WASHINGTON, D.C.—If plaintiffs’ lawyers convince the next Congress to enact massive lawsuit-expanding legislation next year, the added costs will slow America’s economic recovery, according to speakers at today’s 9th Annual Legal Reform Summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR).
“If we hope to fully restore our economy, we cannot allow lawsuits to siphon off money that should be used to help our country recover,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue. “We cannot sue our way to prosperity. We cannot sue our way to job growth. We cannot sue our way out of an economic crisis. And we cannot sue our way to better regulation.”
“For the trial lawyers’ lobby, this Congress was only a dress rehearsal,” said ILR President Lisa Rickard, noting the 46 liability-expanding bills and provisions introduced in the current congressional session. “During the next Congress it will once again launch its campaign to slip lawsuit-expanding provisions into all types of legislation, including financial regulatory reforms. The last thing our country needs is more lawsuits.”
U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Carlos Gutierrez released a report at the Summit outlining the impact of America’s lawsuit climate on foreign direct investment. The report is available at: http://www.commerce.gov/ssLINK/PROD01_007457
ILR also unveiled data from an interim report providing insight into the experience of American businesses with discovery in civil litigation. The interim report, titled “The State of Discovery Abuse in Civil Litigation,” demonstrates that the discovery process is overly expensive and being abused.
The Chamber also honored those working to improve America’s litigation environment with the ILR Legal Reform Awards. The 2008 recipients were Professor Michael Perino of St. John’s University School of Law for outstanding research, retired Michigan Chamber of Commerce President Jim Barrett for individual achievement and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers for state leadership.
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 more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.