National Chamber Litigation Center--2003: Record Filings, A Year of Victories
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Chamber of Commerce's National Chamber Litigation Center closed 2003 having filed more briefs than at any point since its creation. It's the third year in a row that NCLC has entered a record number of cases on behalf of American business.
"The threat to business from excessive jury awards rivals the threat from excessive government regulation," said Thomas Donohue, Chamber President and CEO. "It is imperative to turn the courts back to places that decide right from wrong, rather than places where trial lawyers go to get rich."
NCLC entered a total of 73 new cases in 2003, topping last year's record of 58 new cases and 2001's 53 new cases. In addition, the Litigation Center surpassed its all-time yearly record of 28 victories set in 2000 (and matched in 2001), achieving 30 victories so far in 2003, saving the business community more than a billion dollars this year alone.
Of particular importance was the organization's involvement in State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Campbell, which the U.S. Supreme Court – agreeing with NCLC and citing the guidelines established in NCLC's 1996 landmark victory in BMW v. Gore – overturned a Utah Supreme Court punitive damage award that was 145 times greater than the compensatory damages. As a result, state appellate courts have already slashed excessive punitive damages awards that exceeded the guidelines established by the State Farm decision in three other cases in which NCLC has participated: Bocci v. Key Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Waddill v. Anchor Hocking, Inc., and Ford Motor Company v. Romo, et al. NCLC's efforts in these four cases alone helped contribute to a reduction of punitive damage payouts totaling almost $430 million.
Since 1977, NCLC, the public policy legal arm of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, has represented the broad business perspective and championed the principles of private enterprise in over 800 cases.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.
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