News & Blog

In the News Today - January 19, 2018

January 19, 2018 | Fla. Voters Want to Reform AOB System, Fla. Chamber Poll Finds; Report: Employment-Related Class Action Settlements Skyrocketed in 2017

Defense Lawyer: Subway 'Footlong' Lawsuit May Have Long-Term Impact

January 19, 2018 | While most of the legal community was focused on the landmark Bristol-Myers Squibb jurisdiction case, a Porter Wright Morris & Arthur lawyer said in Law360 the Seventh Circuit's Subway ‘Footlong' decision may also "have an outsized effect" on product liability cases.

Legal Reform Summit Calls for Jobs, Not Lawsuits

October 28, 2009 | Press Release

Calling the next few years a transformational time that could define the future of our civil justice system, speakers at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform's (ILR) 10th Annual Legal Reform Summit urged U.S. decision makers to consider the costs of expanding liability for job creators during the economic recovery. Read More »

Selling Lawsuits, Buying Trouble: The Emerging World of Third-Party Litigation Financing in the United States

Author: John Beisner, Jessica Miller & Gary Rubin of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP | October 28, 2009 | Research

This paper begins with an overview of third-party litigation financing. It next examines current third-party financing practices in the United States. It then sets forth a critique of the practice, particularly the incentives it creates to engage in frivolous and abusive litigation. In this section, the paper also presents a case study on the Commonwealth of Australia, the first jurisdiction to permit third-party litigation funding, where such funding has dramatically increased litigation and given investors pervasive - even total - control over a plaintiff's litigation. Finally, the paper proposes that third-party litigation financing be prohibited in the United States to prevent these abuses. At the very least, the paper concludes, such funding should be banned in class actions and other forms of aggregate litigation. Read More »

Promoting Merit in Merit Selection

Author: U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform | October 28, 2009 | Research

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform examined the various state merit selection practices for fairness, effectiveness and independence. Arizona leads the nation with the procedures it has put in place to fulfill the promise of true nonpartisan "merit" selection. This document describes what we believe are the "best practices" that have come from the writings of legal experts in this area and from the real-world Arizona experience. Read More »

U.S. Chamber ILR Honors State Chamber of Oklahoma for Role in Passing Comprehensive Legal Reforms

October 27, 2009 | Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today presented the 2009 State Leadership Award to the State Chamber of Oklahoma for its years of legal reform advocacy, which was essential for the passage of the Comprehensive Lawsuit Reform Act of 2009 by the state legislature.  Read More »

Who Really Speaks for Consumers in the Arbitration Debate?

Author: Lisa A. Rickard | August 28, 2009 | Press Release

Bank of America, the nation's largest bank, this month made a watershed change in how its millions of customers resolve their disputes when it eliminated arbitration clauses from their credit card contracts. BofA's announcement came on the heels of a legal settlement reached between the Minnesota attorney general and the National Arbitration Forum, one of the largest arbitration firms in the nation. The NAF agreed to cease all consumer arbitrations as a result of the lawsuit. Read More »

Death, Taxes ... and Lawsuits?

Author: Lisa A. Rickard | August 06, 2009 | Press Release

In 1789, American forefather Benjamin Franklin wrote, In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. Fast forward to 2009, and it seems that some of our elected officials are trying to amend Franklins two certainties by adding a third: lawsuits. The U.S. is already the most litigious country in the world, imposing a tort cost of around a quarter of a trillion dollars each year. Read More »

'Pay to Play': The Plaintiffs' Lawyer Scandal that Shouldn't be Ignored

Author: Brian Quigley | July 29, 2009 | Press Release

This week, the trial lawyer pay to play scandal continues to unfold, ratcheting up the public attention and the impetus for Congress and the S.E.C. to act. Yesterdays New York Times editorial, lauding the S.E.C.s new rules to end pay to play for public pension funds and 529 college savings plans invested by states, also concluded that, There is also another very large loophole that needs to be closed: lawyers make huge fees negotiating contracts for the state and the S.E.C. has no control over lawyers unless they are fronting for investors. Read the full editorial here. Read More »

July Most Ridiculous Lawsuit Poll: The 'How Dare You Have the Same Name as I' Edition

