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Legal Reform

Every American who has been legitimately wronged deserves his or her day in court. The U.S. Chamber and its Institute for Legal Reform are working every day to make our legal system faster, simpler, and fairer. We are fighting those who abuse the system for their own personal gain, clog the courts with meritless lawsuits, and undermine our right to due process.

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Reserve Officers Association-Indiana Backs FACT Act: https://t.co/0mKmnUjyqU

02/10/2016

.@CandiceMalcolm Takes On Labor Union's 'Cozying Up' to Ecuador in Anti-Chevron Campaign https://t.co/1pOr2MpCDB

02/10/2016

Trial Lawyer Ad Spending Last Year More Than Doubles Record Amount Spent on #SB50 Ads https://t.co/1yIoCkz3en

02/10/2016

Our Position

A Dubious Honor

The United States is the world leader in lawsuits, which cost the U.S. economy $264 billion per year— or about $850 per year for every man, woman, and child in the United States.

America has the costliest legal system in the world. Lawsuits cost the U.S. economy $264 billion per year, or about $850 per year for every man, woman, and child in the United States. The ultimate victims of lawsuit abuse are consumers and workers who suffer from higher prices and lost jobs and benefits.
 
Businesses also suffer—not only from the costs of fighting sometimes frivolous lawsuits, but also when government agencies deny their rights to due process. America’s enforcement system has turned into a shakedown operation where regulators find a company that may or may not have done something wrong; threaten its managers with commercial ruin; and force them to pay an enormous fine to drop the charges in a secret settlement where nobody can check the details.
 
To ensure all Americans—workers and employers—get the justice they deserve, we need to reform our legal and enforcement systems. Our legal reform agenda includes the following:

  • Reforming legal systems in key problem states and jurisdictions
  • Raising public awareness of the impact of lawsuit abuse on our economy, our citizens, and our global competitiveness.
  • Preserving the availability of arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that would reduce the number of lawsuits and their costs while ensuring justice is served.
  • Reforming the medical tort system to make costs more affordable and predictable.
  • Supporting class action reform and opposing efforts to weaken the Class Action Fairness Act.
  • Educating the public on important state judicial and attorney general races.

 

Hurting Small Businesses

Litigation costs small businesses in America over $100 billion per year.

When it comes to our enforcement system, it must:

  • Be rules based and transparent.
  • Eliminate incentives for officials, regulators, and plaintiff’s lawyers to press settlements that work to their personal and political advantage.
  • Ensure that enforcement is fair, clear, and respects due process.

 

Take Action

Legal reform is a key component of the U.S. Chamber's Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda - an ambitious plan to generate stronger, more robust economic growth, create jobs and expand opportunity for all Americans. 

Timeline

The latest updates across all U.S. Chamber properties

E.g., 02/10/2016
E.g., 02/10/2016
Letter

This letter was sent to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of S. 357, the "Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015,” on which the Committee is holding a hearing this morning.

6 days 20 hours ago
Letter

This letter from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform was sent to the members of the House Judiciary Committee in support of its Resolution Establishing the House Committee on the Judiciary Executive Overreach Task Force.

1 week 12 hours ago
Article

In the last five years, Monroe Rubber and Gasket — a family business in Monroe, Louisiana — has been sued in more than 100 asbestos suits by over 2000 plaintiffs. More than a decade ago, the business ordered a material containing encapsulated asbestos for customers who requested it.

2 weeks 5 days ago
Press Release

Facing extraordinary economic, political, and geopolitical uncertainty and risks in 2016, businesses need more pro-growth lawmakers and better policies to create jobs, stimulate growth, raise incomes, and increase opportunities for Americans, said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue in his annual “State of American Business” address.

3 weeks 5 days ago
Article

A man from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, is suing the Bethesda, MD, gaming company Bethesda Softworks, makers of Fallout 4, claiming that he didn’t know the game would be “so addictive.”

4 weeks 1 day ago