Daniel Fisher News

Rhode Island sues over climate change, using similar claims the state Supreme Court has already rejected

By Daniel Fisher | Jul 3, 2018

R.I. AG Peter Kilmartin better hope Rhode Island courts import California’s concept of public nuisance law, since the last time a Rhode Island AG tried this tactic, over lead paint, the state Supreme Court rejected the claim entirely.

Court unseals scathing report accusing Labaton of misconduct in State Street case

By Daniel Fisher | Jul 2, 2018

A federal judge unsealed a lengthy report accusing Labaton Sucharow and a Massachusetts law firm of deliberately misleading the court about how it distributed the fees in a $300 million settlement with State Street Bank and Trust Co., including $4.1 million paid to a Houston lawyer who did no work on the case.

Insurers to feel brunt of New Jersey asbestos ruling, while Delaware hits employers on same day

By Daniel Fisher | Jun 28, 2018

A decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court forces Honeywell’s insurers to pay for thousands of asbestos claims even though the company, through its Bendix unit, continued to make asbestos-containing brake products for more than a decade after it could no longer obtain insurance coverage for such products.

Motley Rice hit with RICO lawsuit by jailed ex-billionaire it accused of funding terrorism

By Daniel Fisher | Jun 26, 2018

Six days after the FBI arrested billionaire Raj Rajaratnam on insider-trading charges in October 2009, lawyers at Motley Rice hit him with their own charge: Financing terror.

Labaton escalates spat with judge in State Street case, demands ex parte communications

By Daniel Fisher | Jun 25, 2018

Labaton Sucharow, having failed to get a federal judge to recuse himself, asked him to turn over records of any out-of-court communications with the special master probing allegations that Labaton overcharged its clients and improperly shared part of its $75 million fee.

'They're always wrong': NYC's hired guns cite overturned case as authority for climate change lawsuit

By Daniel Fisher | Jun 19, 2018

It was a surprising opening move, to say the least. Arguing for the City of New York in its climate lawsuit against five major oil companies, attorney Michael Pawa cited AEP v. Connecticut, a 2009 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, as “persuasive authority” in his clients’ favor.

NYC's climate change lawsuit faces scrutiny from judge during dismissal arguments

By Daniel Fisher | Jun 14, 2018

A clearly skeptical federal judge questioned the basic premise behind New York City’s lawsuit against five of the world’s biggest oil companies over climate change on Wednesday

Art imitates life: 'Billions' describes six-figure, part-time jobs on asbestos trusts

By Daniel Fisher | Jun 7, 2018

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - The third season of the wildly popular show "Billions" premiered in March with a mention of an oddly arcane subject: asbestos bankruptcy trusts. The dialogue coming out of the mouth of prosecutor Chuck Rhodes, played by Paul Giamatti, becomes a little less mysterious when you look at who wrote it, however.

Three weeks after Silver conviction, NY lawmakers balking at asbestos reform

By Daniel Fisher | Jun 2, 2018

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – Reform bills that would require asbestos plaintiffs to disclose all potential claims in court appear stalled in the New York legislature, three weeks after former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted for a second time on charges stemming directly from the state’s scandal-prone asbestos court system.

Does it matter if oil is useful? Cities say no in climate lawsuit filings

By Daniel Fisher | Jun 1, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – California cities suing five of the world’s biggest oil companies said in court filings Thursday that the question of whether fossil fuels are useful to society is irrelevant to whether the companies should pay billions of dollars in damages over climate change.

New state AG opioid lawsuits show diverging strategies, outside counsel pay scales

By Daniel Fisher | May 30, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - The latest wave of state lawsuits over the opioid crisis illustrates sharp differences emerging in how governments litigate these cases, both in whom they choose to sue and whether private lawyers stand to get a piece of the action.

GOP states, Trump admin and energy sector to ask for dismissal of climate change lawsuits

By Daniel Fisher | May 24, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - Lawsuits accusing some of the world’s biggest oil companies of causing climate change face a crucial test Thursday, when a federal judge in California hears arguments on whether to dismiss cases brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland.

Judge sees litigation as only an `aid in settlement discussions’ for opioid lawsuits

By Daniel Fisher | May 11, 2018

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - The judge overseeing hundreds of lawsuits against the opioid industry that have been consolidated in federal court said some trials may occur but that litigation is “not a substitute or replacement” for his preferred goal of a comprehensive settlement.

NYC asbestos firm hopes to continue $117M hot streak, again seeks punitives from J&J

By Daniel Fisher | May 9, 2018

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - Johnson & Johnson, fresh from losing a $117 million asbestos verdict in New Jersey, is opposing plaintiff lawyers who are trying to obtain punitive damages against it in a specialized New York court for asbestos lawsuits.

Judge in massive opioid case watching plaintiff lawyer spending, orders them to fly coach

By Daniel Fisher | May 2, 2018

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - The judge overseeing multidistrict litigation against the opioid industry ordered plaintiffs’ attorneys to keep monthly records of the time they spend on their cases down to a tenth of an hour and imposed strict rules on who can collect fees, in an effort to prevent the excesses that have drawn criticism in other class actions and mass tort cases.

Self-driving cars, thinking machines will test limits of tort law

By Daniel Fisher | Apr 20, 2018

SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - Self-driving cars, machines that teach themselves how to operate and home digital assistants that can enter into legally binding contracts are all either on the market now or soon will be. So the next question is: Whom do you sue when they run amok?

Oil companies again urge judge to reject Calif. global warming lawsuits

By Daniel Fisher | Apr 20, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - Chevron, in a renewed motion to dismiss climate change litigation against it filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, described the case as a futile attempt to get around numerous prior court decisions preventing similar lawsuits over the sale of legal products.

Opioid judge orders trials, DEA records as 'step toward defeating the disease'

By Daniel Fisher | Apr 13, 2018

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - The federal judge overseeing hundreds of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors has ordered a series of bellwether trials starting in 2019 to test disputed legal theories and facts before live juries, all but admitting defeat in his initial goal of crafting a global settlement and solution to the opioid crisis this year.

Climate plaintiffs amend suit after judge scolds them on ‘smoking gun’ memo that wasn’t

By Daniel Fisher | Apr 5, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – California cities suing ExxonMobil and four other big oil and gas companies have amended their complaint after a federal judge criticized them for portraying an internal memo by an industry association as revealing inside information about climate science that turned out to be merely a summation of findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Justice Department cites ‘substantial financial stake’; Wants role in opioid settlement talks

By Daniel Fisher | Apr 3, 2018

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. government wants a seat at the table as lawyers for hundreds of municipalities and other plaintiffs negotiate a potentially multibillion-dollar settlement of lawsuits over the opioid addiction crisis, citing its “substantial financial stake” in the matter and need to recover its own costs.

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