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August 23rd, 2016

Iced Drinks Lawsuit against Starbucks Emphatically Dismissed by California Federal Judge

A federal judge last Friday emphatically dismissed a preposterous would-be class action that alleged Starbucks deceived customers by underfilling its iced beverages with liquid and overfilling them with ice . . . → Read More: Iced Drinks Lawsuit against Starbucks Emphatically Dismissed by California Federal Judge

August 16th, 2016

Pa. Attorney General Kane Found Guilty of Perjury

On Monday, August 15, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, was convicted on nine criminal charges, including felony perjury and felony criminal conspiracy . . . → Read More: Pa. Attorney General Kane Found Guilty of Perjury

August 11th, 2016

Could ‘Posner Principle’ Doom Preposterous, ‘No-Injury’ Class Actions?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit yesterday endorsed the Delaware Court of Chancery’s January ruling that so-called “disclosure-only” settlements in shareholder class actions need to reveal a “plainly material misrepresentation or omission,” and reversed a district court’s approval of a disclosure-only settlement between Walgreen Co. and investors . . . → Read More: Could ‘Posner Principle’ Doom Preposterous, ‘No-Injury’ Class Actions?

July 19th, 2016

Federal Courts in Two Top Hellholes Issue Refreshingly Reasonable Class-Action Decisions

Federal courts in both California and New York — two perennial Judicial Hellholes — issued refreshingly reasonable decisions in two closely-watched cases last week . . . → Read More: Federal Courts in Two Top Hellholes Issue Refreshingly Reasonable Class-Action Decisions

July 19th, 2016

After Criticism of ‘MDL’ Abuse, Federal Panel Last Year Denied More Consolidation Requests than It Grants

After ATRA and others criticized abuse of multidistrict litigation, the federal panel overseeing such litigation denied more requests for MDL consolidation than it granted last year — the first time that’s happened in a decade . . . → Read More: After Criticism of ‘MDL’ Abuse, Federal Panel Last Year Denied More Consolidation Requests than It Grants

July 15th, 2016

New Jersey’s High Court Makes ‘Take-Home’ Liability Virtually Limitless with ‘Case-by-Case’ Decision

In answering a certified question of law posed to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit as that federal court considers a case of “take-home” liability, New Jersey’s high court last week effectively ignored its own 2006 precedent to expand such liability into an open-ended guessing game that defendants are bound to lose . . . → Read More: New Jersey’s High Court Makes ‘Take-Home’ Liability Virtually Limitless with ‘Case-by-Case’ Decision

July 7th, 2016

Georgia’s High Court Rules Reasonably on Asbestos Liability

In contrast to two recent high court decisions in the currently ranked top two Judicial Hellholes, the Georgia Supreme Court this week reasonably limited asbestos liability by reversing a $4 million plaintiff’s verdict and rejecting “expert” testimony that espoused the long-disfavored “any exposure/cumulative exposure” theory.

Georgia’s high court held: “The critical opinion conveyed by Dr. Abraham in his testimony — that any exposure to asbestos at the Waycross facility was a cause of [the plaintiff’s] mesothelioma, regardless of the extent of the exposure — does not ‘fit’ the legal standard for causation, and for that reason, the admission of his testimony . . . amounted to an abuse of discretion.”

The Peach State ruling comes as . . . → Read More: Georgia’s High Court Rules Reasonably on Asbestos Liability

June 30th, 2016

Two Terrible Asbestos Decisions by New York’s High Court Uphold NYCAL’s ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Reputation

As expected, New York’s highest court Tuesday upheld two plaintiff-favoring trial court decisions from the New York City Asbestos Litigation court, better known as NYCAL, assuring that the jurisdiction will again be ranked among Judicial Hellholes when ATRA issues its annual report this coming December . . . → Read More: Two Terrible Asbestos Decisions by New York’s High Court Uphold NYCAL’s ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Reputation

June 29th, 2016

Thanks to Governor Nixon’s Vetoes, Missouri Remains the ‘Show Me Your Lawsuits State’

Tiger Joyce-high-res

Owned and operated by personal injury lawyers, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon yesterday vetoed two bipartisan tort reform bills that could have helped make civil litigation a little more fair in his notorious Judicial Hellhole . . . → Read More: Thanks to Governor Nixon’s Vetoes, Missouri Remains the ‘Show Me Your Lawsuits State’

June 2nd, 2016

Florida’s Strengthened ‘Expert Testimony’ Standard Working, But Still under Threat by State’s High Court

Joining several state trial and appellate courts in doing so, a unanimous Florida appeals court yesterday embraced a more exacting standard for expert testimony which, believe it or not, may yet be struck down by the Sunshine State’s notoriously plaintiff-friendly Supreme Court . . . → Read More: Florida’s Strengthened ‘Expert Testimony’ Standard Working, But Still under Threat by State’s High Court

June 1st, 2016

Florida Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Steals from Clients, Gets Disbarred Goes to Jail, and . . . Blames Others

