June 29, 2011
Welcome to Our Newest Editor: Sergio Campos
We are pleased to announce that Sergio Campos, Associate Professor at the University of Miami School of Law, will be joining our blog.
In addition to his stellar credentials (you can learn more about him on his faculty web page) Campos has written a very interesting paper called Mass Torts and Due Process and engaged our own Howard Erichson in a fruitful debate about Mass Torts in the Penn Law Review's online companion that we covered here. He teaches civil procedure and complex litigation and his research interests include civil procedure, race and the law and torts.
June 28, 2011
Supreme Court Rejects Tobacco Appeal
The Supreme Court yesterday rejected an appeal filed by Phillip Morris of a $270 million dollar judgment in a state court class action in Louisiana. Justice Scalia had issued an order last September blocking the verdict. .
As Lyle Dennison writes on Scotusblog, this is suprising given the Court's hints in the Wal-Mart decision. He explains:
After the Wal-Mart decision, the tobacco companies made a new plea to the Court to take up their case, since the Court had not resolved any constitutional questions in the retailer’s case. But, at the most, Court observers had speculated that, if the Court did not grant review, it at least would wipe out the Louisiana court’s verdict and order it to reconsider under Wal-Mart. An outright denial was not at all anticipated.
June 27, 2011
Supreme Court Issues Two Personal Jurisdiction Decisions - Both Products Liability Cases
The bottom line: no revolution in the doctrine of personal jurisdiction - its as messy as ever. I have really enjoyed reading the decisions, however, and am looking forward to teaching them. Goodyear is a particularly masterful opinion in terms of clear and concise writing.
McGovern on Punitive Damages Class Actions
I just ran across an article by Francis McGovern entitled "Punitive Damages and Class Actions" 70 Louisiana L. Rev. 435 (2010). Here is a flavor of the piece from the introduction:
Notwithstanding the chilly reception that punitive damages class actions have received from appellate courts, there are several approaches at the micro and macro levels of analysis suggesting that “hope” is still persistent. By disaggregating the United States Supreme Court punitive damages jurisprudence, it is possible to identify a limited number of factual scenarios where a class action for punitive damages could be successful. These micro-level observations can constitute a road map for navigating the current seemingly insurmountable barriers that have severely limited the use of class actions in punitive damages claims. At the macro level, there are two observations that could lead to a revision of punitive damages class actions: the seemingly undaunted, pragmatic desire on the part of trial judges to resolve similar cases collectively, and the powerful support for an economic vision of punitive damages that leads inevitably to a global, rather than individual, procedural approach.