Posts tagged as:

forum shopping

The Supreme Court’s ruling last month in a case on the limits of jurisdiction, Bauman v. DaimlerChrysler, was on its face a rejection of recently-fashionable notions of “universal jurisdiction” under which disputes labeled as serious human rights matters could be brought to courts more or less anywhere for adjudication. But according to Richard Samp, by clarifying the prerequisites for general jurisdiction, the case could if taken seriously revolutionize (for the better!) some other kinds of litigation for which forum-shopping has been the norm — in particular class action litigation, which is often filed in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions where the defendants would not be considered “at home” under the standard laid out by Justice Ginsburg. [Washington Legal Foundation]

  • “Venue matters.” Enough to double value of med-mal case if filed in Baltimore city rather than suburbs? [Ron Miller] Mark Behrens and Cary Silverman on litigation tourism in Pennsylvania [TortsProf]
  • “Maybe [depositions] are like what some people say about war — vast periods of boredom interrupted by brief moments of terror.” [Steve McConnell, Drug and Device Law, also see Max Kennerly]
  • Centrality of procedure in American legal thinking dates back to Legal Realists and before [Paul McMahon, U.Penn. J. of Int'l Law/SSRN via Mass Tort Prof]
  • Company sues to challenge CPSC’s dissemination of unproven allegations about it in new public database: should judicial proceeding keep its name confidential? [Fair Warning]
  • Thesis of new Jerry Mashaw book: administrative state in U.S. long predated Progressive Era [Law and Liberty: Joseph Postell, Mike Rappaport] Relatedly, hallmark of administrative state said to be “prerogative,” i.e., power to make binding rules without new legislation [Michael Greve]
  • Lorax standing humor: even the Ninth Circuit might not have been able to help [Howard Wasserman, Prawfs]
  • “Formalism and Deference in Administrative Law” [panel at Federalist Society National Lawyers' Convention with Philip Hamburger, Kristin Hickman, Thomas Merrill, and Jide Okechuku Nzelibe, moderated by Jennifer Walker Elrod]

October 31 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 31, 2012

{ 2 comments }

February 14 roundup

by Walter Olson on February 14, 2012

  • “Brazil Sues Twitter in Bid to Ban Speed Trap and Roadblock Warnings” [ABA Journal]
  • Obama nominates Michigan trial lawyer Marietta Robinson to vacancy on Consumer Product Safety Commission, ensuring aggressively pro-regulatory majority [Bluey, Heritage]
  • “AMA reports show high cost of malpractice suits” [HCFN] “Average expense to defend against a medical liability claim in 2010 was $47,158″ [American Medical News, more] Survey of 1,200 orthopedic surgeons finds defensive medicine rife, at cost of billions, accounting for 7 percent of all hospital admissions [MedPageToday]
  • “Sue us only in Delaware” bylaws would kill off forum-shopping and what fun is that? [Bainbridge, Reuters]
  • Trial by media: Lefty “SourceWatch” posts, then deletes, docs from Madison County pesticide suit [Madison County Record]
  • Think you’ve beaten FCPA rap? Meet the obscure “Travel Act” [Mike Emmick, Reuters] Federal court expands “honest services fraud” in lobbying case [Paul Enzinna, Point of Law]
  • “On the horrors of getting approval for an ice-cream parlour in San Francisco” [NYT via Doctorow/BoingBoing]

{ 1 comment }

December 27 roundup

by Walter Olson on December 27, 2011

  • Exoneree’s ex sues him for share of state’s wrongful-imprisonment payout [Dallas Observer via Balko]
  • Gibson’s alleged crime: ebony veneer too thick [Andrew Grossman, earlier here, here]
  • About that flap over “free” lawyer representation of Wisconsin high court justice [Rick Esenberg, Shark and Shepherd]
  • Allegation: Binder & Binder, largest Social Security advocacy firm, used red stickers to flag clients’ unfavorable medical info, often withheld it from disability-claim judges [WSJ]
  • “Judge Dismisses Landmark Bribery Conviction, Rips DOJ” [WSJ Law Blog, Lindsey order, more, my Cato post] FCPA reverse for federal prosecutors in arms trade case [BLT]
  • Congress passes bill clarifying jurisdiction, venue [Howard Wasserman, Prawfs]
  • Important reason to record cop-citizen interactions: to protect police from false claims [Scott Greenfield]

