U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

The U.S. Chamber Litigation Center fights for business at every level of the U.S. judicial system, on virtually every issue affecting business.

Founded in 1977, the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center is a separately incorporated affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The Litigation Center fights for business at every level of the U.S. judicial system, on virtually every issue affecting business, including class actions and arbitration, labor and employment, energy and environment, securities and corporate governance, financial regulation, free speech, preemption, government contracts, and criminal law.

We represent the Chamber in lawsuits to challenge unlawful federal, state, and local regulatory actions.  We intervene to defend the government in cases brought by activists to challenge pro-business or deregulatory actions.  We file amicus curiae briefs representing the broad views of the business community in important litigation throughout the country, including in the Supreme Court of the United States.  We help advocates prepare for oral arguments in cases that present important business issues.  We work with the media to help the public understand key decisions and legal principles.

The Litigation Center is staffed by a team of experienced in-house litigators—four previously clerked for Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, and four have significant government experience at the White House and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.  It retains the nation’s top lawyers to litigate cases, including former U.S. solicitors general and veterans of the U.S. Supreme Court bar.

Recent Activity

Litigation UpdateApr 24, 2019 - 2:00pm

U.S. Supreme Court limits the ability of the plaintiffs’ bar to import class action litigation into arbitration

The Supreme Court issued a decision in Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, limiting the ability of the plaintiffs’ bar to use ambiguous language in a contract to argue for class arbitration—that is, to bring a class action in arbitration, rather than in a court.  This outcome limits the ability of the plaintiffs’ bar to import class action litigation into arbitration. 

In the NewsApr 21, 2019 - 3:45pm

USCC General Counsel John Wood Pens Op-Ed in the WSJ -- "Jailing CEOs to Please the Masses"

USCC General Counsel John Wood Pens Op-Ed in the WSJ -- "Jailing CEOs to Please the Masses." Click here to read the full op-ed. 

Litigation UpdateMar 20, 2019 - 4:30pm

Unanimous Supreme Court holds that enforcing a security interest without also seeking repayment of a debt generally does not qualify as “debt collection” within the FDCPA’s meaning

In Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, the defendant law firm was hired to carry out a nonjudicial foreclosure on the plaintiff’s home.  The firm accordingly sent the plaintiff correspondence regarding the foreclosure.  The plaintiff disputed the amount of his debt.  He sued, arguing that the firm’s foreclosure correspondence violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  The Tenth Circuit affirmed dismissal of the case because the law firm did not qualify as a “debt collector” covered by the FDCPA. 

Litigation UpdateMar 20, 2019 - 3:30pm

U.S. Supreme Court vacates Ninth Circuit’s decision and sends case back to Ninth Circuit for reconsideration of Article III standing issues

In Frank v. Gaos, the plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit in federal court against Google for allegedly misusing their personal information; the purported class contained millions of Gmail users.  The parties settled.  Because each member of the class suffered miniscule (if any) damages, however, rather than track down and pay the millions of plaintiffs directly, Google agreed to donate more than $5 million to several consumer organizations whose work would arguably benefit class members indirectly.  The district court and then the Ninth Circuit approved the settlement over objections. 

Litigation UpdateMar 20, 2019 - 3:00pm

Blog post: So the government no longer believes in Auer deference?

When even the government does not think it deserves deference, it’s safe to say the government does not deserve deference.  And when the government angles for a split decision only by tying itself in legal knots – relying on stare decisis at the same time it encourages the Supreme Court to overrule precedent – it’s safe to say something odd is going on.  After all, stare decisis is Latin for “to stand by things decided,” not “to stand by some of the things decided while jettisoning others.”  Latin’s a dead language, but it hasn’t decomposed that badly.  To me, the takeaway is that the government knows that Auer deference stands on shaky legal ground and is doing what it can to preserve what it can.  That’s perfectly understandable, and advocating a partial overruling may have some policy appeal to some people.  But it does not make the legal ground under Auer any firmer.

In the NewsFeb 12, 2019 - 3:45pm

Empirical SCOTUS: Hitting the nail on the head — successful cert-stage amicus briefs in cases with financial implications

"A main takeaway from these data and analyses is that the Chamber of Commerce is a filing leader in this area. It effectively files cert-stage briefs in a high level of granted cases with distinct financial implications.

Litigation UpdateJan 07, 2019 - 10:00am

U.S. Supreme Court issues unanimous arbitration decision, reaffirming that courts must enforce arbitration contracts according to their terms and thus cannot create unwritten exceptions to the Federal Arbitration Act

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc., reaffirming that courts must enforce arbitration contracts according to their terms and thus cannot create unwritten exceptions to the Federal Arbitration Act.  The decision rejects the “wholly groundless” exception to enforcement of an arbitration agreement, finding it inconsistent with the terms of the Federal Arbitration Act.

Litigation UpdateDec 20, 2018 - 4:30pm

Blog post: Frank v. Gaos and the importance of actual injury

In a welcome development, a case that was supposed to be about cy pres settlements has turned into one about the viability of no-injury class actions.  The Supreme Court granted cert. in Frank v. Gaos to consider the permissibility of cy pres settlements, which provide no direct relief to class members but instead benefit charitable entities and enrich class counsel.  While observers generally expected the Court to restrict or even bar the use of such settlements, an interesting thing happened:  the Court realized that the case presents a serious standing problem and requested supplemental briefing from the parties and the United States on that topic. 

Litigation UpdateNov 27, 2018 - 10:00am

U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Weyerhaeuser in challenge to government’s designation of private land as “critical” habitat under the Endangered Species Act

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Weyerhaeuser in a case concerning whether the government could designate private land in Louisiana as “critical habitat” for an endangered species—the “dusky gopher frog”—even though the land is not currently habitat (we understand no frogs have lived there since 1965) and apparently could not be habitat without significant alteration.  

ArticleNov 21, 2018 - 1:00pm

New US Chamber of Commerce GC Seeks Higher Profile for Litigation Center

In an exclusive interview with Corporate Counsel, John Wood recently talked about his new job, his priorities and his goals.