Author: Brian Quigley | July 17, 2009 | Press Release

My name is Bryan Quigley. Growing up in Springfield, Missouri, I was the only Bryan Quigley I knew. But now, thanks to instant information available on the Web and the explosion of social networking Web sites, I realize my name is not as unusual as I once assumed. Quick searches on Facebook and LinkedIn tell me there are at least 22 others with the name Bryan Quigley around the worldincluding three in Northern Virginia, where I currently reside. Add those to the 132 Brians spelled with an I, and we have our own little Bryan/Brian Quigley army. But heaven forbid any one of us becomes rich and/or famouswe just might be facing a lawsuit. Read More »

June Most Ridiculous Lawsuit Poll -- The 'It's Good to Have a Hobby' Edition

June 18, 2009 | Press Release

To kill time in jail, some prisoners take up a hobby. In "The Shawshank Redemption," Andy Dufresne carved rocks into chess pieces. Paul Newmans character in "Cool Hand Luke" plotted and attempted numerous escapes from prison. And in "The Longest Yard," Burt Reynolds put together a team of inmates to take on the guards in a game of football. One nominee in this months Most Ridiculous Lawsuit Poll has his own way of passing his prison sentence he files lawsuits. In fact, this Lexington, Kentucky inmate has filed so many lawsuits (against everyone from Britney Spears and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, to everything from the Eiffel Tower and Black History Month), that the Guinness Book of World Records wants to name him the most litigious person in the world. But theres one catch: hes filed a lawsuit against Guinness to prevent them from crowning him the king of lawsuits. Read More »

ILR Statement Regarding President Obama's Call to Reduce Excessive Medical Liability

Author: Lisa A. Rickard | June 16, 2009 | Press Release

We find it encouraging that President Obama is acknowledging the lawsuit epidemic and its impact on America's health care system, particularly as the Administration examines the critical issue of controlling healthcare costs. Numerous studies have proven that our out-of-control lawsuit system is forcing physicians to practice defensive medicine to avoid costly liability lawsuits. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, as much as 40 percent of medical liability lawsuits are entirely groundless. Read More »

The American Export You Don't Want

Author: Lisa A. Rickard | June 09, 2009 | Press Release

America, the land of pioneers, has become known for its innovation. When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the spirit of Americas ingenuity changed the world. But there are a few American ideas that other countries would rather quarantine to our borders among them, Americas failed experiment with class action lawsuits. Indeed, the body of evidence against Americas class action lawsuit system is vast, which is why it is so troubling that, today, Europe seems on the verge of adopting a very similar system. In recent months, two Directorates General in the European Commission have forwarded proposals to create a class action system vulnerable to the same type of abuse we face in the U.S. Read More »

In the News Today - January 19, 2018

January 19, 2018 | News and Blog

Fla. Voters Want to Reform AOB System, Fla. Chamber Poll Finds; Report: Employment-Related Class Action Settlements Skyrocketed in 2017 Read More »

Defense Lawyer: Subway 'Footlong' Lawsuit May Have Long-Term Impact

January 19, 2018 | News and Blog

While most of the legal community was focused on the landmark Bristol-Myers Squibb jurisdiction case, a Porter Wright Morris & Arthur lawyer said in Law360 the Seventh Circuit's Subway ‘Footlong' decision may also "have an outsized effect" on product liability cases. Read More »

In the News Today - January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 | News and Blog

New Book Says Multidistrict Litigation Becoming 'More and More Deplorable'; Man Concludes Six-Figure Run By Settling 31st TCPA Lawsuit Read More »

ILR's Rickard: "ALI Shouldn't Inject Opinion" into Restatements

January 18, 2018 | News and Blog

In a National Law Journal op-ed, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard said the American Law Institute (ALI) has "drifted from its mission to state what the law is and moved toward advocating what certain ALI members think the law should be." Read More »

In the News Today - January 17, 2018

January 17, 2018 | News and Blog

Workplace Class Actions Soared in 2017; Windshield Replacement Anti-Fraud Proposal Clears First Senate Hurdle Read More »

2nd Circ. Offers Clarity on Shareholder Class Actions

January 17, 2018 | News and Blog

The Second Circuit ruled yesterday that a judge applied the wrong standard of proof when certifying a shareholder class action, which could help clarify the standard needed to "rebut allegations that a company's misstatements directly impacted its stock price," writes Law360. Read More »

New Jersey Enacts Foreign Judgment Recognition Reform Law

January 16, 2018 | News and Blog

On Monday, New Jersey enacted a law to ensure that its courts do not enforce fraudulent or abusive legal judgments made by foreign courts. Read More »

