WASHINGTON, D.C.—At the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s 11th Annual Legal Reform Summit, Kenneth R. Feinberg today presented an alternative model to traditional litigation for settling claims resulting from major disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Drawing from his roles as Independent Claims Adjuster for the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill Disaster Victim Compensation Fund and former manager of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, Feinberg headlined the day-long Summit that focused on lawsuit abuse during a major economic downturn.
“The case is clear: lawsuit abuse is a major problem that threatens the ability of American businesses, large and small, to recover from the current economic situation and create jobs,” said ILR President Lisa Rickard.
Throughout the day, ILR featured speakers and panels on key topics and unveiled a number of new research pieces which promise to advance the legal reform debate, including:
- “Cy Pres: A Not So Charitable Contribution to Class Action Practice,” a paper outlining how Cy pres awards in class actions engender a multitude of ethical and conflict-of-interest problems for judges, defendants, plaintiffs and absent class members;
- “Litigating in the Field of Dreams: Asbestos Cases in Madison County, Illinois,” a paper analyzing asbestos litigation trends in the perennially problematic jurisdiction of Madison County, Illinois;
- “Restoring Balance: Proposed Amendments to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” a paper presenting a series of amendments that would improve the FCPA.
The Chamber also honored key individuals and organizations who are working to improve America’s litigation environment with the ILR Legal Reform Awards. The 2010 recipients include State Sen. John Thrasher and State Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, both of Florida, for legislative achievement, as well as the law firm of Forman, Perry, Watkins, Krutz & Tardy for organizational achievement. The Civil Justice Association of California won the alliance award, while Robert P. Hartwig, Ph.D., president of the Insurance Information Institute, won an award for his important research accomplishments.
ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.