The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York this week sent a letter to New York Senator Chuck Schumer and the New York Delegation to Congress cautioning lawmakers against passing the Antitrust Venue Enforcement Act.
Tom Stebbins, the Alliance’s executive director, says in the letter that the proposed legislation is a “politically motivated distortion of the judiciary” that “would jeopardize the integrity of our legal system.”
The full letter follows below:
Dear Leader Schumer and New York’s Congressional Delegation:
I write today to express my profound concerns with a piece of legislation moving through Congress that would jeopardize the integrity of our legal system, invite a thicket of competing court rulings, and further empower profit-driven private plaintiffs lawyers: The Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021.
Upholding the highest possible standard of the judicial process is imperative, and that is particularly true for antitrust cases. Centralizing these cases, as currently made possible by the multidistrict litigation (MDL) process, is indeed necessary to ensure an efficient and rigorous review of antitrust actions. As we’ve seen time and again, antitrust litigation often involves multiple states bringing action against companies that operate at a national level. A robust judicial infrastructure is required to adequately review such cases.
Should this legislation go into effect, we will see a host of consequences that imperil the efficiency and reliability of today’s current antitrust litigation framework. Perhaps most concerning is the potential for competing for pre-trial rulings. By allowing state Attorneys General to bring separate – yet identical – cases to courts across the country opens up the possibility of multiple states reaching differing conclusions based on the same facts. This troubling outcome is exactly what the legislation would invite.
Moreover, the legislation would incentivize private plaintiffs attorneys – who already see a significant financial benefit from multistate litigation – to capitalize on fractured multistate cases and take on needlessly duplicative legal work.
The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York wholeheartedly opposes any politically motivated distortion of the judiciary and asks that you consider the consequences to the rule of law if this bill is enacted.
Thank you for your consideration and measured leadership on critical issues that impact our civil justice system.
Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York