Mass Tort Machine Exposed by Trial Lawyer Playbook Report

Press Releases |

The Trial Lawyer Playbook report serves as a call to action, promoting transparency, accountability, and fairness in the legal system.

Amid Congressional discussions about third-party litigation financing and the influence of foreign investment on the U.S. legal system, the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) released a groundbreaking report today: “The Trial Lawyer Playbook.”

“Given the important recent conversations on Capitol Hill, this report sheds light on the complex triad sustaining mass tort litigation: third-party litigation financing (TPLF), the dissemination of questionable scientific theories, and aggressive trial lawyer advertising,” ATRA President Tiger Joyce said.

As the House Committee on Oversight and Reform carefully discussed last month, TPLF raises ethical concerns by involving hedge funds and private equity in plaintiffs’ law firms, potentially altering the litigation landscape.

ATRA also submitted a letter of testimony for last month’s hearing, underscoring the urgency of this report and the impact of the trial bar.

Further complicating third-party funding, foreign investment in TPLF introduces national security concerns, which has prompted a bipartisan legislative response.

Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have introduced the “Protecting Our Courts from Foreign Manipulation Act,”

The aggressive advertising campaigns by law firms and so-called “lead generators” are the second cog in the mass torts machine. These campaigns often are funded by TPLF and perpetuate fear in consumers while promoting litigation. Products like Roundup® and talcum powder are brought into the spotlight, while the ads lack strong scientific support for their claims. From 2017 to 2021, $6.8 billion was spent on legal services advertising.

The third pillar, misleading scientific testimony, jeopardizes our legal system’s integrity. Dubious experts with lax ethical standards present unverified scientific evidence in court, enabled by lenient evidentiary standards.

This report provides policymakers insights into the trial lawyer playbook’s labyrinth, featuring in-depth analysis, real litigation cases and future trends coming down the pike,” Joyce said. “Importantly, our report also outlines measures taken by states that have chosen to proactively address these concerns rather than continue down a treacherous path.”

Excessive tort costs result in an estimated annual loss of $472.88 billion in output and more than 4.46 million jobs annually. Some states pay annual “tort taxes” exceeding $2,000 per resident, notably in Judicial Hellholes® like California, New York, and Illinois.

“‘The Trial Lawyer Playbook’ report serves as a call to action, promoting transparency, accountability, and fairness in the legal system,” Joyce said.

Policymakers, legislators, and citizens alike can access this invaluable resource to better understand and address the challenges posed by mass tort litigation at   

Latest News

View all news