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—five previously clerked for Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, and five have significant government experience at the White House and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.  All have significant private sector litigation experience. It retains the nation’s top lawyers, including former U.S. Solicitors General and other executive branch officers, veterans of the Supreme Court bar, and former state court judges and officials, to serve as outside counsel.

Recent Activity

Litigation UpdateJun 10, 2019 - 8:45am

Supreme Court grants cert. petition concerning the causation standard for proving racial discrimination under 42 USC 1981

In Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African-American Owned Media, the Supreme Court granted review to determine whether a claim of racial discrimination may proceed even if racial animus was not the but-for cause of a defendant’s action, so long as a plaintiff can still demonstrate that discriminatory intent was a factor in that action.

Litigation UpdateJun 10, 2019 - 8:30am

Supreme Court grants cert. petition concerning federal preemption of state environmental remedies under CERCLA

In Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, the Supreme Court will determine whether the Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (also known as Superfund) preempts state law claims for additional cleanup on remediated sites. 

Litigation UpdateMay 20, 2019 - 11:15am

U.S. Supreme Court holds that judges, rather than juries, must decide whether federal prescription-drug regulations preempt state failure-to-warn claims

Today the Supreme Court issued a favorable unanimous decision in Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Albrecht, holding that judges, rather than juries, must decide whether federal prescription-drug regulations preempt state failure-to-warn claims. 

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.