Institute for Legal Reform

The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) is to reduce excessive and frivolous litigation while restoring fairness and balance to the nation's civil justice system by promoting civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial and educational activities at both the national and local levels.

An effective legal system is critical to advancing free enterprise. Unfortunately, many lawsuits in this country lack merit or are downright abusive. Making matters worse, the lawyers who bring these types of suits tend to be the real beneficiaries—not their clients. To be sure, economic data show that the U.S. tort system in 2016 alone cost $3,329 per U.S. household, and only 57 cents on the dollar went to compensate the actual victim.

The Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) is the most influential legal reform organization in the country.  ILR effectively executes unmatched advocacy initiatives that reach into state, federal, and international arenas and cover a wide breadth of issues, including the following: 

  • Repairing our broken class action lawsuit system, such as the recent massive spike in securities class action litigation.
  • Curbing the rising trend of over-enforcement from state and federal actors that engage in irrational, duplicative, and politically motivated enforcement actions.
  • Enacting meaningful legal reforms at the state level, particularly in problematic jurisdictions like Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, and West Virginia.
  • Working within the EU to contain and improve major pending legislation that would expand U.S.-style class actions to Europe.
  • Eliminating the fraud that permeates asbestos litigation.
  • Modernizing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to reflect rapid changes in technology and prevent trial lawyers from using this broad language to file frivolous lawsuits.
  • Fighting against the expansion of the multibillion Third Party Litigation Funding (TPLF) industry here in the U.S. and globally.
  • Spotlighting the problems when municipalities team up with private attorneys to bring mass and class action lawsuits.
  • Raising public awareness of the impact of lawsuit abuse on businesses through ILR’s Faces of Lawsuit Abuse campaign.

Recent Activity

Letters to CongressDec 10, 2019 - 4:00pm

U.S. Chamber Letter on S. 1790, the "National Defense Authorization Act of 2020"

This Hill letter was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives, supporting S. 1790, the "National Defense Authorization Act of 2020."

Litigation UpdateNov 26, 2019 - 6:30am

‘The Conservative Case for Class Actions’ Doesn’t Pass the Smell Test

When a fellow former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia claims that our client, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, betrays conservative legal ideals through its unyielding opposition to abuse of class-action suits by the plaintiffs’ bar, we take it seriously. But the argument that Professor Brian Fitzpatrick raised in his November 13 National Review piece does not stand up to scrutiny. Professor Fitzpatrick, relying principally upon the U.S. Chamber’s brief in the landmark 2011 Supreme Court case AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, attempts to ascribe to the Chamber a position he invented: Opposed to class actions in all cases, and instead pining for more federal enforcement against business. No self-respecting legal conservative, he argues, would favor law enforcement by the executive branch in lieu of private-sector lawyers, motivated by profit in the form of contingency fees (lots and lots of contingency fees). Well, our former boss Justice Scalia did, for good conservative reasons: history, tradition, and political accountability. As Justice Scalia wrote in Wal-Mart Inc. v. Dukes, class actions are an exception to the long-standing rule, dating to English common law and the Founding era, that litigation is conducted on behalf of the individual named parties. Today’s class-action colossus is a creation largely of the mid-1960s — hardly the heyday of conservative legal reform.

Letters to CongressNov 12, 2019 - 11:15am

U.S. Chamber Letter on an Amendment to S. 2789, the "Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act of 2019"

This Hill letter was sent to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, opposing an amendment to S. 2789, the "Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act of 2019."

Letters to CongressOct 30, 2019 - 10:15am

U.S. Chamber Letter on H.R. 3055

This Hill letter was sent to the United States Senate, on H.R. 3055, the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act of 2020.

Letters to CongressSep 17, 2019 - 3:45pm

U.S. Chamber Key Vote Alert! on H.R. 1423, "Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act"

This Key Vote Alert! letter was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives, opposing H.R. 1423, the "Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act."

Letters to CongressSep 10, 2019 - 10:45am

U.S. Chamber Letter on H.R. 1423, "Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act)"

This Hill letter was sent to the House Committee on the Judiciary, opposing H.R. 1423, the "Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act)."

Letters to CongressSep 09, 2019 - 5:45pm

Coalition Letter on H.R. 1423, "Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act"

This Coalition letter was sent to the U.S. Congress, opposing H.R. 1423, the "Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act."

Letters to CongressAug 30, 2019 - 9:30am

U.S. Chamber Letter on NDAA Conference Negotiations

This Hill letter was sent to the House Armed Services and Senate Armed Services committees, on conference negotiations for the National Defense Authorization Act.

CommentJun 28, 2019 - 12:00pm

ILR Comments to Federal Trade Commission on Consent Decrees

Comments submitted to the Federal Trade Commission in connection with hearings on competition and consumer protection in the 21st century.

Above the FoldOct 29, 2018 - 9:00am
"Legal reform" among lottery balls.

Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Hit the Jackpot

The U.S. tort system racked up $429 billion in total costs and compensation associated with lawsuits in 2016.