Legal Reform

A growing economy brings much-needed jobs and wage growth, but it also provides opportunity for entrepreneurial trial lawyers to exploit flaws in America’s lawsuit system for their own gain. 

The U.S. Chamber and its Institute for Legal Reform believe that the key to correcting those flaws and paving the way to a freer, fairer economy lies in repairing our broken class action lawsuit system, eliminating the fraud that permeates asbestos litigation, and curbing the rising trend of over-enforcement—particularly from certain state attorneys general, who are too often engaging in inconsistent, duplicative, and politically motivated enforcement actions.

Projects and Programs

 

Priorities for 2018

  • Continue to implement a comprehensive campaign on the issue of over-enforcement, with a focus on raising awareness around over-reaching, duplicative, and costly enforcement actions from state attorneys general (AGs), as well as at the federal level.
  • Advocate for reforms to practices by state attorneys general, including procedures limiting the retention of outside contingency fee counsel and ensuring that lawsuits as well as any settlement funds, fines, and penalties are directed toward actual consumer relief, rather than pure shakedowns designed to fund specific AG projects or AG office budgets.
  • Curb asbestos litigation abuses by continuing to expose fraud and abuse by the plaintiffs’ bar, and work to reform and limit abuses associated with Section 524(g) asbestos bankruptcy trusts.
  • Work to pass in the Senate:
    • The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act (FICALA); and
    • The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act
  • Prevent or limit efforts to expand liability under the federal False Claims Act.
  • Fight to preserve the availability of arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Strive to enact legal reforms at the state level, particularly in West Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.
  • Engage with the EU and member countries to curb the export of U.S.-style class action litigation.

Recent Activity

ArticleFeb 02, 2018 - 11:06am

Professional Plaintiff Profits off His Three Phones

Meet Craig Cunningham, a Tennessee man who has three cell phones that he uses to bait businesses.

SpeechJan 10, 2018 - 9:00am

2018 State of American Business Address

U.S. Chamber President Tom Donohue's remarks on the State of American Business as prepared for delivery on January 10, 2018.

Above the FoldJan 02, 2018 - 4:45pm
Jelly Belly jelly beans

Here are the Top 10 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2017

A lawsuit claiming that Jelly Belly “deceived” a woman about the sugar in its Sport Beans product tops the list.

ArticleDec 20, 2017 - 6:43pm

Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2017

A lawsuit claiming that Jelly Belly “deceived” a woman about the sugar in its Sport Beans product – despite a clear content label on its packaging – tops the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR) list of the Top 10 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2017. Watch the video above to view all the lawsuits.

EventDec 12, 2017 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm

2017 Global Business Rule of Law Dashboard Release

Release of the 2017 edition of the Rule of Law Dashboard, and a discussion of the implications for global business with corporate, government and civil society leaders.

ArticleDec 04, 2017 - 9:58am

Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2017: Episode 4

A courtroom food fight over the ingredients in Garden Veggie Straws? A former beauty queen who sues so much, she’s no longer welcome in court? And a woman looking to make some cheddar in a lawsuit over a nacho cheese burn?

ArticleNov 27, 2017 - 10:07am

Woman sues U.S. government over nacho cheese burn

A woman from Wichita Falls, Texas, is suing the federal government after she alleged a bowling alley employee at Sheppard Air Force Base spilled hot nacho cheese sauce on her finger. She claims that the cheesy injury resulted in restricted work hours and, ultimately, in her losing her job.

ArticleNov 20, 2017 - 10:02am

Lawsuit claims Garden Veggie Straws have no veggies

Garden Veggie Straws claim to have less fat than potato chips, but a lawsuit in federal court against the snack’s maker contends there’s something else Veggie Straws has less of — vegetables.

ArticleNov 15, 2017 - 10:03am

Judge tells “vexatious litigant” she’s no longer welcome in court

A judge in Ontario, Canada, has told a woman known for filing frequent lawsuits that she’s no longer welcome in court. One-time beauty queen, Althea Reyes, has been declared “a vexatious litigant” for her abuse of the court’s process and waste of judicial and public resources.

Above the FoldNov 06, 2017 - 9:00am
The Chamber applauds the repeal of the CFPB's arbitration rule

A Victory for Consumers—and for Justice

The repeal of the anti-arbitration rule is a major step in the right direction. It is a victory for consumers and businesses of all sizes.