Corporate Counsel today featured a paper by Andy Pincus of Mayer Brown LLP detailing the “coercive power” exercised by government enforcement agencies “to impose expanded regulations with massive fines that end up harming consumers, investors and employers.”
The report, “Unprincipled Prosecution: Abuse of Power and Profiteering in the New ‘Litigation Swarm,’" describes a model of coercion whereby state attorneys general, federal enforcers and plaintiff law firms swarm businesses with duplicative investigations and legal actions pursued either simultaneously or in succession by various enforcement agencies.
As a result, companies must acquiesce to settlements over undefended allegations to avoid huge litigation costs.
The report, released at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s Legal Reform Summit, includes several proposed policy prescriptions including, but not limited to: limiting federal investigations to one entity; establishing standards for assessing penalties to ensure proportionality, and; limiting contingency-fee outside counsel in enforcement actions.
Read more here.