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.

Suggested Resources


All Results for Federal

  1. Reforming Corporate Criminal Liability to Promote Responsible Corporate Behavior

    October 29, 2008 | Research

    This paper discusses the origins of our flawed system of corporate criminal liability, the growing consensus on the need for change, and the leading alternatives to our current system. This paper recommends the following: A greater recognition of the harmful and counter-productive consequences of our current system of strict vicarious corporate criminal liability; A broader understanding of the flawed origins of the current theory of corporate criminal liability; The adoption by Congress and the courts of a liability system that imposes corporate criminal liability only when the corporation has failed to carry out a reasonable compliance program; and the pursuit of court actions seeking to require a system of corporate liability that promotes the goals of the criminal law, such as deterrence, while opposing the expansion of a system that is justified by neither Supreme Court precedent nor legislative enactment.... Read More

  2. Eliminating Federal Preemption: Good for Plaintiffs' Lawyers, Bad for Everyone Else

    October 09, 2008 | Press Release

    In the Fresno Bee, George Washington University Law School lecturer Jeffrey Axelrad warns that plaintiffs' bar-supported legislation designed to expose the manufacturers of devices approved by the Food and Drug Administration to state lawsuits would endanger the lives of Americans who rely on pacemakers, balloon stents and other life-saving medical equipment. The result of the legislation, he argues, would be a hefty payday for the trial lawyers bringing the suits.... Read More

  3. Another Threat to Average Investors: Securities Lawsuits

    July 31, 2008 | Press Release

    During these tough economic times, the roughly 50% of all Americans who have their retirement and other investments tied up in the stock markets have a lot to worry about. Inflation. The mortgage meltdown. Rising fuel costs. However, obscured by these recent crises is a proven threat that has destroyed billions of dollars of average shareholders' wealth, year after year. The menace: securities class action lawsuits. ... Read More

  4. Securities Class Action Litigation: The problem, its impact, and the path to reform

    July 24, 2008 | Research

    Private securities class actions present a serious threat to the health of the U.S. economy. The costs of securities litigation are enormous, but the benefits are miniscule. The culture of abusive class actions, driven by a multibillion dollar plaintiffs' lawyer industry, is eroding the competitiveness of U.S. capital markets at a time when they face perhaps their greatest threat from foreign competition. The system is broken, and Congress must enact the reforms needed to fix it.... Read More

  5. Securities Lawsuit System in Need of Repair, U.S. Chamber Says

    July 23, 2008 | Press Release

    NEW YORK, N.Y.-Private securities class action lawsuits present a serious threat to the health of U.S. businesses, the prosperity of American families and the strength of our nation's global competitiveness, according to a new analysis released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).... Read More

  6. Understanding E-Discovery

    July 21, 2008 | Press Release

    In our President's Corner today, we are featuring a guest columnist. Rebecca Love Kourlis is a former Colorado Supreme Court Justice and now serves as the Executive Director at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, a national organization dedicated to improving the process and culture of the civil justice system. Justice Kourlis will be speaking about e-discovery at the Institute for Legal Reform's "Drowning in Documents" conference on July 30th. The conference will explore the explosion of discovery and its impact on the fairness and efficiency of American courts. Registration is now open for the morning discovery conference or the employment litigation event that afternoon.... Read More

  7. Arbitration Ain't Broke, But Trial Lawyers Want To Fix It

    April 02, 2008 | Press Release

    A short article appeared in The New York Times on June 13, 1925 headlined 'Federal Court Cases Double in Ten Years.' From 1915, the number of cases had risen annually from nearly 63,000 to about 126,000. Despite their best efforts, the federal courts were drowning in cases, but change was coming. Four months earlier, Congress had passed the Federal Arbitration Act. ... Read More

  8. ILR Highlights Victims of Lawsuit Abuse

    December 19, 2007 | Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C.-The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) has launched a new public awareness campaign featuring individuals who have been victimized by lawsuit abuse.  The I Am Lawsuit Abuse.org Web site features videos of everyday people who have been the targets of unfair lawsuits, and provides other lawsuit victims with the opportunity to share their stories.... Read More

  9. Report Shows Lawsuit Abuse Still a Major Problem in Many Jackpot Jurisdictions

    December 17, 2007 | Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard issued the following statement on the Judicial Hellholes 2007 report released today by the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF)... Read More

  10. Reduction in National Tort Cost called 'Encouraging First Step' toward Reducing Runaway Lawsuit Costs

    December 13, 2007 | Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard released the following statement in response to today's release of the Tillinghast Towers-Perrin annual study (pdf) of the cost of America's tort system, which shows an overall 5.5 percent decline in 2006 to $247 billion... Read More