Legal Protection and Reasonable Treatment for
Corporations Throughout the Entire Product Life Cycle

Welcome New Members







Brent Moffett
Moffett Packus and Sims



Sean P. Fahey
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP



William D. Purnell
Bowman and Brooke LLP



Reid Carpenter
Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC



Clem C. Trischler
Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP



Joseph L. McReynolds
Deutsch Kerrigan LLP



Lem E. Montgomery III
Butler Snow LLP



Andrew Tauber
Winston & Strawn LLP


Click here to see the full list of new members

Members in the News

PLAC’s Mike Zogby Speaks with Law360 about NJ’s Proposal Regarding 3rd-Party Funding Disclosures

April 27, 2021
Law360 turned to PLAC member Michael C. Zogby of Faegre Drinker for insight about the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey’s recent proposed amendment to its local civil rules, which would require litigants to disclose the identities of outside funders and whether they have input on litigation decisions. Zogby, deputy leader of the firm’s product liability and mass torts practice and co-chair of the health & life sciences litigation team, shared commentary with associate Kaitlyn Stone.

Zogby told Law360 that he believes the court has the chance to be a leader in terms of third-party litigation funding disclosure with its proposed rule change. “We have so many large-scale, important mass actions right now that this is a perfect example, and timetable, for the court to put in transparency and disclosure guidance to really help with the cases that are being filed in the district,” he explained. “It’s long overdue nationally, but this does show that the District of New Jersey is ahead of the curve in making sure that a rule is on the books.”

Kaitlyn Stone, one of PLAC’s emerging leaders, agreed with Zogby, saying “It’s just another example of the District of New Jersey being on the forefront of an issue. They really are on top of issues, and even if we would have liked to have seen it a bit earlier, they still are ahead of the curve in terms of what’s been happening nationally.”

Read their full commentary here (subscription to Law360 required).

January 22, 2021
PLAC Member Ted Boutrous Named Top Lawyer of the Decade by Daily Journal


Theodore J. Boutrous Jr.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Click here to read the full article


We are pleased to share with you the current version of the Doing Business In Brazil, drafted by Souto Correa Advogados, a full service law firm in Brazil. Please reach out to PLAC member Roberta Feiten with questions or if you would like more information.


“What Real Jurors Like/Dislike About Lawyers”
As courts are slowly resuming proceedings including some forms of jury trials, trial counsel, their trial teams, litigators generally and claims supervisors need to recalibrate their thinking about jurors.


Amendments to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510

May 4, 2021

As a result of the Wilsonart case, where PLAC filed an amicus brief recommending adoption of the federal summary judgement rule, the Florida Supreme Court has adopted almost all of the text of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. As described in the court's opinion, the new rule in Florida will help eliminate frivolous lawsuits before they get to trial. A few highlights about the new rule.

  • First, while federal rule 56(a) says that the court should state on the record its reasons for granting or denying a summary judgment motion, new rule 1.510(a) says that the court shall do so.
  • Second, the new Florida rule, unlike its federal counterpart, requires the movant to file its summary judgment motion at least 40 days before the hearing.
  • Finally, note that the new rule will apply to all summary judgment motions decided after May 1, 2021. If a motion for summary judgment has already been denied under the pre-amendment rule, the parties should have a reasonable opportunity to file a renewed motion under the new rule.

 


Wendy F. Lumish
Bowman and Brooke LLP

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT’S FORD MOTOR COMPANY DECISION: JURISDICTIONAL SYMPATHY PREVAILS OVER LOGIC

April 22, 2021

David R. Geiger

In its recent decision in Ford Mtr. Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial Dist. Ct., the Supreme Court held due process permitted jurisdiction over an out-of-state vehicle manufacturer for product liability claims brought by forum residents following a forum accident, even though defendant did not design, manufacture or sell plaintiffs’ vehicles in the forum. The Court concluded defendant’s current advertising, sales and (purported) servicing of the same vehicle models were sufficiently “related” contacts to render jurisdiction fair.

