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December 6th, 2016

New ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report Coming Next Week, Meanwhile ’60 minutes’ Exposes ‘Drive-By’ Lawsuits

Get ready for the 2016/2017 Judicial Hellholes report, with a new #1 ranked hellhole from America’s heartland.  ATRA and ATRF will rollout the report next Thursday, Dec. 15, to media across the country.  Reporters with reason to believe their respective jurisdictions are likely to be mentioned in the report are welcome to contact ATRA communications director Darren McKinney in advance to arrange a sneak peek.

Meanwhile, one of the civil justice issues afflicting a number of Judicial Hellholes jurisdictions cited in the report is abusive disability-access lawsuits brought under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state civil rights laws.  CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a segment last Sunday evening.  Reported by Anderson Cooper, it’s titled “Drive-By . . . → Read More: New ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report Coming Next Week, Meanwhile ’60 minutes’ Exposes ‘Drive-By’ Lawsuits

November 9th, 2016

‘Lawsuit Industry’ Is Election’s ‘Biggest Loser’

Despite President-elect Donald Trump’s history of litigiousness, the American Tort Reform Association today declared the “lawsuit industry” to be “the biggest loser in last night’s historic election” . . . → Read More: ‘Lawsuit Industry’ Is Election’s ‘Biggest Loser’

October 28th, 2016

Missouri Invites Out-of-State Plaintiffs’ Claims against Out-of-State Defendants for Alleged Out-of-State Injuries

A decision last week by the Supreme Court of Missouri effectively rolls out a “Show Me Your Lawsuits State” welcome mat for lawsuits by out-of-state plaintiffs against out-of-state defendants over alleged out-of-state injuries The state’s notoriously weak venue law has long allowed plaintiffs’ lawyers to shop their cases to the friendliest courts. Now there is virtually nothing stopping plaintiff’s lawyers from picking their preferred judge and jury. . . . → Read More: Missouri Invites Out-of-State Plaintiffs’ Claims against Out-of-State Defendants for Alleged Out-of-State Injuries

October 25th, 2016

Ex-Pennsylvania Attorney General Kane Sentenced to Prison

Though her lawyers had sought home confinement, Pennsylvania’s much-criticized former attorney general Kathleen Kane received a sentence of 10 to 23 months in prison yesterday following her mid-August convictions for felony perjury and assorted misdemeanors . . . → Read More: Ex-Pennsylvania Attorney General Kane Sentenced to Prison

October 20th, 2016

Federal Judge Dismisses ‘Logic-Defying’ Claim Filed by Consumers Pretending to Be Imbeciles

A federal judge Tuesday bluntly dismissed a putative nationwide class action filed on behalf of consumers pretending to be imbeciles who were oblivious to plainly labeled pill-counts on packaging of over-the-counter medication . . . → Read More: Federal Judge Dismisses ‘Logic-Defying’ Claim Filed by Consumers Pretending to Be Imbeciles

October 12th, 2016

With ‘Epidemic’ of Multiple-Defendant Claims, Madison County Remains the Nation’s Leader in New Asbestos Cases

Perennial Judicial Hellhole Madison County, Illinois is not ready to give up its dubious distinction as the top asbestos litigation destination anytime soon. According to a recent midyear report and earlier annual report by KCIC Consulting, Madison County’s asbestos filings increased by 5% from 2014 to 2015 and continued to increase during the first half of 2016. The riverside county of fewer than 270,000 people was home to 29% of the nation’s asbestos filings in the first half of 2016 – up from 25% of the nation’s asbestos filings in 2015. Now, the county sits atop the ranking with more than twice as many filings as second place Baltimore City. . . . → Read More: With ‘Epidemic’ of Multiple-Defendant Claims, Madison County Remains the Nation’s Leader in New Asbestos Cases

October 4th, 2016

ATRA CALLS LOUISIANA’S LATEST PAY-TO-PLAY SCANDAL ‘BUDDY SYSTEM 2’

Edwards’ Performance Sure to Win Starring Role in Upcoming ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report    

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2016 – The American Tort Reform Association today rolled out a mock movie poster and weighed in for the first time on what it’s calling “Buddy System 2,” Governor John Bel Edwards’ hiring of wealthy campaign donors to run potentially lucrative litigation for the state, just as the former attorney general, James “Buddy” Caldwell, had done previously.

“Shameless pay-to-play politics seems to be a recurring bipartisan tradition in Louisiana,” began ATRA president Tiger Joyce, noting the respective party affiliations of Edwards and Caldwell.

“Ignoring the message Louisiana voters sent to Mr. Caldwell . . . → Read More: ATRA CALLS LOUISIANA’S LATEST PAY-TO-PLAY SCANDAL ‘BUDDY SYSTEM 2’

September 29th, 2016

Costly New Anti-Arbitration Rule Aimed at Nursing Homes Is Administration’s Latest Gift to Trial Lawyers

Noting the extraordinary influence that wealthy plaintiffs’ lawyers have wielded throughout the executive branch during President Obama’s eight years in office, the American Tort Reform Association today called a new rule prohibiting the use of arbitration clauses in contracts between nursing homes and those they serve “the administration’s latest gift to Democrats’ most reliably generous campaign donors” . . . → Read More: Costly New Anti-Arbitration Rule Aimed at Nursing Homes Is Administration’s Latest Gift to Trial Lawyers

September 23rd, 2016

Surge in ‘Bet-the-Company’ Lawsuits Targeting Large Corporations Is Undermining the Economy

A consulting group’s annual report shows that the percentage of large corporations facing high-risk “bet-the-company” lawsuits has quadrupled in the past two years . . . → Read More: Surge in ‘Bet-the-Company’ Lawsuits Targeting Large Corporations Is Undermining the Economy

September 8th, 2016

Federal Judge Warns of Sanctions for Purveyors of ‘Frivolous’ Mesh Cases, More Broadly Questions Abuse of MDLs

A federal judge presiding in Georgia over multidistrict litigation (MDL) that alleges certain pelvic mesh implants caused painful infections in women has fired a Rule 11 warning shot across the bow of plaintiffs counsel still floating “frivolous” claims in his courtroom . . . → Read More: Federal Judge Warns of Sanctions for Purveyors of ‘Frivolous’ Mesh Cases, More Broadly Questions Abuse of MDLs

September 6th, 2016

Judicial Hellholes Bulletin: New Report Details Trial Lawyers’ Influence over Illinois’ Policymakers, Judges

Though release of ATRA’s annual Judicial Hellholes® report is still more than three months away, this special bulletin alerts readers to a new report, Justice for Sale III, issued by the Illinois Civil Justice League, detailing and quantifying the campaign contributions and enormous political influence that plaintiffs’ lawyers Madison County, Illinoisexert on policymakers and judges throughout the hellholes riddled state . . . → Read More: Judicial Hellholes Bulletin: New Report Details Trial Lawyers’ Influence over Illinois’ Policymakers, Judges

September 1st, 2016

‘Clueless’ California High Court Decision Extends Invitation to Out-of-State Plaintiffs’ Lawsuits

California, already the nation’s #1 ranked Judicial Hellhole for three years running, has, like, thrown open its doors to out-of-state plaintiffs with claims similar to California plaintiffs’ claims against national defendants, discarding due process and effectively ignoring several U.S. Supreme Court opinions . . . → Read More: ‘Clueless’ California High Court Decision Extends Invitation to Out-of-State Plaintiffs’ Lawsuits

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