In addition to investing in portfolios of private lawsuits, third party litigation funders have started financing qui tam False Claims Act cases brought on behalf of the U.S. government. The catch is that up until very recently, the government had no insight into whether funders were involved or the level of control they exerted. That changed in June 2020, when the Department of Justice announced a policy change to start shedding some light on this opaque practice. Read More
This edition of the ILR Research Review contains research examining the myriad liability challenges flowing from COVID-19 and describing potential administrative and legislative solutions, as well as papers dedicated to the ongoing crisis in securities litigation, the growth of and problems with the third party litigation funding industry, and insights into the strategy behind trial lawyer advertising. Read More
Multidistrict litigation proceedings (MDLs) were created as an efficient way to handle pretrial proceedings in hundreds or thousands of similar cases against the same defendant. Unfortunately, MDLs also give plaintiffs an unfair advantage when it comes to appeals. If a defendant makes a dispositive motion-on preemption or expert evidence, for example-and is denied, it won't normally have access to immediate appeal. But if the defendant wins the motion, plaintiffs can appeal right away. This paper argues for courts to give MDL plaintiffs and defendants equal access to appellate review.... Read More
The rising pace of private securities class actions could present a threat to the health of U.S. capital markets, while the ongoing wave of municipality lawsuits stands in the way of global settlements and undermines the authority of lawmakers and state attorneys general. White papers covered in this edition of the ILR Research Review detail the causes and current state of these litigation trends, along with a full suite of solutions to address them.... Read More
Municipalities are testing the boundaries of their litigation authority, claiming damages for wide-ranging matters of public policy including opioid abuse, climate change, and data privacy breaches.
This paper is the first to document how and why municipalities and contingency fee lawyers are undermining legislators and state AGs with these lawsuits, the problems this trend is causing, and what states can do about it.
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Local governments are increasingly teaming up with contingency fee lawyers to influence public policy issues through litigation, largely through attempts to expand the public nuisance doctrine. ILR's research outlines the origins and development of public nuisance litigation, shows the ongoing efforts of activists and attorneys to morph this theory into an all-purpose cause of action, and calls on courts to reject expanding judicial authority inappropriately into the legislative and executive branches. ... Read More
Record-high numbers of securities class action filings are swamping the protections that Congress created in 1995. In fact, the likelihood that a public company will be sued has never been greater, and the bulk of these lawsuits show the classic signs of litigation abuse. However, solutions are at hand. This research proposes regulatory and legislative action to contain the securities litigation contagion.... Read More
Securities fraud class action lawyers are playing the "litigation lottery," filing often meritless cases against big companies on the off-chance of a big settlement. This research looks at all securities fraud class actions filed between 2005 and 2016 to reveal the true incentives that motivate plaintiffs' lawyers to roll the dice on these lawsuits, despite their high dismissal rate.... Read More
ILR's Fall 2018 research cycle was about two things: spotting new, destructive legal trends before they become unstoppable, and highlighting concrete progress in addressing long-standing litigation challenges. The 2018 Fall Research Review reveals the exploding costs of the U.S. tort system, and examines developments in securities litigation, forum shopping, False Claims Act policy reform, and the European Commission's project to implement class actions.... Read More
The tort system cost Americans $429 billion in 2016. That's the principal finding from ILR's new research, which arrives at that shocking figure by examining data on liability insurance premiums and estimates of the liability exposure of businesses and individuals that are uninsured or self-insured. The research also indicates that only 57 percent of the $429 billion went to plaintiff compensation. The rest went to lawyers' fees and other expenses.... Read More
Abusive securities class action lawsuits are imposing huge costs on investors without providing any benefit, and the only winners are the lawyers, who take home millions of dollars in fees. This research documents how the plaintiffs' bar has adapted to the litigation reforms of the ‘90s to launch a new wave of securities class actions-one that is already reaching record heights.... Read More
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The 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States was conducted for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform by The Harris Poll to explore how fair and reasonable state liability systems are perceived to be by U.S. businesses.