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Daniel Fisher News

Multidistrict litigation swamps courts as rules struggle to catch up; Is reform on the way?

By Daniel Fisher | Mar 21, 2019

Multidistrict litigation – sprawling cases sometimes involving thousands of plaintiffs from all over the country – now represents more than half of the civil caseload in federal courts, according to a new survey, yet defendants complain the rules governing them are largely judge-made and haphazardly enforced.

N.C. hog farmers press for reversal of $500M in nuisance verdicts

By Daniel Fisher | Mar 13, 2019

RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina hog farmers, supported by national farming and manufacturing groups, have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to reverse a $50 million nuisance verdict that was the opening shot in litigation that has delivered more than $500 million in verdicts for property owners who say they are being annoyed by noise and smells emanating from nearby farms.

Trump DOJ punishes hedge fund manager who sued drug companies and shorted their stocks

By Daniel Fisher | Feb 7, 2019

The Trump Justice Department, following a tougher policy toward dubious False Claims Act lawsuits by private citizens, has moved to dismiss a pair of lawsuits by a former hedge-fund manager who shorted stock in pharmaceutical companies he accused of a wide-ranging price-fixing conspiracy.

Ahead of talc test, NYC judge gives good news to asbestos defendants

By Daniel Fisher | Feb 1, 2019

The January 31 decision could have especially strong implications for lawsuits over talcum powder

Conn. judge rejects opioid claims, says allowing them would lead to 'junk justice'

By Daniel Fisher | Jan 14, 2019

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - A Connecticut judge has dismissed lawsuits by four cities against the opioid industry, saying there is no logical way for the plaintiffs to calculate damages or distribute any money they might win in the litigation.

Trump DOJ acts on threat to trial lawyers who sue on behalf of the government

By Daniel Fisher | Jan 11, 2019

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The Department of Justice's recent effort to toss lawsuits it says it wasted hundreds of hours investigating is emblematic of a strategy under President Donald Trump to rein in trial lawyers who are using a federal whistleblower law to seek millions of dollars.

In opioid blame game, roles of Ohio doctors and so-called 'pill mills' sought

By Daniel Fisher | Jan 4, 2019

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - The state of Ohio is sitting on a database that could prove the Rosetta Stone for opioid plaintiffs and defendants alike, but so far only the defendants are demanding access to it.

Watch New York City for crucial talcum powder verdicts in 2019

By Daniel Fisher | Jan 3, 2019

​​​​​NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York’s specialized court for asbestos lawsuits could become a pivotal battleground for litigation over talcum powder as plaintiff lawyers seek to establish a record of wins in a court system known for liberal rules and big jury verdicts.

Opioid judge rejects dismissal plea, orders first lawsuits to trial

By Daniel Fisher | Dec 20, 2018

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - Opioid manufacturers and distributors lost their long-shot bid to end more than 1,000 lawsuits against them as the federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation rejected their motions to dismiss and ordered the first cases to trial next year.

Opioid plaintiffs: A small percentage of pill shipments were 'suspicious.' Or maybe it's nearly all of them

By Daniel Fisher | Dec 14, 2018

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - Forced to identify opioid prescriptions they say were “suspicious” and never should have been shipped, Ohio cities and counties came up with a rough estimate. Very rough.

Trial lawyers find unusual allies in fight against arbitration: Conservative state treasurers

By Daniel Fisher | Dec 11, 2018

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Class action lawyers who see arbitration as a mortal threat to their business have found unlikely allies among some of the nation’s most conservative state officials.

Study undermines key theory behind talc asbestos lawsuits

By Daniel Fisher | Dec 5, 2018

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – Plaintiff experts who testify that even extremely low levels of asbestos exposure can cause cancer may be in trouble after a study of some 2 million women found no difference between urban and rural residents in the rate of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the chest lining that is normally associated with asbestos.

Oakland, San Francisco switch lawyers as climate change lawsuits face possible reckoning

By Daniel Fisher | Nov 29, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - The cities of Oakland and San Francisco have replaced the private lawyers representing them in climate change litigation as a series of lawsuits against ExxonMobil, Shell and other oil companies head toward what could be their final challenges in appeals courts on either coast.

Washington court rebukes judge for allowing `necessity defense’ in climate trespass

By Daniel Fisher | Nov 28, 2018

SPOKANE, WASH. (Legal Newsline) – An appeals court in Washington state has reversed a trial judge’s decision to allow an environmental protester to present a “necessity defense” against criminal trespass charges over blockading a coal train he said was contributing to global warming.

From Pennsylvania Record

Pennsylvania opioid litigation in chaos as plaintiff lawyers fight over control

By Daniel Fisher | Nov 26, 2018

MEDIA – Opioid litigation in Pennsylvania appears to be in chaos as a prominent law firm has withdrawn from a leadership position on the plaintiff side and unions and the county surrounding the city of Allentown fight efforts to consolidate all lawsuits in a single court.

Opioid defendants say plaintiffs stonewalling them on crucial evidence

By Daniel Fisher | Nov 15, 2018

Opioid defendants say plaintiffs stonewalling them on crucial evidence

Money for nothing: SCOTUS could stop class action funds from being steered to non-parties

By Daniel Fisher | Nov 1, 2018

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a case that could end cy pres, the practice of steering money in class action settlements to organizations with absolutely no connection to the underlying lawsuit.

Law firm in controversial $300M settlement reveals referral fees in a third of open cases

By Daniel Fisher | Oct 24, 2018

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Labaton Sucharow revealed it has agreed to pay referral fees to outside lawyers in almost a third of its open lawsuits, responding to prodding from the judge overseeing the scandal-tinged, $300 million State Street Bank & Trust case.

Time running out for lawyers suing opioid industry to show specific proof

By Daniel Fisher | Oct 20, 2018

The judge overseeing multidistrict litigation against the opioid industry has given plaintiffs a stark choice on a tight deadline: Hand over evidence of specific prescriptions they believe were improper or lose the right to present such evidence forever.

Law firm 'deeply regrets' the $4M fee steered to attorney who did no work on class action

By Daniel Fisher | Oct 11, 2018

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Securities class action firm Labaton Sucharow has reached a tentative truce with the special master investigating questionable activities that include a $4.1 million referral fee paid to a lawyer who did no work but served as the middleman between Labaton and an Arkansas pension fund that served as lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against State Street Bank and Trust.

The Record Network