Our court system shouldn’t have to deal with suits over [...]
One of the things that struck a chord with attendees of our recent legal reform conference was our discussion of class actions that are filed in the wake of government enforcement actions. Under these circumstances, companies end up taking a double hit - first from government regulators, and then from plaintiffs’ attorneys acting under the cloak of consumer protection. Hastily filed consumer class actions can compromise the government’s ability to effectively regulate, and often provide only marginal additional benefits to consumers, yet they are increasingly common. In just the past few days, news broke that two such cases have been filed in New Jersey shortly after high-profile government enforcement actions were announced.
When most people think consumer fraud protection they imagine government agents going out into the field to inspect businesses, write tickets, and shut down bad-actors. As reports from the state Attorney General’s office can attest, these things do happen, but they are just one part of the state’s enforcement mechanism. A wide variety of regulations are also enforced via lawsuits brought by private attorneys effectively deputized as government enforcement agents.
The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute has partnered with the United States Chamber of Commerce to file a friend of the court brief in a lawsuit that will answer this question. However, as you may have guessed, this lawsuit is about much more than flooring. This lawsuit could be the key to stopping out-of-control regulatory enforcement litigation under New Jersey’s Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act.
The judicial system was not designed with business regulation in mind. Nevertheless, over the past few years New Jersey businesses have faced an increasing number of regulatory-based lawsuits, many of them quite frivolous in nature. These lawsuits are not being brought by the government, but by private attorneys empowered to enforce obscure business regulations on the government’s behalf.
On Monday, December 8, the Senate Labor Committee held a [...]
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Currently everything from pharmaceutical products and medical devices to the [...]
New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act has been turned into an [...]