U.S. House of Representatives
45 Independence Ave SE
Washington, DC - 20515
U.S. House of Representatives News
LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – Bipartisan legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in December with an eye toward undoing the unintended consequences of the Obama-era Operation Choke Point program may not quickly come up in the Senate, says a financial services attorney who still believes it stands a "decent" chance to become law.
On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would prohibit government officials, most notably the DOJ, from entering into or enforcing a settlement agreement on behalf of the United States that provides for a payment or a loan to any person or entity other than the United States, with some exceptions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.