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U.S. House of Representatives News

With bipartisan support, bill to undo Obama-era 'Operation Choke Point' awaits action in Senate

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.

'A Smoking Gun': Internal docs reveal Obama DOJ's slush fund, Judiciary chair says

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.

Missouri Congresswoman’s bill would kill DOL’s fiduciary rule, create best interest standard for broker-dealers

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, a Republican, introduced The Protecting Advice for Small Savers, or PASS, Act of 2017 last week.

Funding litigation a billion-dollar business

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - It is now estimated to be a billion-dollar business and growing, as third-party funders and investors are becoming more embedded in the litigation game.

House Republicans vote to repeal CFPB rule that was called gift for class action lawyers

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Two weeks after a federal consumer protection agency took steps to finalize a controversial rule regarding class action lawsuits, the U.S. House of Representatives has disapproved by acting to kill it.

Phoney Lawsuits: House subcommittee holds hearing on TCPA 'lawsuit abuse'

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - As courts are asked to provide guidance on the future of a federal telemarketing law that was written before the cell phone era, a House subcommittee is hearing suggestions on how to modernize it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.