Previously disbarred Miami plaintiffs’ attorney Guy Bailey is off to prison for 25 months after failing to pay, as a condition of probation, restitution to clients from whom he’d stolen some $700,000 . . . → Read More: Florida Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Steals from Clients, Gets Disbarred Goes to Jail, and . . . Blames Others

May 23rd, 2016

‘Gateway to the West’ Becomes the ‘Gateway to the Courts’ for Dubious Science and High Damage Awards

St. Louis juries have twice levied hefty multi-million dollar damage awards against Johnson & Johnson since February on behalf of out of state ovarian cancer victims. Questions remain as to whether the scientific evidence supported such large verdicts. Johnson & Johnson is appealing both verdicts. . . . → Read More: ‘Gateway to the West’ Becomes the ‘Gateway to the Courts’ for Dubious Science and High Damage Awards

May 11th, 2016

California Enacts Law to Protect Small Businesses from Predatory ADA Lawsuits

California, the nation’s #1 Judicial Hellhole, has taken a dutiful step forward to remedy the ADA lawsuit epidemic in the state. Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation which will curb the predatory filing of ADA lawsuits by serial plaintiffs, and reduce the burden on small businesses in the state. . . . → Read More: California Enacts Law to Protect Small Businesses from Predatory ADA Lawsuits

May 11th, 2016

Florida’s Plaintiff-Favoring High Court Strikes down Another Thoughtful Legislative Reform

The Florida Supreme Court’s plaintiff-friendly 5-2 majority has once again shown its willingness to substitute its own public policy views for those of the legislature with a late-April decision invalidating a statutory schedule for lawyers’ fees in workers’ compensation cases . . . → Read More: Florida’s Plaintiff-Favoring High Court Strikes down Another Thoughtful Legislative Reform

May 6th, 2016

Oregon High Court Upholds Statutory Damages Limit in Suits Naming State, State Employees as Defendants

Earlier this month, the Oregon Supreme Court voted 5-2 to uphold a $3 million statutory limit on tort awards in lawsuits against the state or its employees. The Court’s well-reasoned opinion overrules prior bad precedent which was not grounded in history or a proper reading of the law. . . . → Read More: Oregon High Court Upholds Statutory Damages Limit in Suits Naming State, State Employees as Defendants

May 3rd, 2016

ATRA Calls Silver’s Sentence ‘Worthy of His Crimes’

The American Tort Reform Association today called the sentencing of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon SilverShel Done “substantial and worthy of his crimes, and perhaps will help deter widespread corruption in Albany and the ‘double-dipping’ fraud that asbestos plaintiffs’ lawyers regularly perpetrate in the NYCAL” . . . → Read More: ATRA Calls Silver’s Sentence ‘Worthy of His Crimes’

May 3rd, 2016

Not Surprisingly, New Study Shows Trial Lawyers Benefit Most from ‘Empty Suit’ Class Actions

To no one’s surprise, a new study shows that, on average, personal injury lawyers who concoct and gin up what ATRA calls “empty suit” litigation walk off with nearly 40% of the money from settlements and verdicts while their clients typically get less than 9%, with the rest going to other lawyers and unrelated groups . . . → Read More: Not Surprisingly, New Study Shows Trial Lawyers Benefit Most from ‘Empty Suit’ Class Actions

April 27th, 2016

Don’t Believe the Liars Who Say Asbestos Trust Fund Transparency Laws Will Hurt Sickened Claimants

A new paper by two Philadelphia defense attorneys with extensive experience in asbestos litigation thoroughly debunks six lies regularly told by plaintiffs’ lawyers and the politicians they support with respect to state and federal legislation aimed at reducing fraud on both our courts and the asbestos bankruptcy trust funds . . . → Read More: Don’t Believe the Liars Who Say Asbestos Trust Fund Transparency Laws Will Hurt Sickened Claimants

April 27th, 2016

Evidentiary Rulings Favor Plaintiffs, Lead to Half-Billion Dollar Verdict against J&J in MDL Bellwether

Plaintiff-favoring and highly prejudicial evidentiary rulings by a federal judge in Texas led last week to a nearly half-billion dollar jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics in the second bellwether case in multidistrict litigation over allegedly defective hip prosthetics . . . → Read More: Evidentiary Rulings Favor Plaintiffs, Lead to Half-Billion Dollar Verdict against J&J in MDL Bellwether

April 22nd, 2016

Federal Judge Thwarts California AG’s Efforts to Intimidate, Muzzle Speech of Free-Market Nonprofit

In the latest defeat for government officials using the awesome power of the state to suppress political speech with which they disagree, a federal judge yesterday permanently blocked California Attorney General Kamala Harris’s efforts to “out” the donors who support a free-market-minded nonprofit that has had the First Amendment audacity to weigh in on a variety of policy issues . . . → Read More: Federal Judge Thwarts California AG’s Efforts to Intimidate, Muzzle Speech of Free-Market Nonprofit