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February 17th, 2017

Florida High Court’s Plaintiff-Favoring Majority again Disregards Lawmakers, Embraces Junk Science

The Florida Supreme Court’s plaintiff-favoring majority yesterday maintained its reputation for wholly disregarding the authority of duly elected state lawmakers with a 4-2 decision, refusing to adopt a 2013 reform law that raised the Sunshine State’s standard for expert testimony to that of all federal courts and 39 other state court systems . . . → Read More: Florida High Court’s Plaintiff-Favoring Majority again Disregards Lawmakers, Embraces Junk Science

February 16th, 2017

Bogus Wheelchair Access Lawsuits Spreading across Southwest, Targeting Small Businesses

News 7 Denver reporter Ryan Luby this week documented the spread of bogus wheelchair-access lawsuits, driven by parasitic personal injury lawyers, across the nation’s Southwest and the impact those suits are having on hardworking small business owners . . . → Read More: Bogus Wheelchair Access Lawsuits Spreading across Southwest, Targeting Small Businesses

February 11th, 2017

ATRA Letter in Post-Dispatch Pushes Back against Lying Lawyer

In attacking ATRA’s annually well-documented “Judicial Hellholes” report, which recently ranked St. Louis as the nation’s least fair civil court jurisdiction and criticized what we believe are scientifically groundless verdicts against makers of talcum powder, local personal injury lawyer Roger Denton claimed to have no involvement in litigation against one of those makers. But documents ATRA provided to the Post-Dispatch caught him in a lie . . . → Read More: ATRA Letter in Post-Dispatch Pushes Back against Lying Lawyer

February 10th, 2017

House Bill Would Help Stop ‘Empty Suit Litigation™’

Though it’s still early in the new 115th Congress, a newly proposed House bill could help stop certain plaintiffs’ lawyer-driven class actions — featuring no discernible injuries — that ATRA calls “Empty Suit Litigation™” . . . → Read More: House Bill Would Help Stop ‘Empty Suit Litigation™’

February 1st, 2017

ATRA Lauds Nomination of Judge Gorsuch to SCOTUS

Noting Judge Neil Gorsuch’s “refreshing record of leaving lawmaking to elected lawmakers,” the American Tort Reform Association today voiced optimism about his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court and “the perspective he’ll bring in helping to make our civil justice system more predictably fair” . . . → Read More: ATRA Lauds Nomination of Judge Gorsuch to SCOTUS

January 30th, 2017

Refusing to Stay Groundless Talc Cases, Missouri High Court Doubles Down on Open Invitation to Out-of-State Plaintiffs

Last week the Missouri Supreme Court doubled down on a horrible, anything-goes venue decision it made last fall by refusing to stay some 1,350 cases brought predominantly on behalf of out-of-state plaintiffs in St. Louis, the nation’s #1 Judicial Hellhole, which allege that talcum powder products cause ovarian cancer . . . → Read More: Refusing to Stay Groundless Talc Cases, Missouri High Court Doubles Down on Open Invitation to Out-of-State Plaintiffs

January 24th, 2017

Philadelphia’s ‘Complex Litigation Center’ Backsliding toward Return to Judicial Hellholes List

After topping the annual Judicial Hellholes rankings in both 2010 and 2011, Philadelphia’s Complex Litigation Center (CLC) for mass torts undertook dramatic reforms in 2012 that significantly improved balance and fairness. But as judicial conduct there has again begun to encourage plaintiffs’ lawyers from across the country to bring their cases to Philly, the “City of Unbrotherly Torts” is backsliding toward its ignominious past . . . → Read More: Philadelphia’s ‘Complex Litigation Center’ Backsliding toward Return to Judicial Hellholes List

January 18th, 2017

Missouri’s New Governor Cites ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report in His First ‘State of the State’ Address

Missouri’s newly minted, reform-minded Governor Eric Greitens delivered his first State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature in Jefferson City yesterday, declaring his commitment to enacting critical tort reforms as a means to improving both the state’s civil justice system and its economic prospects . . . → Read More: Missouri’s New Governor Cites ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report in His First ‘State of the State’ Address

December 15th, 2016

‘Junk Science,’ Outlier Verdicts Put St. Louis Atop Latest ‘Judicial Hellholes’ List

The American Tort Reform Foundation issued its 2016-2017 Judicial Hellholes® report today, naming courts in Missouri, California, New York, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Louisiana, Virginia and Texas among the nation’s “most unfair” in their handling of civil litigation . . . → Read More: ‘Junk Science,’ Outlier Verdicts Put St. Louis Atop Latest ‘Judicial Hellholes’ List

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