At 3:00 PM (ET) today, the Federalist Society will host a Teleforum with Dr. John Eastman of Chapman University to present a litigation update on sanctuary cities in the Northern District of Illinois.
Please visit the Teleforum event page to learn more on the subject. The call is open to all members of the Federalist Society and a recording will be uploaded afterwards as a podcast that is available for anyone to download and listen to. [Read More]
A recent article in the Financial Times, Drug Industry faces ‘tidal wave’ of litigation over opioid crisis (subscription may be required), reports that officials at every level of government – states, cities and counties – are launching suits against companies that make or distribute opioids seeking a tobacco-style settlement to help deal with the epidemic. Noting that these suits are a harbinger of the quarter of a trillion dollar tobacco settlement, government entities like the District of Columbia are issuing requests for proposals inviting firms to bid for contracts that will generate up to $45 million in contingency fees for the successful bidders.
Last week, Peggy Little and the Competitive Enterprise Institute published Pirates at the Parchment Gates, in which she explained how the practice of state attorneys general entering into contingency fee contracts runs roughshod over at least three constitutional principles. Those contracts got their start in the tobacco litigation of the 1990s. After that experience left a bad taste in the mouths of many, the practice moved toward the shadows although it never disappeared. Average wholesale price litigation and other such schemes kept the practice alive until it reappeared in the recent climate change inquisition.
Little notes that, when state attorneys general enter into contingent fee contracts with private counsel, they: (1) end run the appropriation process in a constitutionally impermissible way that cannot be sanctioned by state statutes; (2) it creates pots of money that have not been legislatively authorized and are not subject to legislative control and accountability; and (3) the allow private firms to play a role in governmental investigations and prosecutions in violation of due process. Moreover, the contracts represent bad policy.
The election results have raised serious doubts about the future of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (“CPP” or “Plan”). During the campaign, President-elect Trump repeatedly moved to kill the Plan outright.
There are, of course, many legal complexities associated with the requirements of the Clean Air Act and federal administrative procedure. Observers differ about the options available to the new administration, and about whether the Plan will actually be repealed or simply modified to some extent. [Read More]
The Supreme Court's statement of the question to be resolved in this case seems to say it all: “the question in this case is thus precisely the same as the issue decided in Fourco: whether 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) is the sole and exclusive provision governing venue in patent infringement actions and is not to be supplemented by 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c)." The days of nearly 50% of all patent cases being filed in the Eastern District of Texas may be numbered. [Read More]