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

June 15, 2018

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.

  1. Will Plaintiffs' Lawyers Find New Ways to Sue? They Bet Their Boat They Will

    September 17, 2008 | Press Release

    In 1999, flush with more than a three billion dollar windfall from tobacco lawsuits, plaintiffs' lawyer Ron Motley reset his crosshairs onto another deep-pocketed industry: companies that had ceased the manufacture and sale of lead-based paint 30 years ago or more. So certain he could bring the entire industry to its knees, Motley vowed to give away his prized 120-foot yacht if he and his firm, Motley Rice, did not prevail.... Read More

  2. The $54 Million Pants Lawsuit That Never Goes Away

    September 11, 2008 | Press Release

    Like a bad cold you just can’t shake off, the infamous lost pants lawsuit is back. Yesterday, ABC News 7 here in Washington D.C. reported that former D.C. Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson has been granted a chance to revive his $54 million lawsuit against a local drycleaner for misplacing his pair of slacks.... Read More

  3. Another Threat to Average Investors: Securities Lawsuits

    July 31, 2008 | Press Release

    During these tough economic times, the roughly 50% of all Americans who have their retirement and other investments tied up in the stock markets have a lot to worry about. Inflation. The mortgage meltdown. Rising fuel costs. However, obscured by these recent crises is a proven threat that has destroyed billions of dollars of average shareholders' wealth, year after year. The menace: securities class action lawsuits. ... Read More

  4. Exposing Trial Lawyer Earmarks Growing in Congress

    July 28, 2008 | Press Release

    Every summer, I suspect that those who work at garden supply stores are inundated by people looking for advice on how to fight back against invasive vines and weeds that creep into their yards. Suggestions might include hacking back the trespassers, ripping them out by the roots, or even dousing them with powerful herbicides. But the truth is, no matter how much sweat, time and money they invest into this effort, there’s a good chance they’ll just grow back. ... Read More

  5. Securities Class Action Litigation: The problem, its impact, and the path to reform

    July 24, 2008 | Research

    Private securities class actions present a serious threat to the health of the U.S. economy. The costs of securities litigation are enormous, but the benefits are miniscule. The culture of abusive class actions, driven by a multibillion dollar plaintiffs' lawyer industry, is eroding the competitiveness of U.S. capital markets at a time when they face perhaps their greatest threat from foreign competition. The system is broken, and Congress must enact the reforms needed to fix it.... Read More

  6. Securities Lawsuit System in Need of Repair, U.S. Chamber Says

    July 23, 2008 | Press Release

    NEW YORK, N.Y.-Private securities class action lawsuits present a serious threat to the health of U.S. businesses, the prosperity of American families and the strength of our nation's global competitiveness, according to a new analysis released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).... Read More

  7. Understanding E-Discovery

    July 21, 2008 | Press Release

    In our President's Corner today, we are featuring a guest columnist. Rebecca Love Kourlis is a former Colorado Supreme Court Justice and now serves as the Executive Director at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, a national organization dedicated to improving the process and culture of the civil justice system. Justice Kourlis will be speaking about e-discovery at the Institute for Legal Reform's "Drowning in Documents" conference on July 30th. The conference will explore the explosion of discovery and its impact on the fairness and efficiency of American courts. Registration is now open for the morning discovery conference or the employment litigation event that afternoon.... Read More

  8. Our Broken Legal System and its Impact on Competitiveness

    June 27, 2008 | Press Release

    I recently sat down with a reporter from the Ukrainian Service of the Voice of America to talk about the impact that lawsuit abuse is having on America�s small businesses. It seems she had stumbled across our Web site,, which brings home the sad reality that lawsuit abuse hurts working families and neighborhood businesses. As someone who is still trying to understand the unique legal culture of the U.S., the foreign-born reporter was shocked that even the most ridiculous of lawsuits has the potential to destroy a business or force it to lay off employees. ... Read More

  9. Scruggs Sentence Exposes Trial Bar Abuses

    June 27, 2008 | Press Release

    Dickie Scruggs famously coined the phrase ‘magic jurisdictions’ – notorious local hot spots of trial lawyer influence where judges are ‘elected with verdict money’ and defendants find it ‘almost impossible to get a fair trial.’ While Mr. Scruggs made a living by tilting the legal odds in his favor, his sentence of five years in prison for conspiring to bribe a judge proves there are some lines that cannot be crossed. ... Read More

  10. Settlement in Milberg Scandal Leaves More Questions Than Answers

    June 19, 2008 | Press Release

    Earlier this week, the Milberg law firm agreed to pay $75 million in return for dismissal of federal charges that they disbursed millions in illegal kickbacks to teams of "professional plaintiffs." The firm--whose former partners, Bill Lerach and Mel Weiss, were recently convicted for their roles in the scandal--was accused of pocketing $250 million over the past two decades by being the first to file class action lawsuits against major companies on behalf of their roster of ready-made plaintiffs. ... Read More

  11. Trial Lawyer Scandals and the Deafening Silence from the Plaintiffs? Bar

    June 11, 2008 | Press Release

    When a major scandal breaks, the media spotlight becomes intense and those seen as representing the interests of the industry or profession exposed by the wrongdoing usually feel the heat. But this tried-and-true formula doesn’t seem to hold when it comes to the recent scandals of some of the country’s biggest plaintiffs’ lawyers.... Read More

