The Product Liability Advisory Council believes the voice of product manufacturers deserves to be heard. We have a thoughtful point of view as it relates to products and believe it is crucial that the viewpoint of our leading companies be considered as the law gets shaped. Our efforts also serve as a conduit for measured, intellectually-rigorous commentary on how rapidly changing areas of the law can create unintended consequences for product manufacturers, consumers and the vitality of our economy.

As a tangible measure of PLAC’s contribution to the common law, since our founding in 1983, we have filed more than 1,000 briefs as amicus curiae in state and federal courts, presenting the broad perspective of manufacturers. Our efforts are intended to achieve balance and fairness to the application of existing law. PLAC’s focus is on the civil litigation system and its many facets. We leverage litigation—and trials—to shape the common law. To keep it refreshed, relevant, and grounded in today’s operating environment.

“The courts provide a system for which there is no alternative. Trials, and a steady stream of them, are enormously important to a well-informed trial bar and to giving the law the life that it needs.” –Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

The right to a trial, the right to have jurors hear a case, and the public nature of trials each derive from the most fundamental building blocks of our legal system. Magna Carta, sealed at Runnymede in June, 1215, guaranteed due process and a jury trial within the feudal system. The US Constitution and Bill of Rights, derived from our English heritage, affirmed those rights in the New World. Today, each of our 50 states, by statute or by language within its constitution, guarantee such rights.

But, as every attorney knows, common law evolves over time. Each new case tried and appealed represents a new thread in the ever-expanding weave. The law applicable to a case today was made in cases last year or last decade and maybe even the last century. Those cases bind the analytical framework for a case today in the same way the case today binds the outer contours of the law in the next case.