Posts Tagged ‘forum shopping’

Liability roundup

  • “TriMet faulted Laing for failing to heed warning signs … and earbuds playing loud music. Laing’s attorneys argued it couldn’t be determined what volume the music was playing at at the time of impact.” [Aimee Green, Oregonian; $15 million jury verdict for woman who dashed in front of train reduced to $682,800]
  • “When Are Athletes Liable for Injuries They Cause?” [Eugene Volokh on Nixon v. Clay, Utah Supreme Court]
  • Former Alabama Sen. Luther Strange has written a law review article on local government abuse of public nuisance law in industrywide litigation [Stephen McConnell, Drug and Device Law] “California’s disturbing lead paint ruling is going interstate. Magistrate cites it in opioid MDL to support tribal nuisance claims under Montana law” [Daniel D. Fisher on Blackfeet Tribe v. Amerisource] Federal judge should have said no to Rhode Island climate change/public nuisance suit [Michael Krauss, Forbes]
  • “Will New York law change veterinary malpractice?” [Christopher J. Allen, Veterinary News]
  • Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on class action counterclaim removal in Home Depot U.S.A. v. Jackson leaves Congress to fix what Judge Paul Niemeyer called a loophole in the Class Action Fairness Act [Diane Flannery, Trent Taylor & Drew Gann, McGuireWoods, Federalist Society teleforum with Ted Frank]
  • In Missouri, logjam for liability reform breaks at last as Gov. Mike Parson signs four pieces of legislation into law [Daily Star Journal (Warrensburg, Mo.); Beck on forum-shopping measure]

Liability roundup

  • “Firings and lawsuits follow discovery of secret bugging devices at law firm; ‘It’s very John Grisham'” [Palm Beach County, Fla.; Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal]
  • Save on lawyers’ fees, get to trial faster: “If I were able to do something unilaterally, I would probably institute a new federal rule that said that all cases worth less than $500,000 will be tried without any discovery.” [Judge Thomas Hardiman, echoed by Judge Amul Thapar, at Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention panel; David Lat, ABA Journal]
  • “Austria: Farmer liable for hiker trampled to death by cow” [Elizabeth Schumacher, Deutsche Welle]
  • “Cloned” discovery: the “name derives from the fact that the plaintiffs are attempting to clone the discovery taken by others in unrelated cases.” Courts should resist [James Beck]
  • “Minnesota Supreme Court: No Primary Assumption of Risk in Skiing, Snowboarding” [Stephanie K. Jones, Insurance Journal]
  • Missouri lawmakers seek to limit forum-shopping by out-of-state litigants seeking plaintiff-friendly St. Louis courts [Brian Brueggemann, St. Louis Record]

December 26 roundup

  • “Elephant Habeas Case: Steven Wise’s Forum Shopping Apparently Fails” [Ted Folkman, Letters Blogatory, earlier here and here]
  • Right now owners of gas stations in D.C. “need approval from the Gas Station Advisory Board (GSAB) to close. However, there’s one small problem. The GSAB hasn’t had members since 2008, so there’s no one to get approval from.” [Daniel Warwick, Greater Greater Washington]
  • “Jones Act Reform Gaining Momentum” [Colin Grabow, Cato, earlier]
  • “Serving Two (or More) Masters: Civil Service and Bureaucratic Resistance in our Administrative State” [Adam White working paper and related video as part of Hoover Institution’s Land, Labor, and Rule of Law conference]
  • MoCo vs. NoVa in business site relocation, Baltimore policing, charmless climate suit, red flag law and more Maryland policy in my latest Free State Notes;
  • New York appears ready to return to the days of confiscatory rent control, a policy that helped ruin wide swaths of the city in the 60s and 70s [Charles Urstadt, City Journal]

Liability roundup

Medical roundup

Liability roundup

After SCOTUS rulings, less forum-shopping

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas fell from 36% of all patent filings to 21% [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal] “Quick trials, big verdicts favoring consumers, and a state law that allows nonresidents to easily join mass litigations made St. Louis a destination of choice for attorneys going after companies that do business nationwide. Those days may be over” following the high court’s decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb [Margaret Cronin Fisk and Jef Feeley, Bloomberg]

More: Multidistrict litigation sought in more patent cases [Amanda Bronstad, Texas Lawyer]

SCOTUS: state courts not on elastic jurisdictional leash

My new Cato post applauds the Supreme Court for its 8-1 decision yesterday in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California correcting the Ninth Circuit on the permissible extent to which California can reach out to hear lawsuits arising from controversies and litigants in other states. A couple of weeks ago a companion 8-0 decision from the court addressed similar issues from Montana in BNSF v. Tyrrell.

…in both instances — with only Justice Sonia Sotomayor still balking — the Justices made clear that some states’ wish to act as nationwide regulators does not allow them to stretch the constitutional limits on their jurisdiction that far. …

…the contemporary Court is keenly aware of the danger that the tactical use of forum-shopping will eclipse the merits in many categories of high-stakes litigation, turning potentially losing cases into winners through the chance to file them in a more friendly court.

That insight might prove significant at a time when forum-shopping has come to play a prominent role in high-profile ideological litigation—with conservatives running to file suit in the Fifth Circuit, liberals in the Ninth.

(& welcome readers from SCOTUSBlog, which rounds up other commentary on the decision)

Soon, tumbleweeds in E.D. Tex.? SCOTUS strikes at patent forum-shopping

This morning’s Supreme Court opinion in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, hinging on what I described in January as a dry point of statutory interpretation, is likely to stand as a landmark win for defendants in patent litigation – and, on a practical level, for fairer ground rules in procedure. A unanimous Court (8-0, Thomas writing, Gorsuch not participating) rejected the broad reading of a venue statute by which the Federal Circuit had empowered lawyers to forum-shop disputes from all over the country into a few decidedly pro-plaintiff venues, above all the largely rural Eastern District of Texas. From here out, defendants can still be sued in a district such as E.D. Tex. if they have a regular and established place of business in it, but the decision is likely to shrink what I called in my January preview a “jackpot patent litigation sector… that shifts around billions of dollar.” By redirecting cases into more neutral venues, it should bring outcomes closer to reflecting cases’ actual merits, which would in turn do much toward restoring confidence in this sector of the law.

If Congress believes the Court has erred it is free to restore patent venue to a more shopper-friendly set of rules. But after the experience of recent years, it is unlikely that a Congress of either party or any likely political complexion will have an appetite for doing that.

[cross-posted from Cato at Liberty] More: Mike Masnick, TechDirt; Daniel Nazer, EFF. [& welcome SCOTUSBlog, Washington Post readers]

Medical roundup