This week, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) is celebrating its 20th anniversary. ILR President Lisa A. Rickard sat for a question-and-answer discussion with Corporate Counsel on the development of the legal landscape during the first 20 years of ILR.
Rickard looked back on the legal environment in 1998 and pointed to “liability class action meccas” like Jackson, Mississippi and Madison County, Illinois, which have lead comprehensive legal reforms in states across the country. She discussed how that environment set the table for the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.
Though Rickard said there have been “some really good developments,” she noted that “the plaintiffs’ bar is an incredible entrepreneurial group of lawyers.” She said the “face of litigation is changing” as new issues and trends have developed over the past twenty years. She said third party litigation funding, the growth of lawsuit filings from private lawyers on behalf of state and local governments, the global spread of “U.S.-style class action litigation,” and how “laws are going to catch up and deal with new technology” are just a few of the new issues before the legal environment of today.