Last Chance to List Top Blawgs

The ABA Journal is embarking on its annual quest to identify the top law blogs.  The criteria and form are here, if any of our wonderful readers are inclined to identify MassTortDefense as one that you read regularly and think other lawyers should know about. 

Friend-of-the-blawg briefs are due no later than Aug. 9, 2013, says the Journal.

Might I also suggest you think about the Point of Law blog?

Recommend Top Blawgs

The ABA Journal is embarking on its annual quest to identify the top law blogs.  The criteria and form are here, if any of our wonderful readers are inclined to identify MassTortDefense as one that you read regularly and think other lawyers should know about. 

Friend-of-the-blawg briefs are due no later than Aug. 9, 2013, says the Journal.

Might I also suggest you think about the Mass Tort Litigation Professors' Blog? Another worth a look is the FDA Law Blog.  And of course Abnormal Use.

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DRI Class Action Seminar Continues

A highlight of the afternoon session was the panel involving "A Wide-Ranging Discussion of Class Actions from the Client’s Perspective."  Hosted by my partner Tim Congrove, doing his best Phil Donahue impersonation, the panel included experienced, articulate in-house counsel. Specifically, the panel brought to the stage Michael G. McQueeney , The Coca-Cola Company, Malini Moorthy , Pfizer Inc., and Laura E. Proctor , LP Building Products.  Each of these highly accomplished in house counsel manages a complex civil litigation docket that includes active proposed class actions, certified classes, settled classes, and/or other aggregate litigation.

The panelists shared class-related issues of importance to them and their companies, including tactics for defending multiple class actions across jurisdictions, addressing no-injury classes, and resolution strategies.  They talked a bit about what they expect from their outside counsel (thank goodness your humble blogger qualified on all accounts), and the important factors they consider in deciding to try a case where a class has been certified.

A particularly interesting part of the discussion was the panel's thoughts on tort reform, civil justice reform, and what to do about the many vacancies currently on the federal courts.

On the last point, Congress passed legislation authorizing additional judgeships in 1990. Since that time the district courts have experienced a 38 percent growth in caseload, but only a 4 percent growth in judgeships. In five especially busy federal districts, the Eastern District of California, the Eastern District of Texas, the Western District of Texas, the District of Arizona, and the District of Delaware, the judges face weighted caseloads that exceed 700 cases per judge. The Judicial Conference recommends a weighted caseload of 430 per judgeship. 

In August the ABA House of Delegates will vote on a proposed resolution supporting enactment of comprehensive legislation to authorize needed permanent and temporary federal judgeships, and urging the President to advance nominees for current vacancies for federal judicial positions promptly and the United States Senate to hear and vote on those nominations expeditiously.

 

ABA's Top Blawgs

The ABA Journal is embarking on its annual quest to identify the top law blogs.  The criteria and form are here, if any of our wonderful readers are inclined to identify MassTortDefense as one that you read regularly and think other lawyers should know about. 

Friend-of-the-blawg briefs are due no later than Aug. 9, 2013, says the Journal.

Might I also suggest you think about Lowering the Bar, the humorous blog of my colleague Kevin Underhill? wide ranging, funny, a welcome break from the serious side of the law.

Another worthy of consideration is the Drug and Device Law blog, of my former colleagues Jim Beck, Steve McConnell, et al. Comprehensive, pithy, timely, opinionated. Well deserved winner of several awards. 

 

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ABA Journal Searching for Top Blawgs

The ABA Journal is embarking on its annual quest to identify the top law blogs.  The criteria and form are here, if any of our wonderful readers are inclined to identify MassTortDefense as one that you read regularly and think other lawyers should know about. 

Friend-of-the-blawg briefs are due no later than Aug. 9, 2013, says the Journal.

Can't say being selected would make up for losing that student council election in 8th grade, but it would surely help!

In a later post I will note a couple other blogs that I think are very worthy of your consideration.


 

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ABA Urges Respect For Foreign Privacy Laws

“Commerce among nations should be fair and equitable.”  -- Benjamin Franklin

The global economy of the 21st century has given rise to an important international conflict of laws, the tension between foreign privacy laws and expansive discovery law in U.S. courts. Countries such as Germany, France and Switzerland, have established laws that protect the personal information of their citizens (including data privacy laws, banking secrecy legislation, as well as so-called “blocking” statutes). U.S. courts are increasingly being asked by litigants to compel discovery of information located outside of the U.S. despite such laws, and by their opponents to respect the policies that may preclude or limit such discovery.  These litigants express concern that the courts simply fail to understand the untenable position a global company is put in when such discovery proceeds. 

The American Bar Association last week weighed in on the issue, adopting a policy urging U.S. courts to respect foreign privacy laws when managing discovery in civil litigation.  The House of Delegates passed Resolution 103A  by a vote of 227 to 188 stating that U.S. courts in civil discovery disputes should consider and respect foreign privacy laws "where possible in the context of the proceedings before them." 

Those in favor of the resolution emphasized the “Hobson’s choice” for litigants who must choose between following laws in one jurisdiction or another, but not both, when discovery orders require disclosure.  The U.S. Supreme Court recognized the need to respect non-U.S. law in the discovery context of civil litigation at least as far back as 1987, when it held in Aerospatiale v. District Court of Iowa, 482 U.S. 522 (1987), that international comity compels American courts to take care to demonstrate due respect for any special problem confronted by the foreign litigant on account of its nationality or the location of its operations, and for any sovereign interest expressed by a foreign state. But most U.S. courts do not give weight to foreign statutes that limit pretrial discovery, even when based on a different and stricter views of privacy rights and disclosure obligations.

Growing globalization guarantees that more and more disputes in U.S. courts will involve protected data located in and subject to the laws of foreign countries.  The ABA is concerned that the courts of other countries may take a hardened view of U.S. laws and regulations to the detriment of U.S. litigants in their courts. Rulings by courts here that may be seen as parochial or insufficiently accommodating of interests of other legal regimes could also stymie the growth of global commerce, including the cross-border movement of personnel and the hiring of local employees.

 

 

ABA To Select Annual Best Blogs

Ok, so it is not the Oscars or the Emmys, and to my children it ranks well behind the Kid's Choice Awards, but to those in the blogosphere it is noteworthy that the ABA is working on its annual list of the 100 best legal blogs, and they want your advice on which "blawgs" you think they should include.

Here is the link to the form to tell the ABA  your thoughts, but keep your remarks pithy—you have a 500-character limit.

Friend-of-the-blawg briefs are due no later than Sept. 9, 2011.

While we would not be unhappy to be nominated, if any readers think us worthy, may we make a suggestion that you consider commenting on the Drug and Device Law Blog; and the Mass Torts Professors Law Blog; and Overlawyered.com; as well asPoint of law.com; and the Consumer Class Action Litigation blog, among the many worthy sites.

 

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