Landmark filed a friend of the court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on November 12, 2021, to uphold the right to retain legal counsel in a civil case. Many businesses and nonprofits have director and officer liability insurance to provide coverage for their key personnel if they get sued.
A California law precluded insurance companies from defending lawsuits brought by state or local authorities under California’s False Advertising Law and Unfair Competition Law. Landmark argued that this insurance law unfairly burdens small business and nonprofits. Unlike big business, a small business or nonprofit has less money in the bank and is more likely to settle cases brought by the state. The state is able to drag defendants through lengthy and expensive litigation, so there is pressure on defendants to settle and not take the case to court. This threat of litigation deters many qualified people from serving as directors and officers. At the heart of this case is the right to retain counsel in civil cases. Unlike the right to counsel in criminal case, this area of the law is very poorly defined, so Landmark urged the Court to hear the case.
Landmark was joined in its brief by several conservative organizations: National Federation of Small Business Small Business Legal Center, Atlantic Legal Foundation, Young America’s Foundation, and Hispanic Leadership Fund. Landmark’s brief is here.
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