Consumer Activists Decry Bill to Limit Class-Action Lawsuits

The Wall Street Journal discusses the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 with CEI’s Center for Class Action Fairness’s founder Ted Frank.

Dozens of civil rights and consumer-protection groups have signed on to letters sent to the Judiciary Committee opposing the bill. A committee of federal judges also voiced opposition, arguing that a rule-making process already under way by the courts is more effective than changes being made by Congress.

Ted Frank, who runs an organization that challenges perceived class-action abuses, said the alarm by critics of the legislation is overblown. “Wolf has been cried so many times,” Mr. Frank said, pointing to six other instances since the mid-1990s when plaintiffs’ lawyers have said class actions would be killed because of new laws or U.S. Supreme Court decisions that added restrictions on how cases can be brought.

Pension funds and other institutional investors would be affected by the current bill, since they often form relationships with plaintiffs’ lawyers to pursue lawsuits when they perceive a company’s stock decline is the result of securities-law violations. Such relationships would be prohibited by a conflicts of interest provision in the draft law that restricts any plaintiff from working directly with the same law firm more than once.

Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal