Saturday, October 20, 2012

U.S. Chamber of Commerce 13th Annual Legal Reform Summit

The conference will take place on October 24, 2012 in Washington, D.C., and includes panels on third-party litigation financing and global litigation (including the Chevron Ecuadoran litigation and the adoption of class actions in other countries).


October 20, 2012 in Aggregate Litigation Procedures, Class Actions, Conferences, Environmental Torts, Foreign, Procedure | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mass Tort Litigation Blog Facebook Page

Did you know our Mass Tort Litigation Blog also has a Mass Tort Litigation Facebook page that is regularly updated with links to posts from this blog?  If you prefer to receive Mass Tort Litigation Blog posts in your Facebook feed, feel free to "like" our Facebook page, and you'll get access to our blog posts soon after they appear here.


October 19, 2012 in Mass Tort Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Conference on Cost-Driven Litigation Paradigms -- When is a Case Too Big to Litigate?

ABA Litigation Section Conference on Current Issues on Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation

The conference will take place on November 16, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.  Here's the brochure.


October 19, 2012 in Conferences, Medical Devices - Misc., Pharmaceuticals - Misc. | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Kiobel and the Alien Tort Statute

Interesting article in the Harvard Law Bulletin on the Supreme Court argument in Kiobel and the Alien Tort Statute generally.


October 19, 2012 in Foreign, Procedure | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Class Action Sought For Alleged Victims Tortured by Chicago Police For Confessions

The ABA Journal has more on the case being brought by two legal clinics, including Northwestern's Roderick MacArthur Justice Center.


October 17, 2012 in Class Actions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Class Action Certified in Southern District of California

The PR news wire has more on the case being brought against Wyeth by plaintiffs' firms Beasley Allen, Gregory Holt & Associates, P.A., and Rushall McGeever.


October 17, 2012 in Class Actions, Pharmaceuticals - Misc. | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Stacey Lee on Federal Preemption of Generic-Drug Failure-to-Warn Claims

Professor Stacey Lee (Johns Hopkins, Carey School of Business) has posted to SSRN her article, Pliva v. Mensing: Generic Consumers' Unfortunate Hand, Yale J. Health Pol'y L. & Ethics (forthcoming 2012).  Here's the abstract:

The United States Supreme Court held in PLIVA v. Mensing that federal preemption immunizes generic drug manufacturers from liability for state law failure-to-warn claims. As a result, consumers harmed by a mislabeled generic drug will be unable to bring actions against generic manufacturers under state law. The Court confessed that the resulting federal drug-labeling scheme dealt consumers an “unfortunate hand.” By removing generic manufacturers’ duty to improve the adequacy of their products’ warning labels, the Supreme Court calls into question the safety of generic drugs.


October 17, 2012 in Mass Tort Scholarship, Pharmaceuticals - Misc., Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 15, 2012

NY Times Article on Chinese Drywall

On October 12, 2012, the New York Times reported on several decisions holding that Taishan Gypsum, the Chinese manufacturer of questionable drywall, was subject to personal jurisdiction in the United States.  Specifically, Judge Fallon in the federal MDL (located in Louisiana) and Judge Farina in the Miami Dade Circuit Court both ruled that Taishan Gypsum targeted the Florida market by "courting Florida companies, mailing drywall samples to Florida, [and] selling large amounts of drywall to Florida-based companies."

Even Congress has gotten involved and some members have introduced the Contaminated Drywall Safety Act that would insist the Chinese government force manufacturers to acquiesce to American jurisdiction.  So far, however, the bill has been passed only in the House.

The NY Times article is available here.


October 15, 2012 in Current Affairs, Environmental Torts, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Legal Crisis Management

Two years ago, I blogged about the need for greater scholarly attention to mass tort crisis management.  Since then, crisis-management practice groups at law firms have continued to burgeon.  Here's a sampling of crisis-management groups at large law firms: Baker Hostetler, Bingham, Cooley, Covington & Burling, Freshfields, Gibson Dunn, McCarter & English, McDermott Will & Emery, Patton Boggs, Pillsbury Winthrop, Skadden, and Steptoe & Johnson.

For media coverage of recent growth in crisis-management groups, see the following: 

(1) Ashby Jones, On Covington and the 'Crisis Management' BoomletWall Street Journal Law Blog (Jan. 6, 2011, 1:37 p.m.);

(2) Leigh Kamping-Carder, Savvy Firms Seek Business Through Crisis Management, Law360 (Feb. 19, 2010, 7:12 p.m.) (online registration required for article); and

(3) David Lat, A Look at Orrick's Crisis Management Practice, Above the Law (Oct. 8, 2009, 11:06 a.m.). 

