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December 17, 2008

U.S. Chamber Commits to Work with President-elect to Improve America’s Legal Environment

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today offered to work with President-elect Barack Obama and his Administration to revive the nation’s economic vitality by reforming America’s litigation system.

“We understand the critical necessity of revitalizing the economy by restoring American jobs, encouraging the growth of U.S. business, and protecting the savings and investments of millions of Americans,” wrote ILR President Lisa Rickard in a letter to President-elect Obama. “But we are concerned that the potential expansion of legal liability will significantly impair these much needed steps towards a national economic recovery.”

Rickard outlined several key legal reform policy priorities for consideration by the next Administration, including: preserving the constitutionally-based doctrine of federal preemption that avoids the balkanization of U.S. markets and enhances consumer safety; preserving the proven alternative dispute resolution system of arbitration; preserving the availability of the attorney client privilege; opposing efforts to dramatically expand the scope and reach of the False Claims Act; and investigating and prosecuting corruption, fraud and abuses in the civil litigation system.

“During your tenure in the Senate and throughout the Presidential campaign, you emphasized that legal reform was a bi-partisan, common-sense issue,” Rickard said. “We are heartened by this, and welcome working with your Administration during this historic transition and after your inauguration to address legal reform issues.”

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.

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