Transnational

Over the past 15 years, there has been a sharp rise in lawsuits brought against American companies, as well as foreign companies with a substantial U.S. presence, that are premised on alleged personal or environmental injuries occurring abroad. These cases raise the question of whether U.S. courts should be the venue for cases concerning conduct occurring outside the territory of the United States. They have also been characterized by controversial and abusive tactics by plaintiffs and their lawyers.

Many of those transnational lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. by plaintiffs’ class action firms, public interest attorneys and non-governmental organizations.  Some have been filed in federal courts under the 200-year old Alien Tort Statute (ATS), while many more have been brought in state courts under common law theories of liability. 

These cases raise several concerns. One is the use of U.S. courts for adjudicating disputes that occurred outside of the country. It is a generally established principle that U.S. courts should not hear cases involving foreign conduct unless there is a significant nexus to the United States. By undermining this principle, these cases set a precedent that could be used to expose Americans to litigation in foreign courts over conduct occurring in the United States.

Equally troubling are the tactics used in these cases. According to ILR’s study Think Globally, Sue Locally, transnational cases are characterized by a number of features, including aggressive media tactics, organized protests and boycotts of corporate defendants, political pressure and, in some cases, outright fraud and abuse by plaintiffs’ lawyers. In the major transnational case against Chevron in Ecuador, four federal courts have found the proceedings tainted by fraud.

In April 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum that claims of wrongful conduct on foreign soil cannot be brought in U.S. courts under the ATS.  This ruling has substantially limited the use of the ATS in transnational cases, but does not deter cases brought under state common law. A complete list of lawsuits against corporations under the Alien Tort Statute can be found here

 

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All Results for Transnational

  1. In the News Today - May 21, 2018

    May 21, 2018 | News

    Private Equity Firms and Hedge Funds "Found a New Way to Get Richer" By Funding Lawsuits; "Recent Developments Have Let the Air Out of Slack Fill Lawsuits"... Read More

  2. "What Are People Saying About Senate's New Lit Funding Bill?"

    May 15, 2018 | News

    Five days after the Litigation Funding Transparency Act of 2018 was introduced in the U.S. Senate, National Law Journal gathered the thoughts of the legal industry's top members.... Read More

  3. Senate Bill Aims to Disclose Litigation Financing in Class Action and Multidistrict Litigation

    May 11, 2018 | News

    U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Senator John Cornyn, and Senator Thom Tillis introduced a bill that would require third party litigation funding and lawsuit lending arrangements be disclosed, Legal Newsline reports.... Read More

  4. In the News Today - May 10, 2018

    May 10, 2018 | News

    U.S. Senators Introduce Landmark TPLF bill; Georgia Supreme Court to Decide the Future of Lawsuit Lending... Read More

  5. Landmark Bill Would Pull Back Curtain on Secretive Lawsuit Funding Deals

    May 10, 2018 | Blogs

    Today, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), along with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), introduced the Litigation Funding Transparency Act (LFTA), a landmark bill to help bring the multi-billion dollar litigation financing industry out of the shadows.... Read More

  6. In the News Today - May 9, 2018

    May 09, 2018 | News

    U.K. Law Firm "Interested" in Opening a Standalone Fund for Litigation Funding... Read More

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    May 08, 2018 | News

    The U.S. District Judge overseeing the multidistrict opioid litigation ordered all contingency fee attorneys to disclose to the court any third party litigation funding agreements, National Law Journal reports.... Read More

  8. In the News Today - May 7, 2018

    May 07, 2018 | News

    Australian Institute for Company Directors: It's Time to Regulate Litigation Funding... Read More

  9. SCOTUS Says Corporations Can't Be Sued Under 220-Year-Old Law

    April 25, 2018 | News

    Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court said foreign corporations cannot be sued under the Alien Tort Statute, a law passed in the United States in 1789.... Read More

  10. Legal Experts: TPLF Transparency Likely to Catch On

    April 23, 2018 | News

    A number of legal and business experts told the West Virginia Record that more states are likely to follow Wisconsin's lead in requiring third party litigation funding transparency in state courts.... Read More