U.S. Chamber 's litigation center sets new SupCo record

By The West Virginia Record | Jun 27, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Chamber Litigation Center (NCLC), the legal arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ended the Supreme Court term with a record number of victories in cases critical to the business community.

"This year's record of 10 victories is an all-time high for our Supreme Court practice," said Robin Conrad, NCLC senior vice president. "We've been representing the business community before the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years, and this is our best year yet."

Among the most significant victories scored on behalf of the American business community were: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. v. Dabit, which reduced the kinds of securities class actions that can be litigated in state court; Anza, et al. v. Ideal Steel Supply Corp., which limited the scope of civil RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) litigation; and DaimlerChrysler v. Cuno, which struck down challenges to Ohio's ability to award investment tax credits to a company engaged in economic development.

NCLC also was successful in persuading the high court to accept review of four other important business cases, including Philip Morris v. Williams, the first punitive damages case to be heard by the court since it decided the landmark State Farm v. Campbell case in 2003.

"Limitations on excessive awards of punitive damages continue to be a big concern for the business community," Conrad stated. "The lower courts are badly in need of additional guidance to clarify when juries may impose punitive damages, and for how much."

The Philip Morris v. Williams case will be argued in the Supreme Court during the October 2006 term, which begins on the first Monday in October.

NCLC is a membership organization that advocates fair treatment of business in the courts and before regulatory agencies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

The Chamber is part owner of The West Virginia Record.

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