Dan Fisher News

Billing records for Texas opioid cases show wildly varying costs among lawyers

By Dan Fisher | Dec 13, 2018

May 15 was a busy day for the name partners at the Tyler, Texas-based Martin Walker law firm. Each billed 14.5 hours at $750 an hour, for a total of $21,750, to review lawsuits six Texas counties were preparing to file against opioid manufacturers and distributors that day.

Names of hundreds of addicts to be disclosed in opioid litigation

By Dan Fisher | Nov 1, 2018

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - Plaintiff lawyers representing Ohio cities and counties say they’ll comply with a judge’s order to identify hundreds of people who became addicted to prescription opioids by a deadline tomorrow, peevishly accusing manufacturer defendants of doubting they’ll come through with the information.

Cleveland, Akron will try to prove opioid cases without a single bogus prescription

By Dan Fisher | Oct 26, 2018

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - Plaintiffs in bellwether trials blaming the opioid industry for the nation's addiction crisis have allowed a Monday deadline to pass, apparently without turning over any proof of specific prescriptions that were made in error.

Judge chastises Labaton in hearing over $75M attorneys fee, demands contracts

By Dan Fisher | Oct 17, 2018

The federal judge who unleashed a wide-ranging investigation into the fee practices of Labaton Sucharow was unimpressed by the class action firm’s agreement to install an ethics monitor and revamp its rules.

A bale of hay and a block of cheese: How Mark Lanier won the $4.7 billion talcum powder verdict

By Dan Fisher | Oct 4, 2018

ST. LOUIS (Legal Newsline) - Partway through a trial over allegedly asbestos-tainted baby powder that ended with a $4.69 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson in St. Louis earlier this year, attorney Mark Lanier whipped a knife from out of his pocket and held it over a large block of yellow cheese.

Opioid lawyers say settlement may hinge on forcing plaintiffs into class action

By Dan Fisher | Sep 28, 2018

A settlement binding all potential plaintiffs may be the only practical way of ending nearly 2,000 lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors and retailers of addictive opioid painkillers, said plaintiff lawyers attending a conference on opioid litigation this week.

Court rejects appeal of companies sweating new rules in NYC's controversial asbestos docket

By Dan Fisher | Sep 27, 2018

Asbestos defendants failed to convince New York’s highest court to intervene in a long-running fight over how the New York City asbestos court known as NYCAL does business, leaving them with few options as hundreds of lawsuits march toward trial in the plaintiff-friendly venue.

'This is wrong': Fourth Circuit judge rips gag order in multimillion-dollar hog farm cases

By Dan Fisher | Sep 27, 2018

A federal judge’s gag order prohibiting anyone connected to nuisance litigation against hog farms in North Carolina was probably an unconstitutional prior restraint of speech and never should have been issued, an influential judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said in oral arguments this week.

Texas AG finds county violated state law in request for opioid lawyers' billing records

By Dan Fisher | Aug 31, 2018

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has found that a Texas County has violated state law by refusing to comply with a request for the billing records of private attorneys the county hired to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors

Texas officials were 'in over their heads' when they struck deals with opioid lawyers

By Dan Fisher | Aug 16, 2018

When it hired outside lawyers to represent it in lawsuits against the opioid industry, Harris County agreed to pay a contingency fee of 35%, more than double the rate in Dallas County and equal to the highest in the state.

From Pennsylvania Record

Opioid lawyer trying to avoid 'cesspool' asked for by major national firm

By Dan Fisher | Aug 9, 2018

Several Pennsylvania counties are fighting to keep control of their opioid lawsuits as the national law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy, with the active support of the companies it is suing, seeks to create what a rival attorney calls a litigation "cesspool."

With two high-profile losses, when do climate plaintiffs start worrying about sanctions?

By Dan Fisher | Aug 1, 2018

Now that federal judges on either coast have dismissed two of the most prominent climate lawsuits against the oil industry, risks to taxpayers may be going up.

A closely watched climate case is dismissed; Will the others survive?

By Dan Fisher | Jun 27, 2018

The private lawyers who engineered the latest round of municipal lawsuits over climate change hoped they’d found a path through the thicket of precedents blocking their way by suing oil companies for selling hydrocarbons instead of burning them and by citing state instead of federal law.

N.Y. judge's ruling could be painful for opioid-makers sued over addiction crisis

By Dan Fisher | Jun 20, 2018

In an ominous sign for the opioid industry, a New York judge refused to dismiss any of the claims by eight counties against Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and other prescription opioid manufacturers, saying the plaintiffs had adequately pled violations of everything from consumer protection statutes to the common law of public nuisance.

Sheldon Silver `blinded by greed,’ prosecutor says as retrial opens

By Dan Fisher | Apr 30, 2018

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - Sheldon Silver used his immense power as Speaker of the New York State Assembly to reap millions of dollars in bribes from Weitz & Luxenberg, one of the most prominent asbestos law firms in the country, a prosecutor told jurors at the opening of Silver’s retrial on federal corruption trials.

As Sheldon Silver heads to retrial, NYC's asbestos court still a plaintiff's playground

By Dan Fisher | Apr 28, 2018

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - The retrial of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is scheduled to begin Monday on charges including allegations he collected millions of dollars in improper payments from a prominent asbestos law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg.

Can FINRA exploit loophole the Supreme Court closed for SEC?

By Dan Fisher | Jul 14, 2017

Targets of disgorgement actions by FINRA may face an expensive battle holding it to a five-year statute of limitations.

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