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TLR News Clips

Reuters, March 4, 2014

An American lawyer used "corrupt means" to secure a multi-billion-dollar pollution judgment against Chevron Corp in Ecuador, a U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday, a major setback for Ecuadorean villagers hoping to collect on the award.

Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2014

By Andrew N. Vollmer
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Halliburton HAL +0.90% v. Erica P. John Fund, a case that could dramatically decrease the number and size of class-action lawsuits that claim fraud by publicly traded companies. Such class actions are seen as either essential to compensating injured investors and deterring corporate misconduct—or mostly meritless distractions that drive securities offerings overseas and fail to compensate the injured or deter the misconduct.

Institute for Legal Reform, February 27, 2014

Frequent filers - professional plaintiff investors who file lawsuit after lawsuit - have been a long-standing phenomenon in shareholder litigation in both state and federal courts. Nearly twenty years ago, Congress attempted to remove professional plaintiffs from federal securities class actions by adopting the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) of 1995. Yet, this legislation fell short of achieving its goal of eliminating professional plaintiffs.

Forbes, February 24, 2014

By Charles Duan
The catchphrase of American justice is “having one’s day in court.” We pride ourselves in having a judicial system that lets the little guys stand up to big, powerful corporations and aggressors. When they wrongfully foreclose on our homes, or pollute our water with hexavalent chromium, or conceal the dangers of asbestos, the courts are here to protect us.

Baton Rouge Advocate, February 26, 2014

A Texas lawyer who is the target of a federal probe into whether he grossly inflated the number of clients he represented in the wake of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is due in federal court in New Orleans on Wednesday, as BP takes aim at the $2.3 billion deal it brokered to compensate the seafood industry for losses suffered by commercial fishing vessel owners, captains, fishermen and crew members.

Huffington Post, February 21, 2014

Abraham Lincoln was an accomplished trial lawyer. He also believed that litigation should only be used as a last resort: "Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this." Lincoln's view of the role of litigation prompts me to reflect on the new trend of outside investors funding lawsuits, discussed in an excellent op-ed by Gerald Skoning in today's Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2014

By Gerald Skoning

What began as a cottage industry to fund personal-injury lawsuits has become a booming international business in litigation finance. Some litigation-investment firms, such as Juridica and Burford BUR.LN -0.43% Capital, both incorporated offshore, are publicly traded. Others like BlackRobe Capital Partners and Parabellum Capital, both in New York, are privately held. All are drawn by expectations of big-time payoffs and returns in America's $200 billion litigation market.

San Antonio Express-News, February 14, 2014

By Wallace B. Jefferson and Lisa Kaufman
The judiciary plays a vital role in our democracy, yet when we arrive at the ballot box, many of us have little knowledge about the candidates for judicial office. This information deficit is pronounced in large urban areas like San Antonio, where as many as 39 judicial races appear on the ballot.

Legal Newsline, February 12, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) — Jamie Richardson, the vice president of corporate relations at White Castle System Inc. — the fast food hamburger chain known for its “sliders” — never thought his company would be the target of so-called “patent trolls.”

New Orleans Times-Picayune, February 17, 2014

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon weighed in on Louisiana's comparatively high auto insurance rates on Monday (Feb. 17), noting a recent landmark suit filed by the East Bank levee board against oil and gas companies will help further a wider push to revisit tort reform during this year's legislative session.

Politico, February 14, 2014

There is one significant problem with the effort to get states to go after a Big Tobacco-style lawsuit against the food industry, attorneys say: There is no “smoking gun” showing that food companies made their products addictive at the expense of public health. “Food is not tobacco,” attorney Bruce Silverglade says. “The case simply isn’t there.”

Institute for Legal Reform, February 11, 2014

An aggressive fight from a defendant that suspected improprieties by plaintiffs could have big implications for future cases, Law 360 reports. As we’ve mentioned before, Garlock became the first defendant to successfully access the bankruptcy trust records.

Cal Watchdog, February 11, 2014

There are multiple reports that Toyota is about to pay nearly a $1 billion fine to the U.S. government for accidents related to the unintended acceleration of its vehicles, a story that went national after two incidents in San Diego in 2009 and 2010. In the first, an off-duty CHP officer and three family members were killed when their loaner Lexus went out of control; in the second, the CHP had to use a car to stop a speeding Prius.

Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2014

The worst public scandals are often those that travel in plain sight, and a prime example is the asbestos litigation racket. We've been writing about it for years, and now a judge in North Carolina has issued a remarkable opinion exposing just how rotten it is.

Institute for Legal Reform, February 5, 2014

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today released a new white paper “What’s Wrong with Securities Class Action Lawsuits?” which demonstrates the “irrationality and ineffectiveness” of securities class actions, and concludes that the costs that they impose on investors outweigh any benefits.

Legal Newsline, February 3, 2014

The recent ruling in a North Carolina bankruptcy court in favor of a gasket manufacturer has sparked talk of abuse and manipulation in the asbestos bankruptcy trusts by plaintiffs’ lawyers, but one defense attorney says these corrosive actions aren’t new and should have people wondering who has jurisdiction to keep the system functioning effectively.

San Jose Mercury News, January 31, 2014

By Lisa Rickard
It's not by accident that our organization consistently ranks California as having one of the worst lawsuit climates in the nation. The recent absurdist lead paint decision more than lives up to that finding.

Legal Newsline, February 6, 2014

Last month, Google Inc. won a $1 jury verdict against Beneficial Innovations Inc., a Nevada-based patent-holding company that has filed a string of lawsuits over patents related to online gaming and online advertising.

Washington Examiner, January 31, 2014

By Isaac Gorodetski 
It seemed a throwaway line in President Obama's hour-long State of the Union address: “Let's pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly, needless litigation.”

Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2014

U.S. corporations have worked for two decades to fend off securities class-action lawsuits. But new figures show that such cases haven't abated.

Institue for Legal Reform, January 29, 2014

What are the new trends in American litigation? Where are opportunistic plaintiffs’ lawyers prospecting for lawsuit gold? Why are some state attorneys general cozying up to the plaintiffs’ bar?

Southeast Texas Record, January 21, 2014

Federal bankruptcy Judge George Hodges recently ruled that plaintiffs attorneys from the Houston law firm of Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas had engaged in unethical practices to maximize recovery against Garlock.

Texas Tribune, January 24, 2014

The general counsel of Rackspace, a web-hosting company in San Antonio, does not mince words when he discusses patent litigation.  

Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2014

By Michael L. Marlow

For more than 25 years Californians haven't been able to pump gas, go to the grocery store or even buy coffee at Starbucks without seeing a sign with wording such as: "WARNING: This Area Contains A Chemical Known To The State of California To Cause Cancer." Environmentalists cheered when the state passed Proposition 65, which required such warnings. But has the law done any good?

Louisiana Record, January 21, 2014

An attorney accused of falsifying his representation of tens of thousands of claimants in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill settlement is asking a federal court to stop actions concerning his clients in the settlement program until a criminal investigation is wrapped up.

Louisiana Record, January 23, 2014

BP has asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for a rehearing after two panels of judges on the court split on a decision regarding the certification of a class of plaintiffs.

New York Times, January 13, 2014

By Joe Nocera

Six weeks ago, I wrote a column about a ridiculous lawsuit being brought by Carolyn McCarthy, a congresswoman from Long Island. A smoker for most of her life, McCarthy has lung cancer. Yet her lawyers claimed that it was her “exposure” to asbestos, through the work clothes of her father and brother, both boilermakers, that triggered her cancer. Though McCarthy certainly deserves our sympathy as she fights cancer, it is hard to see her lawsuit as anything but an undeserved money grab — and the latest twist in asbestos litigation, the longest running tort in American history, with no end in sight.

Indiana Chamber Blog, January 15, 2014

We can’t make these things up. Shame on those lawmakers for protecting doctors from outrageous malpractice claims. Thanks to our friends at the North Carolina chamber for alerting us to this story....

Southeast Texas Record, January 14, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – A group made up largely of Vietnamese-American fisherman has filed a class action lawsuit against a Texas attorney who they claim improperly named them as clients in settlement claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Southeast Texas Record, Jan. 14, 2014

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – A bill aimed at curbing abusive patent litigation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last month is still awaiting its fate in the U.S. Senate.

The Innovation Act, or House of Representatives Bill 3309, was approved in an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 325-91 Dec. 5 and has since been sent to the Senate.