In the News Today - January 16, 2018

January 16, 2018 | News and Blog

Lawmakers square off over profitable cottage industry; The Latest on Third-Party Litigation Financing Read More »

Fla. Official: Assignment of Benefits Abuse a "Category Five Hurricane"

January 16, 2018 | News and Blog

The Florida Chief Financial Officer said unchecked assignment of benefits abuse "is literally a category five hurricane that would financially cripple the state," reports WTSP Tampa Bay. Read More »

Florida House Goes 1-for-2 on Much-Needed Legal Reform

January 12, 2018 | News and Blog

The Florida House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation today that could have big implications for the state's economy. One of those measures should be advanced immediately. The other still needs work. Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Survey: Georgia's Lawsuit Climate Ranking Hits All-Time Low

September 18, 2017 | Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its worst showing ever, Georgia's lawsuit climate ranked number 40 out of 50 in a new national survey recently released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). Just five years ago, Georgia ranked number 24 in the same survey. Read More »

Survey: 85 Percent of Businesses Say State Lawsuit Climates Impact Decisions on Expansion, Growth

September 12, 2017 | Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An all-time high 85 percent of senior business executives at major U.S. companies say a state's lawsuit environment is likely to impact decisions about where to locate or expand their business, according to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform's (ILR) new 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States. Read More »

New Lawsuit Climate Survey Shows Tort Reform Working in West Virginia

September 12, 2017 | Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its best showing ever, West Virginia's lawsuit climate ranking improved by five places in 2017, from 50th to 45th in a new national survey released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). Before today's release, West Virginia had never ranked higher than 49th in the 10 previous surveys spanning 15 years. Read More »

Survey: Pennsylvania's Lawsuit Climate Ranking Stuck in Nation's Bottom Tier

September 12, 2017 | Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pennsylvania's lawsuit climate ranked 37th out of 50 in a new national survey released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). Read More »

Survey: New Jersey's Lawsuit Climate Ranking Hits All-Time Low

September 12, 2017 | Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its worst showing ever, New Jersey's lawsuit climate ranked number 41 out of 50 in a new national survey released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). In 2006, New Jersey ranked number 25 in the same survey. Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Collective Redress Tourism: Preventing Forum Shopping in the EU

October 24, 2017 | Research

The EU is experiencing a wave of new "collective redress" or "class action" mechanisms being introduced in the Member States. However, there is little consistency across the EU regarding when or how actions may be brought, and the features Read More »

Bad for Your Health: Lawsuit Advertising Implications and Solutions

October 24, 2017 | Research

This paper documents the proliferation of alarmist, misleading ads soliciting the public to file lawsuits against prescription drug and medical device companies. The report explores how these ads exaggerate product risks, minimize benefits Read More »

Recipe for Reform: A Proposal for Improving Canadian Class Action Procedures

October 24, 2017 | Research

There are serious concerns that many aspects of and developments in the class action regimes in Canada impose unwarranted burdens on defendants and the courts, at the ultimate expense of shareholders, taxpayers and consumers. Read More »

Supporting Safeguards: EU Consumer Attitudes Towards Collective Actions and Litigation Funding

September 27, 2017 | Research

As the Commission of the European Union prepares to make a significant policy decision on collective actions (known as class actions in the United States), it is important to assess how European consumers feel about the development of these mechanisms. This survey captured 6,177 consumers in six EU Member States Read More »

2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States

September 12, 2017 | Research

The 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States was conducted for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform by Harris Poll to explore how fair and reasonable the states' liability systems are perceived to be by U.S. businesses. Read More »

101 Ways to Improve State Legal Systems: A User's Guide to Promoting Fair and Effective Civil Justice - FIFTH EDITION 2017

September 12, 2017 | Research

A user's guide to state legal reforms, providing policymakers with a compendium of options available to foster a sound legal system and promote state economies. This resource also offers a compilation of recently-enacted legal reforms to show how legislators can move the proposals described in the guide from theory into practice. Read More »

TCPA Litigation Sprawl: A Study of the Sources and Targets of Recent TCPA Lawsuits

Author: Becca Wahlquist, Snell & Wilmer LLP | August 31, 2017 | Research

TCPA Litigation Sprawl is a macro-level analysis of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation that reviews all TCPA federal complaints and a segment of electronically-available state complaints from a 17-month period after the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) issued its July 2015 Omnibus Declaratory Ruling. Read More »

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