The American Enterprise Institute is holding a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. Tuesday afternoon and I’ll be one of the participants, along with David W. K. Acheson of Leavitt Partners, Carol Tucker Foreman of the Consumer Federation of America, and Michelle Worosz of Auburn University, with AEI’s Kenneth Green as moderator. Details here. I’ve had a few things to say about food safety over the years and am also likely to draw on the potential parallels presented by the calamitous Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
- Screening firm hired by Beaumont, Tex.’s Provost Umphrey to do mass silicosis x-rays at Pennsylvania hotels is fined $80,500 for breaking various state rules, like the one requiring that a medical professional be on hand [Childs]
- Milberg Weiss’s special way of obtaining perfectly pliant clients — that is to say by bribing them under the table — harmed other class members by increasing fees but not settlement sums, suggests a new study by St. John’s lawprof Michael Perino for Ted’s project at AEI [Carter Wood @ PoL]
- Time for Texas to join many other states in requiring lawyers to inform clients when practicing without professional liability insurance [SE Texas Record; earlier here, here and here]
- Lawyers, in concert with their public pension fund allies, jockey for control of securities case against Bear Stearns [Gerstein/NY Sun]
- Another court, this time in California, rules that a screw maker can’t sue a law firm on the claim that its solicitation of potential claimants wrongly portrayed the company’s products as defective; amicus brief from state trial lawyers group and Sen. Sheila Kuehl says relevant provisions of state’s “SLAPP” law were “meant to protect plaintiffs groups, not companies” [The Recorder via ABA Journal; earlier case from Tennessee]
- Most lucrative Google AdSense words still dominated by asbestos and other personal injury practice, the top terms being “mesothelioma treatment options” ($69.10 per click, and the point of obtaining the click is not to provide treatment options), “mesothelioma risk” ($66.46), and “personal injury lawyer michigan” ($65.85) [CyberWyre via NAM “Shop Floor”; more here, here, etc.]
An important all-day conference at AEI next week:
In the last several years, nearly every major pharmaceutical company has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to settle allegations of illegal “off-label” marketing of drugs. There has been a growing trend of actions by federal prosecutors, state attorneys general, and cooperating trial lawyers to litigate against pharmaceutical manufacturers for allegedly doing too much to promote off-label use of prescription products. Citing recent legal changes mandating exclusion from federal programs after a conviction, many manufacturers say they are forced to settle rather than risk defending themselves–even as prosecutions against individual executives have foundered in front of juries.
At this AEI Legal Center event, experts on both law and health care will present papers on the law, economics, medicine, and public policy of off-label marketing, discussing everything from the abuse of class action mechanisms to implications for the First Amendment and medical malpractice. Speakers include former Food and Drug Administration chief counsel Daniel Troy; former Cephalon general counsel John Osborn; former deputy attorney general George Terwilliger; principal deputy assistant attorney general and acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Division Jeffrey Bucholtz; attorneys Brian Anderson, James Beck, Mark Herrmann, Richard Samp, and Kyle Sampson; law professor Margaret Johns; and AEI scholars John E. Calfee, Theodore H. Frank, and Scott Gottlieb.
Panel I: Off-Label Marketing, R&D, and Medical Practice
Panel II: The Legal Environment from Federal Regulation and Enforcement
Panel III: Distortions from State and Private Enforcement
Panel IV: Legal Implications for Commercial Speech and Medical Practice
I’ve been blogging a bit less in the last few months because in September, the National Legal Center for the Public Interest merged into AEI and I’ve been heading up the combined AEI Legal Center for the Public Interest ever since. Tonight, AEI continues the NLCPI’s long tradition of the Gauer Distinguished Lecture in Law and Public Policy when SEC Chair Christopher Cox speaks tonight on government investment in the private market. In today’s American, I discuss the history of the NLCPI.