This Month's Articles

Montana lawyer Robert M. Carlson is ABA president-elect nominee

Montana lawyer Robert M. Carlson, nominated Feb. 5 as president-elect to become ABA president in August 2018, emphasized in his speech to the association’s House of Delegates that the ABA is more important than ever. Carlson, who practices law in a small firm, said that the ABA has a proven track record of making a difference for practicing lawyers in their everyday work as well as advocating for access to justice, criminal justice reform and independence of the judiciary.

Class action reform bill clears House Judiciary Committee

The House Judiciary Committee approved class action reform legislation Feb. 15 by an 18-11 party-line vote without holding a hearing to examine the myriad provisions and complex considerations involved in changing the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The ABA, in a Feb. 14 letter to the committee, had urged the committee to delay markup to hold a hearing on the bill, H.R. 985, which is more comprehensive than class action reform legislation that passed the House during the last Congress.

House Judiciary Committee approves Rule 11 legislation

The ABA reiterated its opposition this month to H.R. 720, a bill that would amend Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to require monetary sanctions against lawyers who file non-meritorious lawsuits. Despite the ABA’s stand against the legislation and opposition from the Judicial Conference of the United States, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bill, known as the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, by a 17-6 vote along party lines on Feb. 2.

President Trump drafting new immigration executive order

After the federal courts blocked the president’s Jan. 27 executive order to temporarily suspend entry of “all immigrants and non-immigrants” from seven majority-Muslim countries, the Trump administration has been drafting a new executive order that was expected to be released shortly. The original executive order, EO 13769, is one of three orders related to immigration regarding border security, immigration enforcement, and visa and refugee programs.

Washington News Briefs

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The ABA Washington Letter is a monthly publication produced by the Governmental Affairs Office to report and analyze congressional and executive branch action on legislative issues of interest to the ABA and the legal profession. The newsletter highlights ABA involvement in the federal legislative process and focuses on the association's legislative and governmental priorities and other issues on which the ABA has policy.

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