Friday, May 18, 2007
We reported here about the ILR's ranking of each state's "lawsuit climate." A new report from a group called Justice at Stake may help explain why a particular state's "lawsuit climate" is the way it is. The report documents "the spread of special interest pressure" on judicial elections. NPR's Nina Totenberg writes this story and says that "business interests spend twice as much money on state high-court elections as all other groups combined, including lawyers." Here are the other key findings of the report and Sandra Day O'Connor's take on the trend.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Earlier this month, the Southern District of New York refused to abstain from its involvement in a patent dispute that has stretched nearly half a decade and half the globe. The original plaintiff sued in New York. About two years later that plaintiff filed a related suit in Israel regarding the same invention. More recently, one of the defendants filed a declaratory-judgment action in Israel, consolidated the Israeli cases, and asked the federal court to stay its hand. In balancing its "heavy obligation to exercise jurisdiction" with the need for "wise judicial administration," the court considered three factors: international comity, judicial efficiency, and fairness. Although several factors favored abstention, the court concluded that the disparity in issues among the pending suits as well as the first-filed ruled weighed too heavily against granting the stay. Aerotel v. IDT, 20067 WL 1334547 (S.D.N.Y. May 4, 2007). --RR
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Prof. Shapiro recently published an article titled Applying the Jurisdictional Provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: In Search of a Sensible Judicial Approach, 59 Baylor L. Rev. 77. The article discusses the "procedural issues involved in making the
determination of whether a class action should be remanded to state
court or remain in federal court" and argues that "to
accomplish Congress's stated goal of allocating cases of an interstate
nature to federal courts and truly local cases to state courts, the
federal courts must not impose unreasonable or impossible standards of
proof for plaintiffs to meet." --RR
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
In the last 10 days, a couple of opinions have come down that might warrant your attention.
The 11th Cir., in Grupo Televisa v. Telemundo Comm., discusses the Restatement's "most significant relationship test" and finds that the trial court erred by applying Mexican law rather than Florida law to a tortious interference suit between Mexican and U.S. telenovela producers.
The 7th Cir., in In re Factor VIII or IX Concentrate Blood Products Litigation, affirmed the trial court's forum non conveniens dismissal of the claims of a group of plaintiffs from the United Kingdom against a group of major drug companies. The UK plaintiffs alleged that blood transfusions infected them with HIV/AIDS and that the drug companies had failed to properly screen the blood used in the transfusions and had recruited blood donors with a high risk of HIV/AIDS infection.