October 24, 2008
Obesity Pill Pulled in Europe
Trista Kelley from Bloomberg.com reports this morning that European regulators have pulled Sanofi-Aventis, SA's obesity pill, Acomplia, citing concerns about its side effects. The FDA refused to approve the drug for sale in the U.S. because of these side effects, which include suicide and psychiatric problems. Apparently Sanofi plans to reapply for FDA approval in 2009. The full story can be found here.
October 23, 2008
Arthur Miller to Join Milberg as Special Counsel
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has a post today that provides an update on the prosecutions of David Bershad and Steven Schulman. Milberg also announced yesterday that Arthur Miller would be joining the firm as special council. Here's an excerpt:
On Monday, former name partners David Bershad and Steven Schulman, the remaining key defendants in the case, are due to be sentenced.
Bershad pleaded guilty last year to a felony and faces up to 33 months in prison. But citing his cooperation, prosecutors Monday recommended that he serve three months in prison, followed by three months of community confinement.
Bershad, who has asked to serve no prison time, wrote this mea culpa to the judge. “I alone am to blame for those who have turned away from me,” he said, noting that his 30-year marriage was at an end and that his four children had suffered “from having to confront the hypocrisy of a father who acted contrary to the values he taught them.”
And here's a link to Milberg's announcement about Arthur Miller. Milberg, LLP is currently involved in several mass torts, including litigtion over Avandia and Zelnorm.
October 21, 2008
Andrew Morriss on Altria Group v. Good
Professor Andrew Morriss (U. Illinois; picture left) comments in a Federalist Society SCOTUScast on Altria Group v. Good, a preemption case that was recently argued in front of the United States Supreme Court.
October 20, 2008
Kenneth Feinberg to Speak at Cardozo Law
On Wednesday October 29 at 6:00 PM Cardozo Law School in New York City is hosting a public lecture by Kenneth Feinberg.
Kenneth R. Feinberg, Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 and Managing Partner and Founder of The Feinberg Group, LLP, speaks at the law school on Public Catastrophes, Government Inaction and Private Compensation: Resolving the Insurance Mess after Katrina.
More information here.
Interested in Food Poisoning?
Bill Marler, a leading plaintiff-side attorney specializing in food poisoning litigation has this fascinating blog providing commentary about his work and related subjects: http://www.marlerblog.com/
I saw him speak at the recent Class Actions/Mass Tort symposium put on by the Louisiana Bar Association. One of the most interesting things he said is that he often speaks to companies trying to prevent epidemics of food poisoning and to protect themselves against litigation - once he's able to get their attention that is. This is an aspect of the trial lawyer's role that I'd never thought of before: educating potential tortfeasors on how to avoid the tort. It underscores the lawyer and tort system's role in deterrence in addition to compensating victims.
The blog is worth checking out; I'll resist the obvious jokes. ADL
Louisiana State Bar Association Mass Tort Symposium
Last Friday (October 19) I spoke at the Louisiana State Bar Association 8th Annual Class Action/Mass Tort Symposium. There were many interesting local, out of state and nationally recognized lawyers from this very active mass tort bar and the presentations were very interesting.
One of the most interesting complaints was that of the panel on mediation strategies, who were very concerned about the infighting and fee disputes among lawyers in MDL cases and the effects of these disputes on the bar. While the fee issues in class actions have been the subject of significant scholarship, there is room for more work on these issues.