    September 17, 2018 | News

    In a BNA op-ed, attorneys from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips say the "lawsuits are coming, rain or shine" from California's new data privacy law.... Read More

  3. Did the Telephone Consumer Protection Act Just Get Even Worse for Small Businesses?

    September 17, 2018 | Blogs

    Though it may have started as a well-intentioned law from 1991, we now know how plaintiffs' lawyers and professional plaintiffs have twisted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for financial gain... Read More

  4. Department of Justice Guides the Way on Enforcement

    September 14, 2018 | Blogs

    In January, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a memo by then-Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand which prevents DOJ attorneys from turning agency guidelines into binding legal rules in enforcement actions. This was a welcome-and much needed-development for businesses, and a signal the DOJ is committed to promoting the rule of law. ... Read More

  5. DOJ Takes Action To Prevent Asbestos Trust Fraud

    September 14, 2018 | News

    In a court filing yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice said the bankruptcy trust created to compensate asbestos-related claims against Kaiser Gypsum Inc. "lacks sufficient safeguards" to protect against fraudulent payouts, The Wall Street Journal reports.... Read More

  6. U.S. Chamber Welcomes DOJ Action to Prevent Asbestos Fraud

    September 13, 2018 | Press Release

    Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following statement about the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) statement of interest in asbestos bankruptcy trust creation:... Read More

  7. In the News Today - September 13, 2018

    September 13, 2018 | News

    State-Backed Insurer to Hold Hearings on AOB Abuse; New York Federal Judge Tosses Lawsuit Lending Case... Read More

  8. Judge Cuts "Grossly Excessive" Attorneys' Fees

    September 13, 2018 | News

    A federal judge in Chicago cut an attorneys' fee request in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act settlement from 35 percent down to five percent because of the plaintiffs' attorney's behavior, the Cook County Record reports.... Read More

  9. House Diversity Bill Would Create Fair Treatment for All

    September 12, 2018 | Blogs

    The Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has the chance to close a loophole in our court system on a favored tactic of plaintiffs' lawyers: forum shopping. This allows plaintiffs' lawyers to "shop" their lawsuits around to different states in search of a friendly court that will award big settlements. Often, the lawsuits have no ties to the state where the case is eventually filed. ... Read More

  10. NYT: Federal Investigation Into Lawsuit Lender/Doctor Scheme is Intensifying

    September 12, 2018 | News

    Federal prosecutors have ramped up their investigation into a scheme organized by lawsuit lenders, lawyers, and doctors that may have "lured women into having pelvic mesh implants removed," The New York Times reports. ... Read More