  1. In the News Today - June 22, 2018

    June 22, 2018 | News

    CFPB Structure Ruled Unconstitutional By NY Federal Judge; Federal Attorney Hints at More Charges Over West Virginia Supreme Court Scandal... Read More

  2. Australian Defense Lawyer Disappointed in Class Action Report

    June 22, 2018 | News

    A class action defense lawyer in Australia said the Victorian Law Reform Commission's recommendation report on class action litigation regulation was "very disappointing," the Australian Financial Review reports.... Read More

  3. In the News Today - June 21, 2018

    June 21, 2018 | News

    West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Indicted on 22 Federal Counts... Read More

  4. Law Professor: "Lawsuit Lenders are Like Sharks to Shipwrecks"

    June 21, 2018 | News

    A law professor at Roger Williams University School of Law said "lawsuit lenders are like sharks to shipwrecks" who "capitaliz[e] on tragedy" in a response to a defense of the industry in Crain's New York Business.... Read More

  5. In the News Today - June 20, 2018

    June 20, 2018 | News

    Australian State Legal Commission Wants to Legalize Contingency Fees Arrangements... Read More

  6. Judge's Probe into Overbilling May Uncover Broad Corruption Scheme

    June 20, 2018 | News

    A Boston judge's probe into potential overbilling in the $300 million securities lawsuit against State Street Corp. has led to questions about potential public corruption involving plaintiffs' lawyers and an Arkansas pension fund, National Law Journal reports.... Read More

  7. In the News Today - June 19, 2018

    June 19, 2018 | News

    Australian Business Leaders Call for Class Action Review; "Bristol-Myers Squibb: 1 Year Later"... Read More

  8. Australian Financial Review Editorial Calls for Class Action Constraints

    June 19, 2018 | News

    An editorial from the Australian Financial Review called on the Australian government to regulate the explosion of securities litigation in the country.... Read More

  9. In the News Today - June 18, 2018

    June 18, 2018 | News

    Associate Attorney General Cites Importance of Corporate Compliance Culture; Australian Attorney General Backs Licensing as "Sensible Approach" to Regulation of Third Party Litigation Funding... Read More

  10. NYC Climate Lawyers on Shaky Legal Ground

    June 18, 2018 | News

    Forbes reports that the plaintiff's attorneys in the New York City climate litigation are seeking hefty compensation from oil companies for the act of producing and selling fossil fuels, but are not seeking any type of injunctive relief to stop them from doing so in the future.... Read More

  11. Judge Says Plaintiffs' Lawyers "Overreached" in $37.8 Million Fee Request

    June 15, 2018 | News

    A U.S. District judge said the 26 plaintiffs' firms in the Anthem data breach class action "overreached" by asking for nearly $38 million in fees, Law360 reports.... Read More

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. TCPA Plaintiffs' Attorney Admits Class Action Lawsuits Have "Not Cured the Problem"

    May 22, 2018 | Blogs

    Three weeks ago, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) President Lisa A. Rickard said the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has become a "goldmine for plaintiffs' attorneys." ... Read More

  6. California Assembly Passes Bill to Rein In Dangerous Trial Lawyer Advertising

    May 17, 2018 | Blogs

    This afternoon, the California State Assembly overwhelmingly passed A.B. 3217, a bill that would outlaw "materially misleading" drug and medical device lawsuit advertising.... Read More

  7. Coming Soon to the Golden State: Truth in Legal Advertising

    May 16, 2018 | Blogs

    Plaintiffs' lawyers spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lawsuit advertising. A lot of this money flows to ads for lawsuits targeting prescription drugs and medical devices. The imagery is all too familiar: the TV screen flashes red, an ambulance siren goes off, spray-tanned actors dressed like doctors pronounce exaggerated warnings in dire tones, and at the end a number shows up on screen and the viewer is encouraged to join a lawsuit.... Read More

  8. Plaintiffs' Lawyers Looking for Absurd Attorneys' Fees Had a Rough Week

    May 14, 2018 | Blogs

    If two's a coincidence and three's a trend, what would you call six headlines in one week?... Read More

  9. Landmark Bill Would Pull Back Curtain on Secretive Lawsuit Funding Deals

    May 10, 2018 | Blogs

    Today, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), along with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), introduced the Litigation Funding Transparency Act (LFTA), a landmark bill to help bring the multi-billion dollar litigation financing industry out of the shadows.... Read More

  10. ILR Asks Federal Communications Commission to Define Automated Telephone Dialing System

    May 03, 2018 | Blogs

    Today, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 16 coalition partners filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking it to clarify the definition of an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS). ... Read More

  11. Wisconsin Forward: State Enacts Groundbreaking Litigation Funding Transparency Law

    April 03, 2018 | Blogs

    Today, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker helped the state live up to its "Forward" motto, and made good on his encouragement to the legislature to "get it done" on legal reform in 2018 by signing AB 773 into law. ... Read More

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

    June 04, 2018 | Press Release

    ... Read More

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Survey: 85 Percent of EU Consumers Support Safeguards Against Abuse Built Into Collective Action Lawsuit Systems

    September 28, 2017 | Press Release

    ... Read More

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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