Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) announced a merger with the Center for Class Action Fairness (CCAF), a public interest law firm. CEI and CCAF are nonprofit organizations that share the goal of promoting free markets and challenging overregulation. The merger combines both organizations’ proven track records to create a unique legal program dedicated to protecting the rule of law and supporting economic freedom, prosperity, and innovation.
The merger, effective today, was approved by the Boards of Directors of both nonprofits, and the combined organization will continue to be named the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Founded in 1984, CEI has grown into an effective advocate for freedom on a wide range of policy issues including energy and environment, business and finance, technology, telecommunications, and food and drug regulation.
CEI President Lawson Bader said:
“CEI was a pioneer in using litigation to challenge regulatory barriers and inject transparency into the regulatory process. The addition of CCAF builds on that rich history, expands our in-house legal expertise, and positions CEI as an effective opponent of the growing regulatory state and the threat it poses to entrepreneurship and economic liberty.”
Ted Frank founded CCAF in 2009 to challenge the incentives for abusive class action litigation. Frank will continue to lead the CCAF team and its pro bono advocacy against unfair class action procedures and settlements. When plaintiff classes receive tiny sums or discount coupons, while their attorneys reap multi-million dollar windfalls, CCAF intervenes to fight for fairness and against such exploitation.
“CEI has long fought cronyism, rent-seeking, and other abuses of government power. CCAF has won tens of millions of dollars for consumers and shareholders in fighting class action abuse. This work fits right in with CEI’s mission. The merger will give CCAF the freedom to take on many cases we couldn’t have litigated otherwise, and we look forward to our renewed focus.”
Under the supervision of General Counsel Sam Kazman, CEI’s litigation program has a long history of success, including establishing major new precedents for combating regulations that restrict consumer choice, stifle innovation, and limit competition. From its constitutional challenges to Sarbanes-Oxley and the Big Tobacco Deal to challenging the lethal effects of federal fuel economy standards, CEI continues to develop new approaches to fight overregulation.
“Overregulation has been growing exponentially in recent years, and one of the major factors in that growth is the rise in class-action lawsuits. Many class actions produce little or no benefit for consumers and shareholders, but generate tremendous payoffs for the trial attorneys who file them, often through sweetheart deals with the corporations being sued. CEI’s merger with CCAF creates a major new opportunity to challenge this trend.”