ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 43

WASHINGTON LANDSCAPE

Tort Reform Possible During
Trump Administration
By Daniel Bryant

B

usiness owners have long
lamented the ease with which
private plaintiffs - individually or as a class - can bring a cause
of action against their companies in
the U.S. Regardless of their success or
failure, these lawsuits increase companies' operating costs. For years, business
owners and their trade associations have
tried to convince Congress to pass "tort
reform" - the comprehensive overhaul
of laws and litigation rules and procedures1 - to address these issues.
The prospects for tort reform under
the Obama administration were slim
to nonexistent; however, business
leaders are hoping the issue is revived
and pushed by the Trump administration. President Donald Trump did ask
lawmakers to act on tort reform during
his Feb. 28 address to a joint session of
Congress. However, it is unclear how
quickly tort reform measures will move
through the Senate and House of Representatives, because of other high-priority
issues such as tax reform, health care
reform and an infrastructure package.
While the speed (or lack thereof )
with which the issue is addressed by
Congress is an unknown variable,
Republicans in the House have introduced the following tort reform bills:
* The "Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act" (H.R.
469): Alters the "sue-and-settle"
process often used by consumer and advocacy groups with
agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It
would expressly require federal
agencies to publish a proposed
settlement or consent decree in
the Federal Register and provide

for a public notice and comment
before any final agreement.
* The "Stop Settlement Slush
Funds Act" (H.R. 732): Prevents
the Department of Justice (DOJ)
from distributing settlement
funds to specific favored groups.
As part of some settlements, DOJ
and the settling party agree that
a company will "donate" money
to third-party groups. This bill
would require that those funds be
returned to the U.S. Treasury.
* The "Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act"
(H.R. 720): Amends the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 11
on sanctions to require that judges
impose a sanction or penalty on
an attorney and/or law firm that
submits documents to a court for an
improper purpose or that contains
frivolous or baseless arguments.
* The "Innocent Party Protection
Act" (H.R. 725): Amends the procedure known as "fraudulent joinder," where improper defendants
are added to a lawsuit to keep the
matter in a particular court.
* The "Fairness in Class Action
Litigation Act" (H.R. 985):
Overhauls the class certification
process and the overall procedure
for class-action litigation, requiring that a federal court not certify
a class unless each proposed class
member suffered precisely the
same type and scope of injury as
the class representative and requiring disclosure of any potential
conflicts of interest.
Many industry groups here in
Washington, D.C., are hopeful that

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
will move these bills through the
House. However, their fate in the Senate is less certain - 60 votes will be
necessary to overcome a filibuster on
the Senate floor, and the trial lawyers
and advocacy groups will try to keep
many Democrats from supporting tort
reform legislation.
Those who oppose tort reform
generally (outside of the health care
debate) argue that it changes the
justice system without fixing anything,
and that it prevents injured people
from having "their day in court" and
receiving appropriate compensation
for their injuries.
Tort reform will remain a hot-button
issue as Congress considers the repeal
and replacement of the Affordable Care
Act (ACA). Supporters of tort reform in
the context of replacing the ACA argue
that it will help cut down on frivolous
lawsuits and will reduce medical costs,
while opponents say it protects manufacturers, physicians and others often
included in personal injury lawsuits.
The tort reform issue is complex,
but the chances of legislation passing
Congress and being signed by Trump
are better than they have been since
the Republicans last had unified government during the George W. Bush
administration.
1. There are several aspects to tort reform,
including class-action certifications, contingency fees, appeal bonds, product liability and
punitive damages, among others.

Bryant serves as regulatory
counsel to ILMA through
Bassman, Mitchell, Alfano &
Leiter Chtd. He may be
reached at 202-386-7670 or dbryant@bmalaw.net.

43



ILMA Compoundings May 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ILMA Compoundings May 2017

Letter from the CEO
Inside ILMA
What's Coming Up
Industry Rundown
Trump Military Budget = Heightened Lube Demand
Trade Agreement Opens Doors for Lube Exporters
All in the Family
Business Hub
Counsel Compound
Washington Landscape
In Network
Portrait
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Cover1
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Cover2
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 1
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 2
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Letter from the CEO
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Inside ILMA
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 5
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - What's Coming Up
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 7
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Industry Rundown
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 9
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 10
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 11
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 12
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 13
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 14
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 15
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 16
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 17
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Trump Military Budget = Heightened Lube Demand
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 19
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 20
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 21
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Trade Agreement Opens Doors for Lube Exporters
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 23
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 24
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 25
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 26
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 27
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 28
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 29
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - All in the Family
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 31
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 32
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 33
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 34
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 35
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Business Hub
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 37
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 38
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 39
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Counsel Compound
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 41
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 42
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Washington Landscape
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 44
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 45
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - In Network
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 47
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 48
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 49
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 50
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - 51
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Portrait
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Cover3
ILMA Compoundings May 2017 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G127535ILMA_vol71_no7
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G126213ILMA_vol71_no6
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G125546_ILMA_vol71_no5
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G124996_ILMA_vol71_no4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G123886_ILMA_vol71_no3
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G123315_ILMA_vol71_no2
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G122980_ILMA_vol71_no1
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G121540_ILMA_vol70_no11
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G120882_ILMA_vol70_no10
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G120035_ILMA_vol70_no9
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G121XXX_ILMA_vol70_no8
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G120XXX_ILMA_vol70_no7
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G119XXX_ILMA_vol70_no6
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G118112_ILMA_vol70_no5
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G117382_ILMA_vol70_no4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G116888_ILMA_vol70_no3
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G115555_ILMA_vol70_no2
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G114774_ILMA_vol70_no1
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g110500_ILMA_vol69_no12
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g110500_ILMA_vol69_no11
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g110500_ILMA_vol69_no10
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g109884_ILMA_vol69_no9
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g109284_ILMA_vol69_no8
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g108494_ILMA_vol69_no7
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g107507_ILMA_vol69_no6
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g106483_ILMA_vol69_no5
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g105803_ILMA_vol69_no4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g104743_ILMA_vol69_no3
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g103647_ILMA_vol69_no2
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g102869_ILMA_vol69_no1
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g101930_ILMA_vol68_no12
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g100836_ILMA_vol68_no11
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g99200_ILMA_vol68_no10
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g98468_ILMA_vol68_no9
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/g97711_ILMA_vol68_no8
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G96767ILMA_vol68_no7
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G95397ILMA_vol65_no6
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G94323ILMA_vol68_no5
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G93127_ILMA_vol69_no4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G91785_ILMA_vol68_no3
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G90956_ILMA_vol68_no2
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G89146_ILMA_vol68_no1
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G87981_ILMA_vol67_no12
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G85409_ILMA_vol67_no11
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G83595_ILMA_vol67_no10
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G81672_ILMA_vol67_no9
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G80238_ILMA_vol7_no8
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G79388_ILMA_vol7_no7
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G78361_ILMA_vol7_no6
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G77448_ILMA_vol7_no5
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G75899_ILMA_vol67_no4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G75036_ILMA_vol67_no3
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G72720_ILMA_vol67_no2
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G72220_ILMA_vol67_no1
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G70970_ILMA_vol66_no12
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G69813_ILMA_vol66_no11
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G67522_ILMA_vol66_no10
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G66343_ILMA_vol66_no9
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ILMA/G64859_ILMA_vol66_no8
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com