While business schools have offered courses on crisis management and leadership, public-policy schools have offered courses on governmental crisis management, and communications schools have offered courses on crisis communications, law schools appear not to have provided curricular attention to legal crisis management. (The University of Texas School of Law has a course on crisis management, but it appears to track public-policy courses focusing on the government's role in a crisis.)  What might a law-school course on legal crisis management look like, focusing on the role of lawyers in preventing, managing, and resolving crises?  Here's a draft description I put together for such a course that I've been considering more fully developing:

Legal Crisis Management and the Media
Although crisis management has long been an important skill for lawyers, formal crisis management practices today proliferate among global law firms seeking to aid clients facing complex crises that span various countries, practice areas, and advocacy settings such as judicial, legislative, regulatory, or media inquiries.  This course will examine and integrate insights on legal crisis management from multiple disciplines, including not only law, but also management, leadership, communications, and public relations.  Within law, the course will draw upon ethics, counseling, negotiation, and alternative dispute resolution, and address lawyers' and clients' interaction with the media during a crisis, including global perspectives on the legal limits of media coverage.  In addition to developing conceptual approaches, the course will discuss case studies of legal crisis management implicating the law, culture, and media of multiple countries and areas, and consider lawyers' actual and potential contributions to successful resolution of the crises.   

October 14, 2012 in Ethics, Lawyers, Mass Disasters, Mass Tort Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Economist on Global Fake and Substandard Pharmaceuticals

The Economist discusses the growing global problem of fake and substandard pharmaceuticals in Fake pharmaceuticals: Bad medicine -- The world's drug supply is global.  Governments have failed to keep up.  Absent from The Economist's discussion of government regulators and industry self-policing is the role of private litigation.  Couldn't emerging global tort litigation also deter wrongdoers and be part of the solution?


October 13, 2012 in Foreign, Pharmaceuticals - Misc., Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Three Class-Action Cases to be Argued Before SCOTUS

Daniel Fisher at Forbes has an interesting article previewing three class-action cases being argued before the Supreme Court of the United States this fall: Class-Action Lawyers Face Triple Threat At Supreme Court.


October 12, 2012 in Aggregate Litigation Procedures, Class Actions, Procedure | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Possible BP Settlement with Federal Government Over Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill

Two Wall Street Journal articles in recent days have tracked recent settlements talks between BP and the federal government regarding civil and criminal liability in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf.  On Wednesday, the Journal reported, BP Close to Spill Settlement: Multibillion-Dollar Deal With U.S. Would Combine Civil, Criminal Liabilities.  But on Thursday, the Journal noted in Slick Complicates BP Liability Talks that a new thin oil slick determined to be related to the prior Deepwater Horizon spill has appeared. 


October 12, 2012 in Environmental Torts, Mass Disasters, Settlement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Compounding Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, and the Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

A Wall Street Journal article, Pharmacy in Outbreak Acted Like Drug Maker, by Mark Maremont, Jonathan D. Rockoff, and Timony W. Martin explores the history of the companies allegedly involved in the fungal meningitis outbreak.  The article notes that a class action has already been filed in federal court in St. Paul, Minnesota.


October 12, 2012 in Pharmaceuticals - Misc., Products Liability, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

7th Annual ABA Chemical Products and Toxic Torts Regional Seminar

The seminar will take place in downtown New York at St. John's University School of Risk Management, on October 29, 2012.  Here's the brochure.


October 10, 2012 in Asbestos, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Michael Downey on Ethical Issues Related to Incentive Payments for Class Representatives

As part of the ABA Sound Advice series, Michael Downey (Armstrong, Teasdale) addresses ethical issues related to incentive payments for class representatives.


October 10, 2012 in Class Actions, Ethics, Lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Christopher Robinette and American Law Institute

Congratulations to Torts Prof blogger Christopher Robinette (Widener) on being elected to the American Law Institute!  Having started together with him as Freedman fellows at Temple Law, I can also attest to his longstanding commitment to, and mastery of, tort law!  


October 10, 2012 in Lawyers, Mass Tort Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mark Behrens on Philadelphia Tort Litigation

Mark Behrens (Shook, Hardy) has published Philadelphia Tort Litigation: Forum Shopping and Venue Reform as a Federalist Society white paper.


October 7, 2012 in Aggregate Litigation Procedures, Mass Tort Scholarship, Procedure | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Skadden's Jeffrey S. Lichtman Joins O'Hare Parnagian

Jeffrey S. Lichtman, formerly a partner for nearly 30 years in the Mass Torts and Insurance Litigation group at Skadden Arps in New York, has joined O'Hare Parnagian LLP, which has offices in New York and Scarsdale.  Jeff has broad experience in both commercial and products liability litigation, and played significant roles in the defense of the silicone breast-implant litigation, as well as the PPA (phenylpropanolamine) litigation involving appetite suppressants and cough-and-cold mediations.  Along the way, he's been repeatedly selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America and New York Super Lawyers.  I had the good fortune to work with Jeff while I was at Skadden, and so am happy also to attest personally to his extraordinary drive and determination, and his creative intelligence in examining all angles of a case, to advance his client's interests.  Best wishes to Jeff on his new endeavor! 


October 6, 2012 in Lawyers, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Elizabeth Chamblee Burch and the American Law Institute

Congratulations to our own co-blogger Elizabeth Chamblee Burch on being elected to the American Law Institute!  Well deserved!


October 5, 2012 in Mass Tort Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)