PLAC’s amicus brief writer, Dave Geiger, has authored an article arguing the Court purports to rely on precedent and principles that do not support its decision, and the decision introduces vast uncertainty into a legal area the Court painstakingly clarified over the last decade. Questions raised include whether there is jurisdiction only if plaintiff’s residence or accident was in the forum or whether both are required; whether sales other than of the accident model count as sufficiently “related;” whether the Court really intended to support jurisdiction over past events by the manufacturer’s current forum contacts; and whether the Court really intended to impute to the manufacturer vehicle servicing performed by independent dealers.

To read the full article, published by the Washington Legal Foundation, click here.


David R. Geiger
Foley Hoag LLP

Featured Amicus Brief

On April 2, 2021, PLAC filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court in Johnson & Johnson v Ingham, No. 20-1223. PLAC’s brief urges the Court to grant review of a decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals holding that a consolidated trial of the claims of 22 asbestos-in-talc ovarian cancer plaintiffs did not violate due process. The trial resulted in identical $25 million compensatory damages awards and an omnibus $4.05 billion punitive damages award.

The Missouri court concluded any jury confusion or prejudice was presumed cured by the court’s instruction that the jury decide each case individually - even though those cases involved different exposures to different products in different amounts over different time periods, different clinical courses, different results and different underlying risk factors, and were governed by the laws of twelve different states. PLAC’s brief argues due process imposes limits on the consolidation of civil—and especially mass tort—cases for trial, presenting an important issue that has not been, but should be, addressed by the Court. After the Court and Congress dramatically curtailed abusive class actions through decisions such as Amchem Prods. v. Windsor and Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, and the Class Action Fairness Act, plaintiffs’ counsel have increasingly turned to consolidated trials of multiple plaintiffs’ claims to obtain the same aggregated evidence and coercive benefits class actions offer. With multi-district litigation making up a majority of the federal civil docket, and with hundreds of thousands of tort suits filed annually in state courts, many of them also aggregated in MDL-like proceedings, opportunities for aggregated trials are rife. COVID-19 backlogs will only make consolidation more tempting for “efficiency” purposes.

Judicial decisions, experimental social science studies and studies of actual jury verdicts all demonstrate that consolidated trials pose severe threats to defendants’ fair trial rights. It is impossible for jurors to keep individual cases separate, the aggregate evidence makes the jury more likely to find both liability and causation, and the jury inevitably hears evidence that is inadmissible in some individual cases. This case was a paradigm example of such unfairness, and the Missouri court’s ruling that jury instructions cured any problems not only raises the important due process issue but exacerbates a split with other state and federal appellate courts. Hence, the Court should grant review.

PLAC’s brief was authored by David R. Geiger, Foley Hoag LLP, Seaport West, 155 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA 02210

David R. Geiger
Foley Hoag LLP

Our Mission

PLAC is a specialty bar association focusing on complex litigation and regulatory issues in the area of product development and product liability. Our not-for-profit association of product manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and select regulatory, litigation and appellate professionals who work to shape the common law of product liability and complex regulation, provide guidance on changing regulations, and strategically help corporations manage risk throughout the entire product lifecycle. PLAC is a unique resource for companies who must defend their products’ integrity and their companies’ reputation.

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Amicus Program

PLAC's mission is to obtain fairness and balance in the common law of product liability. A primary tool to accomplish this mission is PLAC's Amicus Curiae Program, often called “The heart and soul of PLAC.”

PLAC has filed more than 1,100 amicus briefs, written by some of the nation’s top appellate practitioners. Our briefs have been accepted in virtually every state and federal court in the U.S. They are routinely acknowledged, quoted, and praised by courts in published opinions.

PLAC’s amicus briefs help shape the law for all manufacturers on important issues.

Upcoming Events


Webinars:        
July 20, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET: Practice in the Pandemic and Moving Forward

Questions? Email us at plac@plac.com.