Top News

Miami-based asbestos firm files tortious interference lawsuit

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 13, 2017, 1:13pm

Last month, The Ferraro Law Firm PA sued a former client and his South Carolina attorney for allegedly interfering with a business relationship in an effort to keep the firm’s fees to themselves. The named defendants are attorney Timothy D. Scrantom, Scrantom Dulles International PLLC, Ten State International Law PLLC and Kenneth Platt Elder.

U.S. House votes to put teeth back in Rule 11 sanctions

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 10, 2017, 10:55am

The House, after an hour of general debate plus discussion on various amendments Friday morning, voted 230-188 in favor of the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017, or LARA.

House passes legal reform bills targeting class actions, asbestos trusts, fraudulent joinder

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 10, 2017, 9:25am

On Thursday, the House voted 220-201 for the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017, or H.R. 985. In a vote soon after, it also passed the Innocent Party Protection Act of 2017, or H.R. 725, 224-194.

Calif. appeals court sides with Facebook in lawsuit accusing CEO, general counsel of defamation

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 9, 2017, 3:11pm

At issue is a quote, issued by Facebook’s general counsel and used in various newspapers, about a malicious prosecution action filed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg over an allegedly fraudulent contract.

UPDATE: U.S. House set to vote on legal reform bills Thursday, Friday

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 8, 2017, 1:03pm

The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency, or FACT, Act of 2017 and the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 have been merged. The legislation, along with the Innocent Party Protection Act of 2017 and the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017, will be voted on by the full House later this week, House officials confirmed.

House may also vote on bill targeting fraudulent joinder

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 7, 2017, 4:13pm

The Innocent Party Protection Act, or H.R. 725, would require federal courts to deny a motion to transfer a case to state court under certain circumstances.

Lawsuit abuse reduction bill, which puts teeth in Rule 11 sanctions, also may be up for House vote

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 7, 2017, 3:58pm

If passed, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017, or H.R. 720, would change Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to remove the 21-day “safe harbor” and to make sanctions mandatory instead of discretionary if a violation is discovered. This would reverse amendments previously made to Rule 11.

Class action fairness bill may, too, be up for House vote

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 7, 2017, 3:42pm

Among the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017’s reforms, it requires that classes consist of members with the same type and scope of injury. Also under the proposed legislation, uninjured or non-comparably injured parties can still join class actions, but must do so separately from parties that experienced more extensive injury.

Asbestos ‘double-dipping’ bill could get a vote this week

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 7, 2017, 3:30pm

The FACT Act, or H.R. 906, would increase transparency in the asbestos trust system, in which about 100 companies that were targeted frequently by asbestos lawsuits declared bankruptcy to establish trusts to compensate victims.

Sponsor of asbestos ‘double-dipping’ bill seems confident he has Trump’s support

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 2, 2017, 8:32am

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, says the president doesn’t have “a reason not to” support the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency, or FACT, Act.

Nebraska SC sides with insurer on question of ‘actual cash value,’ depreciation of labor

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 1, 2017, 1:03pm

The state’s high court, in its Feb. 17 opinion, sided with defendant American Family Mutual Insurance Company. The court held that an insurer may apply depreciation to the cost of labor when determining actual cash value under a standard policy that did not define the term “actual cash value.”

Oregon SC: PIP benefits do not include insured’s transportation costs

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 28, 2017, 4:05pm

The state’s high court, hearing the case en banc, ruled 4-3 that plaintiff Stephanie M. Dowell was not entitled to reimbursement for the transportation costs she incurred to obtain medical care, as part of her personal injury protection, or PIP, medical benefits. PIP is an extension of car insurance that covers medical expenses and, in many cases, lost wages.

Appeals piling up against DOL over its fiduciary rule

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 27, 2017, 2:50pm

A group of associations have filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and a Kansas-based company has filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit over the controversial new rule. The rule mandates financial professionals who service individual retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k) plans, to serve the “best interest” of the savers and disclose conflicts of interest.

When, how or will Trump change consumer protection bureau's leadership

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 27, 2017, 8:06am

Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, remains the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, considered a thorn in the side of many Republicans. Some experts say they are surprised President Donald Trump hasn’t yet given Cordray the boot.

Fla. SC ruling rejects state Legislature’s ability to limit attorney fees in claims bills

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 24, 2017, 2:44pm

In Florida, state law limits recovery against the State or its agencies or subdivisions to $100,000 per person or $200,000 per incident in damages, with a 25 percent cap on attorneys’ fees. To get more, lawmakers must pass a claims bill, or a relief act.

U.S. House panel approves asbestos ‘double-dipping,’ litigation reform bills

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 24, 2017, 7:40am

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency, or FACT, Act of 2017 by a vote of 19-11. The committee also passed the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 by a vote of 19-12.

Ala. SC declines to apply ‘new, greatly expanded’ theory of liability in hospital negligence cases

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 23, 2017, 11:48am

The state Supreme Court, in a per curiam opinion released Feb. 10, sided with Helen Keller Hospital in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against it, affirming the ruling of a trial court.

Wash. SC: Medical device manufacturers have duty to warn hospitals, too

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 21, 2017, 3:32pm

The court majority, in its Feb. 9 opinion, said hospitals need these warnings to credential the operating physicians and to provide optimal care for patients.

Advocacy groups file lawsuit over Trump’s ‘one-in, two-out’ regulation executive order

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 16, 2017, 3:12pm

The groups take issue with President Donald Trump’s Jan. 30 order, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” which calls for rescinding two government regulations for every new rule introduced, along with interim guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, Feb. 2.

N.J. law firm alleges Philadelphia personal injury firm obtained illegal fee division agreement in motor vehicle case

Jessica Karmasek Feb. 15, 2017, 1:19pm

Attorney Joel Wayne Garber and his firm, Garber Law, filed the lawsuit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Gloucester County, Law Division, Jan. 13. The named defendants include Heslin Law Firm, attorney Gary P. Heslin and Mark Patrick, a paralegal at the firm, according to the complaint.