On February 10, 2017, U.S. Rep. and House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va), introduced a new version of his Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 (H.R. 985) (the "Act"). The Act, while bearing the same name as legislation introduced by Rep. Goodlatte in the last Congress, is more aggressive than its predecessor in its attempt to cut down on lawyer-driven suits, ensure that legitimate plaintiffs' interests are properly placed ahead of class counsel's interest in securing large fee awards, and diminish other abuses of the class action system. While the Act has yet to be voted on by the House of Representatives or the Senate, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bill on February 15, 2017 and there is growing support for the legislation from the United States Chamber of Commerce, among other organizations. If approved in its current form, the Act would implement the following major class action reforms:
We will keep an eye on further developments as the Act moves its way through Congress.