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Finally: A Plaintiffs' Lawyer Who Stopped at Nothing Pays the Price

July 20, 2018

A New York appeals court has turned what could be the last page on a twisted tale of manipulation, bribery, back-room dealing and bombast that is sure to go down in legal history. Last week, the court suspended the law license of plaintiffs' bar crusader Steven Donziger until further notice.

  1. In the News Today - July 16, 2018

    July 16, 2018 | News

    J&J Hit With $4.7 Billion Jury Verdict in Baby Powder Suit; "From Policy to Payday"... Read More

  2. Arkansas Lawmakers To Probe Pension Fund's Role in Securities Class Action

    July 16, 2018 | News

    Arkansas lawmakers will hold a hearing to discuss the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System's (ATRS) involvement in securities class action lawsuits after a federal judge in Massachusetts raised questions about the system's relationships with lawyers, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.... Read More

  3. In the News Today - July 13, 2018

    July 13, 2018 | News

    "Chevron's Longtime Nemesis Hits the End of the Road"... Read More

  4. Benczkowski Confirmation Signals DOJ's Continued Movement Towards "Fairness and the Rule of Law"

    July 13, 2018 | News

    Though all eyes are on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation process, Wednesday's confirmation of Brian Benczkowski as the new assistant attorney general of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) criminal division is "a big deal in its own right," according to an op-ed in the Washington Examiner.... Read More

  5. California Legislature Refuses to Rein in Misleading Drug Lawsuit Ads

    July 12, 2018 | Blogs

    California plaintiffs' lawyers came out in force last week to stop a bill that would make deceptive drug lawsuit advertising by lawyers a violation of the state's major consumer protection law. The bill was unanimously passed by the California Assembly in May, but a hearing scheduled before the state Senate Judiciary Committee for July 3 was abruptly cancelled after the politically-powerful group, Consumer Attorneys of California, voiced its opposition. ... Read More

  6. In the News Today - July 12, 2018

    July 12, 2018 | News

    Calif. Lawmaker Who Killed Trial Lawyer Advertising Bill Accepted $650K In Contributions From Lawyers; "Moving Toward Disclosure of Third-Party Funding in Litigation;" West Virginia State Supreme Court Justice Resigns... Read More

  7. ILR's Lawsuit Climate Survey Used by CNBC to Rank the "Top States for Business"

    July 12, 2018 | News

    CNBC used data from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform's (ILR) 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States when putting together its annual "Top States for Business in America" report this year.... Read More

  8. Securities Class Action Lawsuits Remain Near 2017 Record High

    July 12, 2018 | Blogs

    The chances of a company being sued in a securities class action lawsuit are higher now than at any time in the 20 years since Congress passed the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA), which rewrote the rules for modern securities fraud litigation in 1995. ... Read More

  9. In the News Today - July 11, 2018

    July 11, 2018 | News

    Bestwall Lawyers Push Back on Asbestos Plaintiffs' Lawyers Attempt to Hire Four New Firms; New Report Finds Cost of Securities Litigation Has Skyrocketed in Recent Years... Read More

  10. New ILR Research Finds EU Consumers Are Skeptical of New Collective Action Proposal

    July 11, 2018 | News

    A survey released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) found that only 13 percent of European consumers support the European Commission's proposal on collective actions as it is currently written. ... Read More

  11. Senate Must Confirm Brian Benczkowski Today

    July 11, 2018 | Blogs

    Today the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on confirming Brian Benczkowski to this key post, which will allow DOJ to continue on its path of reining in over-enforcement against American companies. ... Read More

  1. In the News Today - July 20, 2018

    July 20, 2018 | News

    "Finally: A Plaintiffs' Lawyer Who Stopped at Nothing Pays the Price;" Arkansas Lawmaker Says Retirement Fund Leader Should Resign... Read More

  2. Judge Dismisses New York City's Lawsuit Against Major Energy Companies

    July 20, 2018 | News

    A federal judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit filed by New York City against major energy companies over the potential effects of climate change, the New York Times reports.... Read More

  3. In the News Today - July 19, 2018

    July 19, 2018 | News

    "Education, Education, Education": How Florida's Insurers Plan to Tackle the AOB Issue; "Keep Politics Out of the Boardroom"... Read More

