TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More on Williams

The Tortellini (which is, by the way, a new daily read for me) has a post on the Williams argument, concluding that the plaintiffs seem to end up in a better place, with the argument focusing on the propriety of the jury considering conduct related to people other than the plaintiff in suit.

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She seems to have read a different transcript than I did, and completely failed to understand Frey's point about being credited for cases they win in the punitive damages metric, simply dismissing it as whining. (To recap: plaintiffs argue that, if Williams's damages are high, Philip Morris can use that fact to argue for lower punitive damages in a future case. Frey correctly points out that this is a one-way ratchet that allows whichever jury awards the most damages to veto the decisions of all other juries.) It's ATLA that's going to be disappointed: at the end of the day, State Farm remains good law, there's one more precedent for it, and the Oregon Supreme Court gets told that they screwed it up twice in a row, and that they should do better the third time. What impressed me most was Scalia's skeptical questioning of Peck, given Scalia's blistering dissents in Gore and State Farm.

Posted by: Ted | Oct 31, 2006 2:28:42 PM

Ted: I didn't read the transcript. I was there a the arguments and wrote my post before the transcript was published. And sitting in the audience and listening to Frey, I can confirm that he did indeed sound like he was whining, regardless of the merits of his argument. It wasn't a stellar performance on his part.

Posted by: Stephanie | Nov 1, 2006 8:36:09 AM

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