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TLR News Clips

Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2014

The Subway sandwich chain is within inches of reaching a settlement with customers who accused the Doctor’s Associates Inc.-owned restaurant of misrepresenting the size of its “Footlong” sub, according to court papers.

Fox News, April 1, 2014

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, is attracting attention for something he likely wishes would go away. At a Texas gathering of trial lawyers, the U.S. Senate candidate compared himself with Iowa’s Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, whom he dubbed a "farmer who never went to law school."

Institute for Legal Reform, April 1, 2014

A federal judge will let Chevron’s suit against the Patton Boggs law firm go forward after finding the firm’s defense “lacked merit.”

Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, March 24, 2014

LABI says at least 40 chambers of commerce and business organizations in Louisiana—including BRAC, the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association, and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association—are working together in support of efforts to change Louisiana's tort system this legislative session. 

Southeast Texas Record, March 27, 2014

Seeking “help” for his U.S. Senate bid, Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, told a group of trial lawyers at a Texas fundraiser in January he’s “someone who’s been fighting tort reform for 30 years” and needs their “help” to stop a “farmer” from becoming the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Tennessean, March 26, 2014

By Yuri Cunza
The Tennessee House of Representatives is expected to consider the Tennessee Litigation Financing Consumer Protection Act in the next few days, a bill that protects consumers from predatory lending practices.

The D & O Diary, March 26, 2014

By Kevin LaCroix
Third-party litigation funding, the practice by which outsiders fund large-scale litigation, has received substantial attention in recent months as litigation financers have sought to legitimize their business as a valid part of the U.S. legal system.

Daytona Beach News-Journal, March 26, 2014

Hard-working Floridians on their way to work every day drive past billboards in which trial lawyers invite them to sue someone.

Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2014

Toyota has agreed to pay $1.2 billion and submit to federal oversight for three years to resolve Justice Department charges that it withheld information at the height of a 2009 national media furor. A triumph for safety? Or have aggressive federal prosecutors seized on relatively minor missteps to stampede an image-conscious company into a big payout?

Southeast Texas Record, March 18, 2014

A fox or raccoon makes off with one of your chickens and what do you do? You reinforce the coop and the fence around it to make sure you don’t lose another.

CNN Money, March 19, 2014

It's a good news, bad news situation for New York attorney Steven Donziger today.

The News Star, March 16, 2014

It is no secret that owning a small business is hard. From changing health care laws to new federal taxes and regulations, there is no shortage of challenges facing small business owners these days — but excessive litigation shouldn’t be one of them.

Washington Examiner, March 19, 2014

America's civil legal system is too frequently abused by trial lawyersfiling lawsuits in hopes of extracting quick settlements no matter the defendants' guilt or innocence. Worse, these same lawyers often become wealthy through such litigation while the purported victims of wrongdoing ultimately get only token compensation. Most Americans understand this, but how many of them realize their state and local governments may also be promoting this crooked system?

Legal Newsline, March 17, 2014

Ford Motor Company wants to know the specific conduct exhibited by asbestos attorneys who, according to a federal bankruptcy judge, created “a startling pattern of misrepresentation” while pursuing their clients’ claims against multiple companies.

Bloomberg Businessweek, March 13, 2014

On March 7 a California appellate court upheld a trial judge’s finding that what had been billed as a watershed liability verdict against Dole Food over pesticide use in Nicaragua was actually the product of a conspiracy by corrupt plaintiffs’ lawyers. That decision came only three days after a federal judge in New York ruled that a multibillion-dollar pollution judgment against Chevron (CVX) in 2011 was so tainted by bribery and coercion that it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

Institute for Legal Reform, March 12, 2014

Terms like “racketeering,” “extortion,” “money laundering” and “wire fraud” are typically more associated with the Mafia than plaintiffs’ lawyers. But in a landmark ruling last week, a New York federal judge used these terms to describe conduct by a lawyer.

Washington Examiner, March 11, 2014

Combine the prospect of making a fortune with an insidious mix of political influence and campaign finance, and the results too often are abuses of the federal and state court systems that are much too common in class-action securities litigation. A new study from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on “frequent filers” shines much-needed light on a serious problem that cheats plaintiffs of just compensation while enriching trial lawyers and encouraging excessive and unnecessary litigation.