  4. In the News Today - July 18, 2018

    July 18, 2018 | News

    Federal Grand Jury Adds 23rd Charge to West Virginia Supreme Court Justice's Indictment; Companies in Lead Paint Litigation Ask SCOTUS to Review Judgment... Read More

  5. Arkansas Legislators Grill Teachers' Pension Leader Over Securities Lawsuit

    July 18, 2018 | News

    Lawmakers in Arkansas questioned the executive director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System (ATRS) during a hearing yesterday over the fund's involvement in the controversial $300 million State Street Corp. securities lawsuit in Massachusetts, Legal Newsline reports.... Read More

  6. In the News Today - July 17, 2018

    July 17, 2018 | News

    Defense Attorney Says SCOTUS Decision on Personal Jurisdiction in Class Actions is "Inevitable;" Illinois Appellate Judge Reverses Lower Court Decision on Personal Jurisdiction in Asbestos Case... Read More

  7. Oklahoma Attorney General Warns Oklahoma City Council Against Filing Its Own Opioid Lawsuit

    July 17, 2018 | News

    Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said the Oklahoma City Council "should consider calling a timeout" on its negotiations to opt out of the state's lawsuit against opioid manufacturers to file one of its own, The Oklahoman reports.... Read More

  8. In the News Today - July 16, 2018

    July 16, 2018 | News

    J&J Hit With $4.7 Billion Jury Verdict in Baby Powder Suit; "From Policy to Payday"... Read More

  9. Arkansas Lawmakers To Probe Pension Fund's Role in Securities Class Action

    July 16, 2018 | News

    Arkansas lawmakers will hold a hearing to discuss the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System's (ATRS) involvement in securities class action lawsuits after a federal judge in Massachusetts raised questions about the system's relationships with lawyers, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.... Read More

  10. In the News Today - July 13, 2018

    July 13, 2018 | News

    "Chevron's Longtime Nemesis Hits the End of the Road"... Read More

  11. Benczkowski Confirmation Signals DOJ's Continued Movement Towards "Fairness and the Rule of Law"

    July 13, 2018 | News

    Though all eyes are on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation process, Wednesday's confirmation of Brian Benczkowski as the new assistant attorney general of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) criminal division is "a big deal in its own right," according to an op-ed in the Washington Examiner.... Read More

  1. Finally: A Plaintiffs' Lawyer Who Stopped at Nothing Pays the Price

    July 20, 2018 | Blogs

    A New York appeals court has turned what could be the last page on a twisted tale of manipulation, bribery, back-room dealing and bombast that is sure to go down in legal history. Last week, the court suspended the law license of plaintiffs' bar crusader Steven Donziger until further notice.... Read More

  2. Lawsuit Lending Again Rears Its Ugly Head, This Time for Injured Football Players

    July 19, 2018 | Blogs

    Look no further than the National Football League (NFL) concussion settlement as an example, where lawyers, plaintiffs, and the court are engaged in a legal battle that has nothing to do with the settlement's purpose.... Read More

  3. No Good Deal Goes Un-litigated

    July 18, 2018 | Blogs

    Want to sign a merger deal? You'll probably need to fight a lawsuit before the ink is dry, and it won't be cheap.... Read More

  4. California Legislature Refuses to Rein in Misleading Drug Lawsuit Ads

    July 12, 2018 | Blogs

    California plaintiffs' lawyers came out in force last week to stop a bill that would make deceptive drug lawsuit advertising by lawyers a violation of the state's major consumer protection law. The bill was unanimously passed by the California Assembly in May, but a hearing scheduled before the state Senate Judiciary Committee for July 3 was abruptly cancelled after the politically-powerful group, Consumer Attorneys of California, voiced its opposition. ... Read More

  5. Securities Class Action Lawsuits Remain Near 2017 Record High

    July 12, 2018 | Blogs

    The chances of a company being sued in a securities class action lawsuit are higher now than at any time in the 20 years since Congress passed the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA), which rewrote the rules for modern securities fraud litigation in 1995. ... Read More

  6. Senate Must Confirm Brian Benczkowski Today

    July 11, 2018 | Blogs

    Today the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on confirming Brian Benczkowski to this key post, which will allow DOJ to continue on its path of reining in over-enforcement against American companies. ... Read More

  7. California Coffee Kills

    July 03, 2018 | Blogs

    Or at least, that's what the state's Proposition 65 law might lead you to believe.... Read More

