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

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.

EventOct 25, 2017 - 8:00am to 6:00pm
Litigation Jungle 2017 ILR Key Graphic Image

2017 Legal Reform Summit: The Litigation Jungle

Join the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform as we embark on an expedition through “The Litigation Jungle,” examining the complex and evolving litigation landscape and providing a roadmap to navigate it.

Press ReleaseOct 24, 2017 - 10:15pm

U.S. Chamber Applauds Senate Vote to Undo CFPB’s Arbitration Rule

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:

ArticleSep 28, 2017 - 9:49am

Survey: Florida’s Lawsuit Climate Again Ranks Among Nation’s Worst

Florida is ranked #46 in the 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States survey, falling two spots from its already low 2015 ranking. Florida scores poorly in all of the key element categories, but particularly with regard to the competence and impartiality of trial judges—where it ranked 48th.

ArticleSep 28, 2017 - 9:22am

Missouri’s Leaders Work to Improve Lawsuit Climate as New Survey Shows State’s Ranking has Slipped

Missouri’s lawsuit climate fell to 49th out of 50 in a new national survey released today by the U.S.

ReportSep 13, 2017 - 11:15am

The 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States

The 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States was conducted for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform by Harris Poll to explore how fair and reasonable the states’ liability systems are perceived to be by U.S. businesses.

Above the FoldSep 13, 2017 - 10:45am
Judge's gavel on top of $100 bills.

Where Does Your State’s Legal Climate Rank?

South Dakota has the best legal climate, followed by Vermont, Idaho, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.

ArticleSep 11, 2017 - 9:25pm

Survey: Louisiana’s Lawsuit Climate Again Ranks Among Nation’s Worst

For the first time, Louisiana’s lawsuit climate ranked 50th – the worst in the nation – according to a national survey released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). Louisiana had ranked 49th in the four previous surveys.

ArticleSep 11, 2017 - 9:20pm

New Lawsuit Climate Survey Shows Tort Reform Working in WV

In its best showing ever, West Virginia’s lawsuit climate ranking improved by five places in 2017, from 50th to 45th in a new national survey released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). Before this year’s survey, West Virginia had never ranked higher than 49th in the 10 previous surveys spanning 15 years.