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AAJ convention lists what's hot in class actions, politicians

The annual trial lawyers convention is just around the corner, as members of the American Association for Justice gather in Philadelphia July 12-16th.

The convention brochure, as always, makes for interesting reading. You get a good sense of new strategies and priorities from the various seminars and discussions. For example, from the Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP), page 8 in the brochure.

    Afternoon Theme: MDL--State Coordination
  • Internal Struggle: How to Resolve the Conflict of Contingent Fees and Common Benefit Fees in Mass Tort Litigation (ethics)
  • Ethics of Mass Tort Settlements (ethics)
  • The Preamble/Supreme Court Preemption: An Update
  • What's Hot: New Litigation--Bisphenol-A, Pain Pumps, Toxins

Bisphenol-A, that's a hot topic right now in Congress, too, with Senator Boxer working on a federal ban. Pain pumps, though...new to us.

On the political side, we've got a post over at Shopfloor.org that notes Gov. Rendell and Sen. Specter are speaking, logically enough given the Pennsylvania location and their legal interests. But the speaker who really catches our eye is Al Franken, the DFL candidate for U.S. Senate in Minnesota. He's not just the townhall speaker, he's the special guest for a "meet and greet" limited to the Platinum-level contributors to the AAJ's PAC.

No political distancing there, and perhaps even a reconciliation? Prominent Minnesota trial lawyer Mike Ciresi originally sought the party's nomination before dropping out given Franken's advantages.

Franken's fundraising strategy is also now apparent. He's relying on trial lawyers, labor bosses and the well-heeled liberal elite.

Which makes for an obvious campaign slogan: Send lawyers, goons and money.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.