DC plaintiff’s bar expecting big changes under Trump administration

Like many other industries, the plaintiff’s bar is not sure what to expect under President-elect Donald Trump’s leadership considering his experience as both a plaintiff and defendant in more than 4,000 cases.

Richard S. Levick, chairman & CEO of LEVICK, has represented countries and companies in high-stakes global crises, public affairs matters and litigation for almost two decades. He said leaders inside the plaintiff’s bar are feeling pressure to stay relevant and are worried about forthcoming regulations under the Trump administration.

The legal industry represents a major piece of the greater Washington economy. The plaintiff’s bar — the group of lawyers who represent plaintiffs mostly in civil suits — makes up a large portion of that industry.

Levick compares the plaintiff’s bar to the challenges that unions are expecting to face under a Trump administration and a changing economy. These lawyers will need to find a message and mission that benefits the public good versus allowing opponents to focus on the profits they earn, he said.

Challenges he expects to arise in the coming years for the plaintiff’s bar includes whistle blower protections, limits on damage caps, anti-trust laws and class action lawsuits. Levick also says the Trump cabinet will likely make it harder to prove securities fraud.

In years past, the plaintiff’s bar has served as a “defacto branch of government” as these cases have served as a check on government and industrial powers. If the Trump administration makes it harder to bring these cases to court, it will limit the ability for citizens to hold corporations and government agencies accountable.

While there is concern inside the plaintiff’s bar over the future of legal regulations and policies, many questions still remain for the Trump administration. There is hope that Trump’s legal experiences as both a defendant and a plaintiff might offer an objective view, Levick said.

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