The Federalist Society, March 10, 2014

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive national survey of both recent court decisions ruling on challenges to existing civil justice laws and the newly enacted civil justice reforms. This paper has two main parts: Part I describes state and federal court rulings in 2013 and Part II describes legislation passed during the year’s legislative session. 

Bloomberg Businessweek, March 5, 2014

For several years, corporate defense lawyers and lobbyists have watched Chevron’s (CVX) experiment with using the federal anti-racketeering statute as an aggressive response to mass-liability lawsuits. Now the results are in—a major victory for the oil company in federal court in New York—and business advocates predict other corporations will follow suit.

Office of the Governor Rick Perry, March 3, 2014

Texas has won Site Selection Magazine's Governor's Cup for 2013, the fifth time the Lone Star State has received the award under Gov. Rick Perry's leadership. The award is given annually to the state with the most new and expanded corporate facilities announced over the year. Texas has previously won the Governor's Cup in 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2012.

Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2014

By Tiger Joyce
On Tuesday, in a federal courtroom in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan found plaintiffs’ lawyer Steven Donziger and his legal team had engaged in coercion, bribery, money laundering and other misconduct to obtain a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron in an Ecuadorean court. It was the second blockbuster decision of its kind in 15 months, and two comparable cases are under way in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina, too.

Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2014

A federal judge ruled that a record $9.5 billion environmental-damage award against Chevron Corp. CVX +0.03% was tainted by the misdeeds of a lawyer leading the lawsuit, giving the oil giant a boost in its battle against a global effort to seize its assets.

Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2014

There are plenty of candidates for that title, but after Tuesday the prize belongs to attorney Steven Donziger. Federal judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that the environmental activist had engaged in a massive racketeering scheme and declared that a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron CVX +0.06% in an Ecuadorian court cannot be enforced in the United States.

Institute for Legal Reform, March 4, 2014

Last month, a federal judge delivered an important ruling in a North Carolina bankruptcy court, finding that plaintiffs’ lawyers were manipulating and withholding evidence in asbestos cases.

Reuters, March 4, 2014

An American lawyer used "corrupt means" to secure a multi-billion-dollar pollution judgment against Chevron Corp in Ecuador, a U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday, a major setback for Ecuadorean villagers hoping to collect on the award.

Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2014

By Andrew N. Vollmer
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Halliburton HAL +0.90% v. Erica P. John Fund, a case that could dramatically decrease the number and size of class-action lawsuits that claim fraud by publicly traded companies. Such class actions are seen as either essential to compensating injured investors and deterring corporate misconduct—or mostly meritless distractions that drive securities offerings overseas and fail to compensate the injured or deter the misconduct.

Institute for Legal Reform, February 27, 2014

Frequent filers - professional plaintiff investors who file lawsuit after lawsuit - have been a long-standing phenomenon in shareholder litigation in both state and federal courts. Nearly twenty years ago, Congress attempted to remove professional plaintiffs from federal securities class actions by adopting the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) of 1995. Yet, this legislation fell short of achieving its goal of eliminating professional plaintiffs.

Forbes, February 24, 2014

By Charles Duan
The catchphrase of American justice is “having one’s day in court.” We pride ourselves in having a judicial system that lets the little guys stand up to big, powerful corporations and aggressors. When they wrongfully foreclose on our homes, or pollute our water with hexavalent chromium, or conceal the dangers of asbestos, the courts are here to protect us.

Baton Rouge Advocate, February 26, 2014

A Texas lawyer who is the target of a federal probe into whether he grossly inflated the number of clients he represented in the wake of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is due in federal court in New Orleans on Wednesday, as BP takes aim at the $2.3 billion deal it brokered to compensate the seafood industry for losses suffered by commercial fishing vessel owners, captains, fishermen and crew members.

Huffington Post, February 21, 2014

Abraham Lincoln was an accomplished trial lawyer. He also believed that litigation should only be used as a last resort: "Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this." Lincoln's view of the role of litigation prompts me to reflect on the new trend of outside investors funding lawsuits, discussed in an excellent op-ed by Gerald Skoning in today's Wall Street Journal.