March 10, 2017 - Litigation

House Passes Bill Proposing Sweeping Changes to Class Action Litigation

The House of Representatives has passed legislation – called The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 (the “Act” or “H.R. 985”) to fundamentally change all stages of class action litigation.

For example, the provisions require stricter “typicality” requirements for class members, the disclosure of conflicts of interest between class counsel and named plaintiffs, an administratively feasible way to identify class members, capping distribution fees to class counsel, staying discovery pending motion practice, and automatic appeals of class certification rulings.

Additionally, the bill would change the multidistrict litigation (MDL) procedure, including a requirement for the plaintiff in personal injury claims to submit evidence of the harm and causation within 45 days of filing or transfer.

H.R. 985 is part of a larger effort to pass litigation reform through Congress in the era of President Trump.

We expect passage of the key provisions of the Act in the Senate to be contentious and will continue to track the Act through the legislative process while updating this client alert with any developments.

Read the full Client Alert.