Legal Reform

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.

Projects and Programs

 

 

Our Priorities

 

 

 

Institute for Legal Reform

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

    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."

    ArticleNov 01, 2019 - 1:13pm

    Trial Lawyers’ Expert Witness Falls Apart on the Stand

    From the files of The Most Ridiculous Lawsuits comes a story SO ridiculous that even we were shocked by it. Trial lawyers argued a $600 million class action case over the advertised health claims of a well-known daily multi-vitamin.

    ArticleNov 01, 2019 - 12:54pm

    Man Sues Godiva over Labeling

    Frivolous lawsuits are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get. A Washington, DC man bought $15,000 worth of chocolates from Godiva, which was founded in Belgium but has chocolate factories in the United States.

    ArticleNov 01, 2019 - 12:48pm

    This Frivolous Lawsuit May Give You a Brain Freeze

    You scream. I scream. We all scream for…frivolous lawsuit abuse? A customer is upset that Friendly’s vanilla ice cream contains more than plain vanilla. The Friendly’s recipe includes ingredients like turmeric and annatto, which comes from the tropical achiote tree.

    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.

    ArticleOct 10, 2019 - 10:19am

    California Coffee House Sued Over Warning Labels

    Chuck Jones owns Jones Coffee Roasters in Pasadena, California, an independent coffee company and wholesale roaster. Chuck employs 28 people in his four stores and wholesale warehouse. He loves being in the coffee business, and his stores often promote local artists and musicians.

    ArticleSep 20, 2019 - 12:47pm

    Man Sues Popeyes Over Chicken Sandwich Shortage

    Some people love that chicken from Popeyes! One Tennessee man drove to multiple Popeyes locations to try their new fried chicken sandwich, but they were all sold out. He’s suing Popeyes Fried Chicken for $5,000 because he couldn’t get his hands on a sandwich. Ridiculous!