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Tort Reform

Fairness in Class Litigation Act - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Howard M. Erichson, Andrew Grossman April 03, 2017

On Saturday, March 11 the House passed the Fairness in Class Litigation Act by a vote of 220-201. The stated purpose of the Act is to “(1) assure fair and prompt recoveries for class members and multidistrict litigation plaintiffs; (2) diminish abuses in class action and mass tort litigation; and (3)  restore the intent of the framers…by ensuring Federal court consideration of interstate controversies of national importance consistent with diversity jurisdiction principles” (H.R.985, 2017).

The Bill amends the federal judicial code’s standards for the certification of class action. For example, the bill requires that proposed class members to show that they suffered the same type and degree of injury. The bill also limits the amount and timing of attorney’s fees in a class action. Attorney’s cannot be paid more than the class members, and they must be paid after the class members receive payment.

Andrew Grossman Partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP and Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute will join Professor Howard M. Erichson of Fordham to discuss the legislation as deliberations begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Featuring:

  • Professor Howard M. Erichson, Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law
  • Andrew Grossman, Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Adjunct Scholar, the Cato Institute

"Deep Pocket Jurisprudence™" and Meaningful Civil Justice Reform - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Victor E. Schwartz March 28, 2017

This Teleforum discussed what Victor Schwartz has labelled "Deep-Pocket Jurisprudence™." According to Mr. Schwartz, this occurs when state appellate courts expand tort law to include an innocent defendant because the wrongdoer is "judgment proof" or cannot be reached by the judicial process. The Supreme Court of Iowa has used the term and condemned the practice.

This call focused on the possible enactment of federal civil justice reform. On March 9 and 10th 2017 the House of Representatives passed three federal civil justice reform measures, namely the H.R. 720, Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, H.R. 725, Innocent Party Protection Act and H.R.925, the Fairness in Class Litigation Act. Each enjoy strong support from Speaker Paul Ryan and this marks the earliest in a congressional term that such federal civil justice reform measures have passed the House. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether they will pass through the Senate and be approved by President Trump.

Featuring:

  • Victor E. Schwartz, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

RICO's Reach: Arguments Heard in RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. The European Community - Podcast

Litigation Practice Groups Podcast
Richard A. Samp March 24, 2016

On Monday, March 21, the Court heard RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. The European Community. The case arose in the 2nd Circuit. The question presented is whether, or to what extent, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act applies extraterritorially. The European Community, now the European Union, alleged that RJR participated in a scheme to launder illegal drug sale proceeds in Europe.

Mr. Richard Samp, Chief Counsel of the Washington Legal Foundation, attended oral arguments on behalf of the WLF, which filed an amicus brief in support of RJR.

Featuring:

  • Richard A. Samp, Chief Counsel, Washington Legal Foundation

The Rise of “Empty Suit” Litigation™: Where Should Tort Law Draw The Line? - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Victor E. Schwartz September 10, 2015

In The Rise of “Empty Suit” Litigation™: Where Should Tort Law Draw The Line?, Victor E. Schwartz discusses the need to stop all litigation where an individual or class action plaintiff has suffered no real harm, physical, emotional or economic. In his article, Schwartz criticizes finding liability for the estimated cost of medical monitoring following exposure to a potentially harmful substance absent a physical injury. He also examines class action litigation claiming that a product’s actual value was lower than the purchase price, or that the resale value of a product diminished because of an alleged latent defect, even when the product functioned properly for most or all consumers. Of course, he also addresses both individual claims where there has been no real injury, or economic loss and class actions that rely on speculative or expert-driven theories of harm or damages. Mr. Schwartz explained his article in greater depth and answered questions from our audience.

Featuring:

  • Victor E. Schwartz, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

Supreme Court Cert Alert: Obamacare Case Granted, BP Case Pending - Podcast

Practice Groups Podcast
Jonathan H. Adler, John S. Baker, Jr. November 12, 2014

On Friday, November 7, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for cert in King v. Burwell, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case concerning the payment of subsidies to participants in federally-run versus state-run health care exchanges. Many believe a decision that cuts against the government's interpretation of the statute could undermine Obamacare. A temporary circuit split on the issue was obviated weeks ago when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to en banc review of a three-judge panel decision that reached a result different than had the Fourth Circuit. Our experts discussed why the Court agreed to hear a case that upheld a federal government interpretation of a federal statute.

Meanwhile, LSU Law School Professor John Baker has written a paper (available here) discussing the administration of the settlement fund in the BP Horizon oil spill. In that matter, BP asserts that the fund administrator is awarding damages to plaintiffs who were not harmed by the oil spill, and BP seeks relief in the Court. Later the week of November 10, the Court is expected to consider a cert grant in this important case.

  • Prof. Jonathan H. Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Prof. John S. Baker, Jr., Visiting Professor, Georgetown University Law Center and Professor Emeritus, LSU Law School