According to a new study by Josh Wright for the International Center for Law and Economics. His “findings are consistent with a conclusion that Philadelphia courts demonstrate a marked and meaningful preference for plaintiffs, consistent with both the Complex Litigation Center’s intention of inviting ‘business’ from other courts and criticisms that Philadelphia’s courts provide a unique combination of advantages for plaintiffs.” [Pennsylvania Record, Point of Law]

{ 2 comments }

September 27 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 27, 2011

April 26 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 26, 2011

  • Study of how class action lawyers interact with their named clients [Stephen Meili via Trask]
  • California releases numbers on how bounty-hunting lawyers did in 2010 under Prop 65 environmental-warning law [Cal Biz Lit]
  • According to the tale, lender errors in foreclosure gave Florida borrower home free and clear. Actual story may be more complicated than that [Funnell]
  • The very long discovery arm of the Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, courts [Drug & Device Law, more]
  • UK law firm “could face big bill” after sending thousands of file-sharing demand letters [ABA Journal]
  • Goodbye to men’s track at U. of Delaware, and the women’s team is suffering too, as often happens with Title IX [Saving Sports]
  • OSHA’s proposed “illness and injury prevention program” (I2P2) termed a “Super Rule” with potentially widespread economic impact [Kirsanow, NRO]

{ 5 comments }

January 12 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 12, 2011

{ 1 comment }

Carter at Point of Law compiles a list of mostly-bad bills Congress left town without passing [parts one and two] One very worrisome law of this sort, the we-sue-the-world Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act (FMLAA), is the subject of a new policy analysis by my Cato Institute colleagues Daniel Griswold and Sallie James (it’s the sort of aggressive trade restriction that could touch off major retaliation, not to mention its possible CPSIA-like effects on vintage dirtbike collectors; more background here, here, and here).

Unfortunately, two troublesome enactments — the food safety bill and the misnamed Paycheck Fairness Act — were teed up by Majority Leader Harry Reid for possible expedited passage in the lame duck session.

The intention of protecting American authors from overreaching foreign defamation suits certainly seems a good one. But what about the details? Howard Wasserman, who has raised various objections in the past, finds the bill that just passed the Senate “a dramatic improvement over earlier versions.” [Prawfsblawg]

{ 3 comments }

I’m quoted in the Times (UK) on lawyers’ binge of client-chasing in the Gulf, and the legacy of “home cooking” that can make it hard for outside defendants to be treated fairly in that part of the country [reprinted in The Australian]

July 14 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 14, 2010

  • “Sources: Trial lawyers expect tax break from Treasury Department” [Legal NewsLine, PoL, earlier; measure would reportedly replicate contents of bill that didn't pass Congress]
  • No doubt totally unrelated: eight Dem Senate candidates journey to Vancouver for AAJ fundraiser [The Hill, David Freddoso, ShopFloor, more]
  • Report: elderly man jailed after making “bomb” joke about carry-on at airport [NBCNewYork]
  • New York debt collection law firm files 80,000 actions a year, critics say errors and lack of documentation inevitable [NYT]
  • Kimberly-Clark: quit letting asbestos plaintiffs forum-shop against us [SE Texas Record] How a new asbestos defendant can get “passed around” among claimants [Global Tort, scroll] Prosperity of one Cleveland asbestos law firm I’d never heard of [Briefcase]
  • North Carolina court of appeals: employee rushing to bathroom after getting off work not acting within scope of employment [Matthews v. Food Lion, PDF]
  • “Curse of the greedy copyright holders” [Woodlief, WSJ, via de Rugy, NRO; TechDirt]
  • Update: “Ninth Circuit suspends Walter Lack, reprimands Thomas Girardi” [famed California lawyers tripped up in Dole suit; Legal Ethics Forum, PoL, earlier]

