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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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Supreme Court Wasn’t Hooked by Feds’ Arguments in Yates Too-Small Fish Case http://t.co/VorRZF2AjE

02/26/2015

The cases are in... Have you voted in this month’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuit Poll? http://t.co/9mtcsIr7MW

02/26/2015

Scandal 'Plaintiff-Buying' Scheme Just Business as Usual? http://t.co/prauaCeevk

02/26/2015

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

Timeline

The latest updates across all U.S. Chamber properties

E.g., 02/27/2015
E.g., 02/27/2015
Article

The Supreme Court let commercial fisherman John Yates off the hook today when it ruled that fish don’t count as “tangible objects” under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Yates initially faced up to 20 years in prison for each of the three fish he possessed before throwing them back into the ocean.

1 day 10 hours ago
Article

Could a dog’s bark be louder than thunder, and nearly akin to the decibel level of a military jet taking off?

That’s the claim made in a 36-page, $500,000 lawsuit filed by a Seattle man, Woodrow Thompson, against his neighbor, who claim’s the bark of the neighbor’s dog, Cawper, caused “profound emotional distress.”

1 week 6 days ago
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following statement regarding today’s hearing on the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015” (H.R. 526) in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. The legislation would require asbestos personal injury settlement trusts, which currently operate with little oversight and transparency, to report on their claims.

3 weeks 1 day ago