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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

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

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

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

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 21st, 2016

New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer Candidly Promotes ‘Forum Shopping’ in Website Video

Those who tend to be put off by personal injury lawyers might find much to dislike about New Orleans-based auto-accident specialist Greg DiLeo, but no one can fault him for a lack of candor when it comes to the “forum shopping” made easy by Louisiana’s lax venue laws . . . → Read More: New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer Candidly Promotes ‘Forum Shopping’ in Website Video

April 18th, 2016

Federal Prosecutors Allege Silver’s Corruption of Albany Included Government Favors for Mistresses

A prosecution document unsealed last Friday purports to show that convicted former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had two extramarital affairs that further corrupted state government, one with a lobbyist who frequently represented clients interested in pending legislation and another with a woman who was hired at a succession of state jobs for which critics say she was under qualified . . . → Read More: Federal Prosecutors Allege Silver’s Corruption of Albany Included Government Favors for Mistresses

April 14th, 2016

Despite Corruption Conviction of Their Man in Albany, NY’s Unabashed Trial Lawyers Still Buying Influence

An ATRA ally, the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY), this week unveiled the latest of its annual “Power of Attorney” reports, analyzing the considerable spending of New York trial lawyers on lobbying and political campaigns . . . → Read More: Despite Corruption Conviction of Their Man in Albany, NY’s Unabashed Trial Lawyers Still Buying Influence

April 6th, 2016

Twice in March, Florida’s Plaintiff-Friendly High Court Erodes ‘Engle’ Compromises

Twice last month the plaintiff-friendly Florida Supreme Court gave personal injury lawyers new incentives to keep the state’s tobacco litigation chain smokin’ . . . → Read More: Twice in March, Florida’s Plaintiff-Friendly High Court Erodes ‘Engle’ Compromises

April 6th, 2016

California High Court Lets Employees Sit Down on Job, Risking Productivity & Health

California employers have taken a kick to the keister once again and will now be forced to let employees sit on theirs. (And some economists wonder why productivity growth has stalled.) . . . → Read More: California High Court Lets Employees Sit Down on Job, Risking Productivity & Health

March 31st, 2016

Now Officially Disbarred, Length of Prison Sentence Only Outstanding Question for Convicted Felon Silver

Long since deposed from his powerful position as speaker of the New York State Assembly, convicted felon Sheldon Silver was finally disbarred this week by a state appeals court . . . → Read More: Now Officially Disbarred, Length of Prison Sentence Only Outstanding Question for Convicted Felon Silver

March 30th, 2016

Florida Needs New Class Action Forum at Miami Law Like It Needs a Category 5 Hurricane

With an apparent desire to ensure in perpetuity Florida’s status as a perennial Judicial Hellhole, three locally based class action law firms have donated $1 million to the University of Miami School of Law to fund an annual forum on complex mass torts and multidistrict litigation . . . → Read More: Florida Needs New Class Action Forum at Miami Law Like It Needs a Category 5 Hurricane

March 28th, 2016

9th Circuit Overrules Dismissal of Yogurt Labeling Case to Wait for FDA Definition of ‘Natural’

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week overruled a lower court’s perfectly sound dismissal with prejudice of a food labeling class action against Chobani yogurt . . . → Read More: 9th Circuit Overrules Dismissal of Yogurt Labeling Case to Wait for FDA Definition of ‘Natural’

March 14th, 2016

Florida Judge Who’d Repeatedly Taken Baseball Tickets from Slip-and-Fall Lawyers Resigns

A Florida judge who had been charged with ethics violations for repeatedly seeking Major League Baseball tickets from a plaintiffs’ law firm is “Out!” . . . → Read More: Florida Judge Who’d Repeatedly Taken Baseball Tickets from Slip-and-Fall Lawyers Resigns

March 8th, 2016

Bucking National Trend, California Appeals Court Allows Discredited Asbestos Exposure Theory

Seemingly determined to keep California atop the Judicial Hellholes rankings, an appeals court there last week ignored precedent requiring trial judges to function as “gatekeepers” when it comes to the scientific validity of expert testimony and instead upheld a decision to let jurors play that critical role in their acceptance of a discredited theory of asbestos exposure . . . → Read More: Bucking National Trend, California Appeals Court Allows Discredited Asbestos Exposure Theory