Top News

Hawaii appeals court says aggregate settlement amount in asbestos case was sufficient

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 31, 2017, 8:50am

A three-judge panel of the state’s Intermediate Court of Appeals, or ICA, ruled March 16 that the aggregate settlement amount provided was good enough, upholding the Circuit Court of the First Circuit’s Dec. 21, 2015 order.

Acosta, Trump’s pick to head DOL, says he will follow order to review fiduciary rule

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 27, 2017, 11:51am

R. Alexander Acosta, President Donald Trump’s labor secretary nominee, faced members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, or HELP, Committee during his confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Trump’s pick for U.S. SC denies he’s against class actions

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 24, 2017, 4:00pm

Neil Gorsuch, a conservative who serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, faced four days of confirmation hearings by the U.S. Senate this week.

Bill to limit use of forced arbitration clauses reintroduced

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 22, 2017, 1:14pm

U.S. Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., along with U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., reintroduced the Arbitration Fairness Act March 7. The legislation, previously introduced in 2011 and 2015, would eliminate forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases.

Proposals aimed at splitting Ninth Circuit again introduced

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 21, 2017, 4:41pm

Various legislation has been introduced this Congress aimed at restructuring the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the largest of the nation’s 13 courts of appeals. The circuit’s judges contend a split would be harmful, while Democrats argue partisan politics is at the center of the push.

House Democrats argue DOL’s proposed delay of fiduciary rule could hurt savers

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 20, 2017, 2:01pm

The U.S. Department of Labor said earlier this month it would move forward -- under the direction of President Donald Trump -- with its efforts to delay the April 10 applicability date of the new “conflicts of interest” rule. The department said under its proposal the applicability date of the rule and related exemptions would be extended to June 9.

GM sues asbestos trusts over payments to former employee’s widow

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 16, 2017, 11:15am

According to its four complaints, General Motors LLC has been making weekly payments of death benefits. The company contends it should have been informed that its former employee’s widow also has been receiving payments from the trusts.

Miss. attorney alleges Dallas firm failed to pay her promised fees, bonuses, increased salary

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 15, 2017, 11:17am

Plaintiff Sheila M. Bossier filed her lawsuit in Hinds County Circuit Court Feb. 1. The named defendants include Dallas area law firm Freese & Goss PLLC, attorneys Richard A. Freese and Tim K. Goss and various John/Jane Does. Freese & Goss have since filed a notice of removal and motion to dismiss in a Mississippi federal court.

Oklahoma SC refuses to wade into lawsuit over Syrian-born man’s baptism

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 14, 2017, 3:04pm

The state’s high court, in its Feb. 22 ruling, said per the church autonomy doctrine, it lacks subject matter jurisdiction.

Alabama SC: Lower court didn’t have jurisdiction to force Caremark to produce info on class members

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 14, 2017, 12:03pm

The state’s high court, in an opinion released Feb. 24, granted Caremark Rx LLC’s petition for writ of mandamus and issued a writ directing the Franklin Circuit Court to vacate its Aug. 1, 2016 order.

Rehab service alleges Baker Donelson law firm cost it $1 million

Jessica Karmasek Mar. 13, 2017, 3:51pm

Plaintiff The Summit Health and Rehab Services Inc. filed its lawsuit against Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC in Hinds County Circuit Court in Mississippi Jan. 12.

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.