{ 2 comments }

July 13 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 13, 2010

  • Wal-Mart spending millions to fight $7,000 OSHA fine? Not so paradoxical when you think about it [Coyote]
  • Proliferation of product recalls, as with warnings, can result in consumer fatigue and inattention [WaPo via PoL]
  • Settlement said to be near between casino and gambler who lost $127 million [WSJ, UPI, earlier]
  • “Think Globally, Sue Locally: Out-of-Court Tactics Employed by Plaintiffs, Their Lawyers, and Their Advocates in Transnational Tort Cases” [study, PDF and press release; Jonathan Drimmer for US Chamber, related WSJ]
  • “End of an Era? Another Crunch Berries Case Dismissed” [Lowering the Bar, California Civil Justice, earlier on "froot" cases here, here, etc.]
  • New Jersey: “School legal costs are a killer” [Rayner, Daily Record]
  • ABA Journal profiles Ted Frank;
  • We’re the ones who write the laws around here, not you legislators: Washington Supreme Court strikes down med-mal notice law [SeattlePI.com]

July 9 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 9, 2010

  • Many interesting reader comments on post about jury award against manufacturer over injury on bicycle motorized post-sale;
  • Reimbursed for money never paid: “Calif. Trial Lawyers Welcome Latest Ruling on Recovery of Medical Expenses” [The Recorder]
  • Update: Defamation suit against travel blogger Chris Elliott resolved successfully [Citizen Media Law, earlier]
  • Podcast: Northwestern lawprof Steven Calabresi on McDonald (Second Amendment incorporation) case [Federalist Society]
  • “Provost Umphrey claims banana picker reps siphoned clients, money” [SE Texas Record]
  • Lawprofs in a NYT flutter about deductibility of punitive damages [Walk, Drug & Device Law] On the merits, Carter at ShopFloor: “Changing Tax Laws to Punish Businesses — Unless They Settle”
  • Troubled Pacific Law Center to close in San Diego [ABA Journal, earlier]
  • New York high court rules Atlanta exec cannot invoke New York’s pro-plaintiff state or city laws to contest firing [NYLJ]

{ 2 comments }

June 3 roundup

by Walter Olson on June 3, 2010

  • I’ve got a new post at Cato at Liberty tying together prosecutors’ demands for business forfeiture for immigration violations with proposals to criminalize employee misclassification;
  • I can’t believe it’s not a lawsuit: margarine class action melts away [Cal Biz Lit]
  • Guess what, your asbestos trial is scheduled in 11 days [Korris, MC Record]
  • “This website has to be removed”: mayor of Bordentown, N.J. wants to shut down online critic [Citizen Media Law]
  • What is a think tank and what does it do? I and others contribute answers at Allen McDuffee’s Think Tanked blog;
  • No surprise here: Insurer offers policy to cover things that go wrong in medical tourism, but won’t cover USA residents or facilities [Treatment Abroad via White Coat]
  • Pennsylvania law curbing med-mal forum-shopping disappoints lawyers who used to head for Philly or Wilkes-Barre [Sunbury, Pa. Daily Item via, again, White Coat]
  • New Haven pizzeria busted: owners let their kids work at restaurant [Amy Alkon]

In addition to the main questions of proof of causation, assumption of risk, and so on raised in yesterday’s NYT story, there is this window into a little-known but well-developed area of forum-shopping:

…California’s workers’ compensation system provides a unique, and relatively unknown, haven for retired professional athletes among the 50 states, allowing hundreds of long-retired veterans each year to file claims for injuries sustained decades before. Players need not have played for California teams or be residents of the state; they had to participate in just one game in the state to be eligible to receive lifetime medical care for their injuries from the teams and their insurance carriers.

About 700 former N.F.L. players are pursuing cases in California, according to state records, with most of them in line to receive routine lump-sum settlements of about $100,000 to $200,000. This virtual assembly line has until now focused on orthopedic injuries, with torn shoulders and ravaged knees obvious casualties of the players’ former workplace. …

Because of the legal environment, the relatively new Arena Football League has avoided locating any of its teams in California.

P.S. Related Times piece on two California lawyers who have brought in “awards that probably total more than $100 million” for players. “Many retired players consider Owens and Mix heroes among their own for essentially finding cash under a mattress; others see an assembly-line process in which players do not fully understand the implications of the settlements.” And some teams have attempted to remove the proceedings to states other than California.

{ 1 comment }

February 25 roundup

by Walter Olson on February 25, 2010

{ 5 comments }