Top News

CHOICE Act aims to end taxpayer-funded bailouts; opponents argue it guts Dodd-Frank protections

Jessica Karmasek May 17, 2017, 5:11pm

U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, introduced the Financial CHOICE Act, or H.R. 10, in late April. The bill was advanced by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, which Hensarling chairs, earlier this month.

Bill to limit use of forced arbitration clauses reintroduced

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 22, 2017, 1:14pm

U.S. Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., along with U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., reintroduced the Arbitration Fairness Act March 7. The legislation, previously introduced in 2011 and 2015, would eliminate forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases.

Proposals aimed at splitting Ninth Circuit again introduced

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 21, 2017, 4:41pm

Various legislation has been introduced this Congress aimed at restructuring the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the largest of the nation’s 13 courts of appeals. The circuit’s judges contend a split would be harmful, while Democrats argue partisan politics is at the center of the push.

House Democrats argue DOL’s proposed delay of fiduciary rule could hurt savers

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 20, 2017, 2:01pm

The U.S. Department of Labor said earlier this month it would move forward -- under the direction of President Donald Trump -- with its efforts to delay the April 10 applicability date of the new “conflicts of interest” rule. The department said under its proposal the applicability date of the rule and related exemptions would be extended to June 9.

U.S. House votes to put teeth back in Rule 11 sanctions

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 10, 2017, 10:55am

The House, after an hour of general debate plus discussion on various amendments Friday morning, voted 230-188 in favor of the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017, or LARA.

House passes legal reform bills targeting class actions, asbestos trusts, fraudulent joinder

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 10, 2017, 9:25am

On Thursday, the House voted 220-201 for the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017, or H.R. 985. In a vote soon after, it also passed the Innocent Party Protection Act of 2017, or H.R. 725, 224-194.

UPDATE: U.S. House set to vote on legal reform bills Thursday, Friday

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 8, 2017, 1:03pm

The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency, or FACT, Act of 2017 and the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 have been merged. The legislation, along with the Innocent Party Protection Act of 2017 and the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017, will be voted on by the full House later this week, House officials confirmed.

House may also vote on bill targeting fraudulent joinder

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 7, 2017, 4:13pm

The Innocent Party Protection Act, or H.R. 725, would require federal courts to deny a motion to transfer a case to state court under certain circumstances.

Lawsuit abuse reduction bill, which puts teeth in Rule 11 sanctions, also may be up for House vote

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 7, 2017, 3:58pm

If passed, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017, or H.R. 720, would change Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to remove the 21-day “safe harbor” and to make sanctions mandatory instead of discretionary if a violation is discovered. This would reverse amendments previously made to Rule 11.

Class action fairness bill may, too, be up for House vote

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 7, 2017, 3:42pm

Among the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017’s reforms, it requires that classes consist of members with the same type and scope of injury. Also under the proposed legislation, uninjured or non-comparably injured parties can still join class actions, but must do so separately from parties that experienced more extensive injury.

Asbestos ‘double-dipping’ bill could get a vote this week

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 7, 2017, 3:30pm

The FACT Act, or H.R. 906, would increase transparency in the asbestos trust system, in which about 100 companies that were targeted frequently by asbestos lawsuits declared bankruptcy to establish trusts to compensate victims.

Sponsor of asbestos ‘double-dipping’ bill seems confident he has Trump’s support

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 2, 2017, 8:32am

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, says the president doesn’t have “a reason not to” support the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency, or FACT, Act.

U.S. House panel approves asbestos ‘double-dipping,’ litigation reform bills

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 24, 2017, 7:40am

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency, or FACT, Act of 2017 by a vote of 19-11. The committee also passed the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 by a vote of 19-12.

With Obama's veto threat gone, asbestos 'double-dipping' bill reintroduced

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 13, 2017, 1:54pm

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Republican who serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, submitted the GOP-backed Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017, or H.R. 906, last week.

House Republicans target 'slush funds' created by DOJ for 'liberal friends'

Jessica Karmasek Jan. 27, 2017, 9:56am

The House Judiciary Chairman submitted the Stop Settlements Slush Funds Act of 2017, or H.R. 522, last week. An identical bill passed the House in the last Congress by a vote of 241-174, but failed to move.

GOP lawmaker introduces federal legislation aimed at delaying DOL’s fiduciary rule

Jessica Karmasek Jan. 9, 2017, 11:33am

The legislation, introduced by U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina Friday, would provide for a two-year delay of the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule’s effective date. The rule mandates financial professionals who service individual retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k) plans, to serve the “best interest” of the savers and disclose conflicts of interest.

Members of Congress want safe harbor provision in CFPB’s final arbitration rule

Jessica Karmasek Sep. 20, 2016, 12:56pm

The federal lawmakers, in a letter sent to the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this month, urged the bureau to consider including a provision in the final rule that allows financial companies to retain class action waivers in their arbitration clauses. Under the CFPB’s current proposal, companies would be prohibited from putting mandatory arbitration clauses in new contracts.

CFPB receives thousands of comments on proposed arbitration rules

Jessica Karmasek Aug. 23, 2016, 11:14am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an independent agency of the federal government responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector, published its proposal in the Federal Register on May 24, with a 90-day comment period. All comments were due no later than Monday.

U.S. House falls short of votes needed to override Obama’s veto of fiduciary rule resolution

Jessica Karmasek Jun. 23, 2016, 12:30pm

The vote was taken about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, breaking up a sit-in protest by Democrats pushing for better gun-control measures.

U.S. House committee to hold hearing on CFPB’s proposed arbitration rules ‘soon’

Jessica Karmasek May 11, 2016, 3:57pm

The House Financial Services Committee has launched an investigation into the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed regulation of pre-dispute arbitration agreements, requesting various information from the bureau.