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Posts Tagged ‘Class Action Legislation’

A recent CAB post entitled Mexico Joins the Class Action Club provided an update from Mexican attorney Jorge de Hoyos Walther on the passage of recent legislation in Mexico introducing class actions.  If that post piqued your interest, check out this new article authored by Catherine Dunn for Corporate Counsel magazine (available at Law.com) entitled Mexico’s New Class Action Law Opens a Litigation Frontier.  Dunn’s article highlights the key provisions of Mexico’s new class action law and compares and contrasts it both with U.S. class action procedure and the procedures available in other Latin American countries.

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A few weeks ago, I commented on legislation proposed in Korea that would allow people harmed by public protests to bring class action lawsuits against the protesters.  On Friday, progressive Korean newspaper The Hankyoreh published an editorial criticising the proposal as anti-democratic effort to squelch peaceful dissent.  The editorial discusses the use of class actions in the United States as a means of redress for those who individually would lack the power to take on powerful government and corporate interests and points out the irony in the proposed legislation, which it says is merely a tool by the powers-that-be to further weaken the ability of individuals to challenge their power, stating:

Any system of class action lawsuits designed to limit the ability of the weak in society to claim their rights is out of step with the original intent behind allowing class action lawsuits in the first place.

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Two news sources reported today on a forum sponsored by the Manhattan Institute to discuss a research paper releaseed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Legal Reform (ILR).  See the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch section and an American Lawyer article by Brian Baxter posted on Law.com.  The report and press release is available for viewing at the IRL website: www.InstituteforLegalReform.com

Among numerous other statistics provided in the report, the report states that securities class action filings increased by 58% in 2007 over 2006 and that $51.8 billion was paid out in securities class action settlements over the last decade.  The report also states that the average dollar amount per settlement increased by 43%, not taking into account “billion dollar plus settlements,” and contends that “[b]etween 1995 and 2005, securities class action litigation caused the destruction of nearly $25 billion of shareholder wealth.”  The report offers various proposals for securities class action reform, including the adoption of the “Securities Litigation Attorney Accountability and Transparency Act,” (S.3033, H.R. 5463), or SLAATA, a bill being championed by Texas Senator John Cornyn.  (See this previous ClassActionBlawg.com entry).

The ILR has an unapologetically pro-business slant, but whether you agree or disagree with the organization’s views, the statistics provided and issues raised in the report are important ones to consider in the ongoing debate over securities and other class action reform.

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