W.J. Kennedy News

'Wacko': Insurance law project puts spotlight on American Law Institute's direction

By W.J. Kennedy | Aug 2, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - The American Law Institute (ALI) is as powerful as any society with a membership of 3,000 of the nation’s leading lawyers could be. And since its founding in 1923, the Philadelphia-based group of judges and academic and practicing lawyers has been as obscure as a group with so much power would want to be.

Senate Obamacare repeal failures warning sign for business and banking communities on rescinding anti-arbitration rule

By W.J. Kennedy | Jul 29, 2017

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Business and banking interests are working to ensure that an upcoming Senate attempt to rescind the Consumer Financial Bureau Protection’s (CFPB) anti-arbitration rule plays out differently than repeated failures by Senate Republicans to repeal any or all of Obamacare. And they are enlisting help on the state level to do it.

Skiing, biking lawsuits among closed-door topics at AAJ's annual meeting

By W.J. Kennedy | Jul 7, 2017

The convention is scheduled to take place in Boston from July 22-25 and will feature meetings on several areas of the law, including litigation over skiing and bicycling accidents.

Pennsylvania House committee puts off vote on asbestos transparency legislation

By W.J. Kennedy | Jun 8, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday passed over a scheduled vote on legislation that would require plaintiffs’ attorneys to reveal to a court any claims they intend to make to an asbestos bankruptcy trust involving the same case.

American Law Institute puts off vote on Restatement of liability insurance law for a year

By W.J. Kennedy | May 23, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - In the face of withering criticism from the insurance industry, state officials, and most recently, counsel for some of the country’s largest corporations, the American Law Institute (ALI) yesterday decided to delay a vote on a Restatement of the Law covering liability insurance for a year. The now delayed project was scheduled for discussion before the full ALI body today.

Insurance officials, business defense urge delay in vote of liability insurance Restatement

By W.J. Kennedy | May 22, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - Business attorneys, state insurance regulators and state lawmakers are so troubled over an impending final vote on a proposed Restatement of law covering liability insurance that they are urging American Law Institute (ALI) officials to delay it, and consider making significant changes to the document.

Business lawyers: Expect spillover from actions against asbestos trusts, plaintiffs lawyers

By W.J. Kennedy | Mar 29, 2017

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Business defense lawyers say that the fallout from recent government and private actions against asbestos bankruptcy trusts and plaintiffs lawyers specializing in asbestos exposure cases could extend well beyond the actions themselves.

Legal experts battle over proposal to clarify law covering liability insurance for ALI

By W.J. Kennedy | Mar 9, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - A draft legal document that could have a profound impact on American law involving liability insurance has some critics and the document’s authors in near total disagreement over whole sections of the draft, and even its overall objective.

Proposed Restatement of consumer contract law could give trial bar new weapon

By W.J. Kennedy | Feb 23, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) -  American Law Institute (ALI) is cooking up new common law rules covering consumer contracts that would give courts an unprecedented range of reasons to invalidate or rewrite contract terms.

ILR study focuses on double-dipping in Virginia asbestos cases

By W.J. Kennedy | Dec 15, 2016

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Legal Newsline) - Legislation bringing greater transparency to an asbestos victims’ compensation system that can result in attorneys and their clients collecting multiple times for the same alleged injury is the best way to prevent duplicitous exposure claims from being made, concludes a review of court cases in Virginia's asbestos litigation “epicenter.”

Lawyers blaming earthquakes on fracking drop case rather than pursue in fed court

By W.J. Kennedy | Oct 20, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) - Two Oklahoma women and their attorneys have dropped a class action lawsuit in federal court that blames the recent spate of earthquakes in the state on oil and gas exploration, but they will re-file their claims against the fracking industry next year in a different court.

Lawyers at odds over Restatement of Law covering liability insurance

By W.J. Kennedy | Sep 23, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - Insurance and business defense attorneys are sparring with the drafters of a powerful legal document that will influence the outcome of insurance liability cases.

With class members unaware of settlement, firm, founder and charities cash in

By W.J. Kennedy | Aug 9, 2016

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Early this year, Howard Bernstein helped direct $1.7 million to 11 charities near his home in Lake Worth, FL -- among them, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.

Are 'Restatements' from prominent group reshaping law?

By W.J. Kennedy | May 26, 2016

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - A series of memos that energized a core opposition of more than 100 lawyers won the day at a packed Ritz-Carlton ballroom.

'Gamesmanship' has both class action and corporate attorneys waiting on punishment

By W.J. Kennedy | May 17, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) - A federal judge in Arkansas intends to sanction attorneys on both sides of a class action case who he says wasted his court’s time -- an unusual but emerging trend in the law, a University of Miami law professor says.

Still no movement on disclosure of third party litigation financing

By W.J. Kennedy | Apr 21, 2016

PALM BEACH, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - A U.S. Court rules committee again put off any action on whether to require disclosure of third-party litigation financing (TPLF), a rapidly expanding practice that has alarmed many in the legal system and the business community.

Sierra Club's legal theory in frackquake case draws 'Star Trek' comparison

By W.J. Kennedy | Apr 1, 2016

The Sierra Club and Public Justice are taking a novel approach in citing the Resource Conservation and Recovering Act in a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma, according to several industry and environmental attorneys

Frackquake lawsuits present PR dilemma for industry, evidence hurdle for plaintiffs

By W.J. Kennedy | Mar 28, 2016

The negative publicity surrounding lawsuits alleging the oil and gas industry are responsible for earthquakes in Oklahoma is likely to cause more damage than the outcome of any of the suits - despite the plaintiffs' challenge of finding evidence tying fracking to the surge in activity.

Fla. court affirms AG's power to dismiss whistleblower lawsuits

By W.J. Kennedy | Feb 29, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - A Florida appeals court last week reaffirmed the state attorney general's authority to dismiss a whistleblower action under the state’s False Claims Act, even in cases in which the state chooses not to intervene in the action.

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