  8. Justice Dept. Can Spur Investment in Compliance by Giving Companies Credit

    June 15, 2018 | Blogs

    The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has placed a welcome focus lately on enlisting businesses as partners instead of adversaries in the fight against corporate wrongdoing. One way to strengthen this partnership is to offer concrete incentives for companies to make an up-front investment in ethics and compliance programs designed to detect and prevent violations in the first place.... Read More

  9. Missouri Furthers Legal Reform Progress with Transparency in Private Attorney Contracting

    June 07, 2018 | Blogs

    In an important victory for the integrity of Missouri's civil justice system, embattled former Gov. Eric Greitens signed one of the strongest Transparency in Private Attorney Contracting (TIPAC) bills in the nation on his last day in office.... Read More

  10. ILR Recommends Class Action Reforms to the Ontario Law Commission

    June 07, 2018 | Blogs

    Twenty-six years ago, the Ontario Class Proceedings Act introduced class action litigation to Canada's most populous province. The law has gone unchanged since, but the Ontario Law Commission will soon release a report, and likely some recommendations, to the province's government to consider.... Read More

  11. Canadian Court Thwarts Enforcement of Fraudulent Judgment

    May 30, 2018 | Blogs

    A long-running litigation campaign to force Chevron USA to pay a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment, which a New York court found in 2014 to be a product of fraud and bribery, hit another roadblock last week in Canada.... Read More

  1. Survey: Only 13 Percent of Consumers Support European Commission's Current Collective Action Lawsuit Proposal

    July 11, 2018 | Press Release

    ... Read More

  2. Report: U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Can Help Businesses Defend Against Lawsuit 'Forum Shopping'

    June 04, 2018 | Press Release

    ... Read More

  3. Consumers Overwhelmingly Say Lawsuits Should Not "Regulate" New Technologies

    April 18, 2018 | Press Release

    SEATTLE, WA - During an event today the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) will release a new survey finding that, contrary to the claims of many plaintiffs' lawyers, nearly 82 percent of consumers believe that filing lawsuits is not the best way to regulate emerging technologies, such as cars that operate without a human driver. ... Read More

  4. U.S. Chamber: Proposal Could Make EU a Major Global Hub for Abusive Litigation

    April 11, 2018 | Press Release

    Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), issued the following statement today about the European Commission's proposal to rescind and replace the EU's "Injunctions Directive." The proposal would create a new European Union-wide framework for collective redress (class action lawsuits): ... Read More

  5. U.S. Chamber: D.C. Circuit Ruling a Positive Step, But Congress Should Modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

    March 16, 2018 | Press Release

    Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), issued the following statement today about the D.C. Circuit Court's ruling vacating portions of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2015 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) declaratory order:... Read More

  6. Report: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts Running Short of Money to Pay Future Claimants, System Lacks Safeguards

    March 08, 2018 | Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new report released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) highlights that asbestos bankruptcy trusts are being depleted, jeopardizing their ability to fully compensate future claimants.... Read More

  7. Lawsuit Claiming Consumer was "Deceived" About Sugar in Jelly Beans Named Most Ridiculous of 2017

    December 21, 2017 | Press Release

    Annual List of Top 10 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits Released Today... Read More

  8. Study: Rx Drug Lawsuit Ads Cause Spike in Reports of Patient Health Incidents, Deaths

    October 25, 2017 | Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new report released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) shows that lawsuit ads targeting prescription drugs and medical devices have caused at least 61 serious medical events -- including six deaths -- an increase from previous reports.... Read More

  9. U.S. Chamber Announces 2017 Legal Reform Award Winners

    October 25, 2017 | Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today announced its 2017 Legal Reform Award winners at its 18th Annual Legal Reform Summit.... Read More

  10. U.S. Chamber Applauds Senate Vote to Undo CFPB's Arbitration Rule

    October 24, 2017 | Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today following U.S. Senate passage of H.J. Res. 111, disapproving of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) arbitration rule...... Read More

  11. U.S. Chamber Praises House Passage of Legislation to Bar Federal Agencies from Diverting Settlement Money to Third-Parties

    October 24, 2017 | Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), issued the following statement today following the U.S. House of Representatives vote to pass the "Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017," (H.R. 732): ...... Read More

