HB 274’s motion-to-dismiss/fee-shifting provision is getting more use than some foresaw at the time [Angela Morris, Texas Lawyer, quoting Austin attorney David Chamberlain]
Now posted: a recent Federalist Society podcast of a discussion that includes me, Texas attorney E. Lee Parsley, Texas lawprof Ronen Avraham, Judge Dennis Jacobs as moderator and Dean Reuter of the Federalist Society introducing. Running time is an hour and you can listen directly here. More from me on the new Texas law here.
After we passed along a recent report that Beaumont, Texas lawyers had filed 59 lawsuits the day before the state’s new “loser-pays” package of litigation reforms was to take effect, Texas attorney Brooks Schuelke responded on Twitter as follows (re-formatted and edited for clarity), saying that the issue wasn’t the loser-pays provision, but a separate “responsible third party” provision that set a malpractice trap for lawyers that delayed: “The responsible third party provisions allowed a defendant to name a party, and then plaintiff could join them even if the statute of limitations had expired. The law was changed to remove the ability to sue regardless of the statute of limitations. But defendant can’t name a party not disclosed in discovery. The amendment means we have to file suit long before the statute of limitations expires to send discovery asking defendant to name who it might name. So many cases nearing the statute of limitations had to be filed before the effective date of the change or else they could be victim to the amendment.”
I’m on record as noting that the Texas bill labeled as “loser pays” doesn’t do nearly as much to revamp litigation incentives as its name implies, but if lawyers rushed to beat the deadlines on its provisions, they must be expecting it to make at least some difference. [Chamber-affiliated Southeast Texas Record]
More: Texas attorney Brooks Schuelke offers a different explanation for the last-minute rush.
- Burning Man, risk, and self-reliance [Claire Gordon, related]
- Jacob Sullum challenges Mark “tax-the-snacks” Bittman [Reason; related, Rick Esenberg] “Fat tax” would be hard to target, hard to enforce, disliked by voters [David Gratzer]
- “CSX claims racketeering in Pittsburgh law firm’s legal tactics” [Post-Gazette; earlier here, here, here, etc.] A different view: Max Kennerly.
- Complaints over new class-action law in Canada [Reuters]
- Minnesota preacher sues Rachel Maddow [TVNewser, Mother Jones]
- Does the new Texas loser-pays bill go far enough? [Kyle Baum, WLF, earlier]
- Tell us about it: “Why the Right to Criticize Lawyers is Vital” [Hans Bader, CEI]
- Reforms billed as loser-pays advance in Texas, but they’re very scaled-down [WSJ, WLF and more, Legal Blog Watch, Wood/PoL, Cary Gray/Houston Chronicle, WSJ Law Blog, earlier]
- “Refutation of Toyota sudden acceleration hysteria doesn’t stop Toyota sudden acceleration litigation” [Ted at PoL]
- “Five Questions With Legal Scholar Richard Epstein” [Jamie Weinstein, Daily Caller; his views on Title IX]
- Employers glad for small favors: “Refusing to Hire Applicant Who Fails Drug Test Not an ADA Violation” [Robin Weideman, California Labor and Employment Law Blog; Ninth Circuit]
- “Study Shows Litigation Doesn’t Improve Nursing Home Safety” [Studdert et al, NEJM via Daniel Fisher]
- Risperdal? No thanks: “Mother battles Michigan over daughter’s medication” [AP]
- Personal-injury litigation plummets in Australia following enactment of state-level reforms [seven years ago on Overlawyered]
Loser-pays, long the law in Alaska, is stirring significant interest in Texas these days. Ryan Brennan of TPPF makes a case for the reform [PDF] and discusses some of the choices involved in structuring it.
- “Woman Sues Adidas After Fall She Blames on Sticky Shoes” [Lowering the Bar]
- Texas lawmakers file loser pays proposals [SE Tex Record] Actual scope of proposals hard to discern through funhouse lens of NYT reporting [PoL] Marie Gryphon testimony on loser-pays proposals in Arkansas [Manhattan Institute, related]
- Google awarded patent on changing of logo for special days [Engadget via Coyote]
- “Civil Gideon in Deadbeat Dad Cases Would Be ‘Massive’ Change, Lawyer Tells Justices” [Weiss, ABA Journal, Legal Ethics Forum]
- Amateur-hour crash-fakers in Bronx didn’t reckon on store surveillance camera [NY Post]
- “Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in Cobell Defend $223M Fee Request” [BLT]
- Show of harm not needed: FDA kicks another 500 or so legacy drugs off market, this time in the cold-and-cough area [WaPo]
- “Wal-Mart v. Dukes: Rough Justice Without Due Process” [Andrew Trask, WLF]