The Rhode Island Supreme Court hears arguments today in an appeal from three paint manufacturers, sued by the state for creating a public nuisance by once selling lead paint, generally.
In a novel move, the court is broadcasting the arguments online, starting at 9 a.m.
The best blogger on the case is Jane Genova at Law and More. Reacting to the John Edwards endorsement of Obama yesterday, she considers the possibility of an Attorney General Edwards and observes:
To many he didn't seem like a good fit for the VP slot but a terrific one for the AG one. And that had tort reformers worried.
For just this reason tomorrow's Rhode Island Supreme Court lead paint public nuisance looms even more important in assessing the strength of the plaintiff bar in the U.S. If the RI SC Justices overturn the verdict for the state and acquit defendants Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and Millennium Holdings, that could signal a significant setback for everything from class-action suits to novel legal theories such as public nuisance.
The National Association of Manufacturers' materials -- including an amicus brief -- are available here.
UPDATE The court has web-archived the four-hour hearing. You can watch it here.