  1. A 'Fair Deal' for Consumers? An Update on EU Consumer Attitudes Towards Collective Actions and Litigation Funding

    July 11, 2018 | Research

    As the European Commission's proposal on collective actions (known as class actions in the United States) makes its way through the European Union's legislative process, it is important to assess EU consumer opinion of the proposal and the safeguards included (and not included) in the legislation. This survey captured the views of 5,097 consumers across five EU Member States.... Read More

  2. Lighting the Way: FCA Reform and Compliance Program Credit

    June 27, 2018 | Research

    This paper contends that in order to encourage companies to create and sustain a culture of consistent compliance, particularly with regard to the federal False Claims Act, the U.S. Department of Justice should formalize a policy of offering credit for companies that implement effective compliance and ethics programs.... Read More

  3. BMS Battlegrounds: Practical Advice for Litigating Personal Jurisdiction After Bristol-Myers

    June 04, 2018 | Research

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision last year in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court was a clear statement that the days of blatant, unchecked plaintiff forum shopping in search of outsized verdicts are at an end. ILR's research explores this paradigm shift and provides practical advice for defendants litigating BMS in the trenches.... Read More

  4. ILR Research Review - Spring 2018

    May 31, 2018 | Research

    The Spring 2018 ILR Research Review explores a wide range of long-standing and emerging issues in legislation, regulation, and litigation, including artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies, state qui tam False Claims Acts, West Virginia legal reforms, and asbestos bankruptcy trusts.... Read More

  5. Torts of the Future: Autonomous Vehicles

    May 17, 2018 | Research

    Among all emerging technologies examined in ILR's Torts of the Future research papers, autonomous vehicles (AVs) may be popping up in headlines more than any other. In order to respond to this trend in public policy and interest, and to provide a valuable tool for legislators, regulators, and businesses seeking to learn more about this topic, ILR has compiled insights from two years of research on emerging liability and regulation issues for autonomous vehicles.... Read More

  6. Torts of the Future II: Addressing the Liability and Regulatory Implications of Emerging Technologies

    April 18, 2018 | Research

    The second edition of ILR's Torts of the Future research examines evolutions in regulatory and liability trends for emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, virtual reality, wearable devices, and 3D printing. The research also presents a number of updated guiding principles to inform courts, legislators, and policymakers as they seek to address privacy and safety concerns without derailing or delaying innovation.... Read More

  7. Dubious Distribution: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Assets and Compensation

    March 08, 2018 | Research

    The asbestos bankruptcy trusts, created with the goal of sustainably processing and paying valid asbestos personal injury claims, are quickly being depleted. ILR's research finds that of the 35 asbestos trusts operating as of early 2008, 21 are paying an average of 40 percent less today than in 2008, putting future compensation for asbestos victims in doubt. The paper documents the causes of this rapid depletion, including the highly significant impact of attorney contingency fees.... Read More

  8. The Great Myths of State False Claims Acts

    February 28, 2018 | Research

    The 2018 update to "Great Myths of State False Claims Acts" shows that the whistleblowers' bar is continuing to capitalize on state qui tam False Claims Acts (FCAs), harvesting windfall awards from states and the federal government. The paper also points out that the dubious benefits of implementing a state FCA turn into a clear financial net negative when states allow their FCAs to fall out of compliance with federal standards.... Read More

  9. West Virginia's Climb: Lawsuit Climate Progress in the Mountain State and the Path Ahead

    January 10, 2018 | Research

    West Virginia has begun shedding its reputation for having one of the worst civil justice systems in the nation. The state's lawsuit climate ranked dead last or second to last in surveys of business executives and attorneys conducted eleven times over the past fifteen years--until 2017. This report explores the beginning of the state's encouraging transformation and highlights areas where it may continue this progress.... Read More

  10. ILR Research Review - Fall 2017

    November 30, 2017 | Research

    This special double-issue of the ILR Research Review features a wealth of insight and analysis on the world's rapidly changing litigation environment. The research contained in this issue targets exploitative litigation at home and abroad, examining numerous developments ranging from hyper-aggressive trial lawyer advertising in the U.S. to the imminent expansion of class actions in Europe.... Read More

  11. Unstable Foundation:
    Our Broken Class Action System and How to Fix It

    October 24, 2017 | Research

    Unstable Foundation examines the pervasive flaws afflicting the United States' class action system. Class actions rarely provide meaningful compensation for class members, and are poorly suited to deterring wrongful conduct.... Read More