Results matching “delaware asbestos”

On primary day, some races for attorney general - PointOfLaw Forum

Today is primary election day in seven states and D.C. We've already noted the hotly contested, five-way Democratic primary for state attorney general in New York. (AP story.) The other semi-interesting contest for the AG nomination takes place in Rhode Island, with three Democrats running.

The incumbent, Patrick Lynch, is term-limited out of office and has already withdrawn from the party's race for governor. We bid adieu to Lynch, who carried on the law-stretching public nuisance litigation against the paint industry begun by his predecessor, Sheldon Whitehouse. The Republican candidate is Erik B. Wallin of South Kingston, who was a JAG prosecutor for the U.S. Air Force before returning to Rhode Island to become a state prosecutor and subsequently enter private practice.

There are three Democratic candidates:

  • Joseph M. Fernandez is a former city solicitor for Providence, who has a background in complex commercial litigation and who represented business in private practice. (Campaign website)
  • Peter F. Kilmartin is a former police captain who represents District 61 (Pawtucket) in the Rhode Island House of Representative. Organized labor is backing Kilmartin. (Campaign website)
  • Stephen R. Archambault, a defense attorney, is one of the five members of the Smithfield Town Council. He's a former police officer who's prosecutor for the town of Lincoln (Campaign website.)

Actually some tough campaigning in the contest, or at least negative ads. AP, "Negative TV ad by AG candidate": "PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - State Rep. Peter Kilmartin put out a negative TV ad in his campaign for Attorney General on Wednesday attacking his Democratic primary opponents with questionable claims." Kilmartin has raised the most money.

Elsewhere, it's boring. But read on, if you will....

Around the web, August 25 - PointOfLaw Forum

Around the web, April 19 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Alien Tort Statute: Citing lack of causation, judge dismisses case tying Mideast terror to oil sales [Russell Jackson]
  • A history of federal intervention in executive pay [Bachelder, NYLJ/Harvard Corporate Governance Blog via Bainbridge]
  • McKool law firm of Dallas does well on patent-suit contingency work [WSJ Law Blog]
  • St. Clair County, Ill., nearby sibling of Madison, attracting many asbestos cases [Hartley, more]
  • Bill moving through Connecticut legislature would limit use of criminal background checks on workers [Daniel Schwartz]
  • The kind of pre-emption products liability plaintiffs adore [Beck et al]

Beau Biden drops out of Delaware Senate race - PointOfLaw Forum

Which means there'll be less attention to the curious world of asbestos lawyering over the next election cycle. Michelle Malkin has more.

Around the web, July 3 - PointOfLaw Forum

Around the web, October 24 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • If you think the card check provisions in EFCA are outrageous, wait till you hear about the mandatory arbitration [Kirsanow, NRO Corner]
  • "Prohibition of Excessive Overtime in Health Care Act will Exacerbate Nursing Shortage" [Pennsylvania Labor and Employment Blog]
  • Suppose plaintiffs win Wyeth v. Levine and Vermont juries can second-guess FDA on medication's labeling for IV use. What then? [ER Stories]
  • Other pre-emption issues are bustin' out all over [Beck & Herrmann (U.S. Supreme Court, food regulation), NLJ (NHTSA, seat belts), Mundy/WSJ, Carter/ABA Journal (various federal agencies), Cal Biz Lit (autos, California court of appeal)]
  • Must be those awful deregulators at work: workplace injuries decline for sixth consecutive year [Henke, Next Right via Friedersdorf]
  • Emergence of Delaware as favored asbestos plaintiff's forum could dull the state's edge in corporate law, gee thanks Senator Biden [Bainbridge, WSJ edit, SE Texas Record]
  • Annulling credit default swaps as void: could this be Ben Stein's worst idea yet? [Salmon]

Around the web, September 25 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • For next New York chief judge, Judith Kaye's shoes will be hard to fill [Albany Times-Union via Bashman]
  • Flawed article asserting contributor influence on Louisiana Supreme Court mushrooms into huge embarrassment for Tulane Law Review [Eugene Volokh, Obbie/LawBeat]
  • Local Chamber president predicts that if asbestos-suit influx continues, "Delaware incorporation will soon come to be viewed as a liability and not an asset." [(Chamber-backed) Madison St. Clair Record]
  • Extraterritoriality in one city: Bloomberg claims victory as final settlement wraps up NYC's legal campaign to bully and arm-twist out-of-state gun dealers [NYLJ]
  • Extraterritoriality in one country: Potential diplomatic strains with Beijing over private lawsuit in L.A. claiming that Bank of China allowed money transfers by Mideast terror groups [American Lawyer, Economic Observer Online, China Daily, Times of India]
  • Yet more costs of extraterritoriality: to further San Francisco suit against Chevron over claimed human rights breaches in Nigeria, plaintiffs want visas granted to Nigerian witnesses whom State Department deems an overstay risk [NLJ; more background on extraterritoriality and Alien Tort Statute here]

SimmonsCooper and Delaware, cont'd - PointOfLaw Forum

The Madison County, Ill., asbestos and mass-tort firm, known for its ties to Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, also seems to be taking a keen interest in the Delaware governor's race, its candidate being Jack Markell who narrowly won the Democratic primary.

Delaware panel to probe surge in asbestos filings - PointOfLaw Forum

Judge James T. Vaughn Jr. of Delaware Superior Court, described as the state's top judge, has appointed a panel to investigate business complaints of a flood of out-of-state asbestos claims into the state of Delaware. "James A. Wolfe, the state Chamber's president and chief executive officer, noted that there were 62 cases -- nearly all alleging exposure in Delaware -- on the court's docket in 2004. But between May 2005 and Sept. 30 of this year, 577 more cases were filed -- 445 by nonresidents who largely allege they were exposed to asbestos in another state." (Dec. 3 issue of Business Insurance, Dave Lenckus, no free link). Earlier coverage here. Chrysler's Steven Hantler also discussed the issue while guesting at Overlawyered last summer.

Examiner series on trial lawyers, cont'd - PointOfLaw Forum

The multi-part editorial commentary series on trial lawyer abuses in the Examiner (Washington and other cities), previously covered here and here, continues this week with stories on "How they do it: Favorite tactics of liability lawyers that tip the scales for their fame and fortune", "How important are judges?", "Influential friends: Attorneys General can steer millions toward litigators", and "Judicial hellholes | Lawsuit magnets". The "How they do it" segment includes a discussion of how many asbestos cases are migrating to (of all states) Delaware; it cites a post by Steven Hantler of Chrysler during the week he spent guestblogging at Overlawyered. The "How important are judges?" segment cites the research of Alex Tabarrok and Eric Helland on the effects of partisan election of judges on liability climates, which Alex later summarized at For a contrasting view, see Bob Ambrogi at Legal Blog Watch, which results in a comments exchange with Washington Examiner editorial page editor Mark Tapscott.

Delaware a tort destination? - PointOfLaw Forum

The historically pro-business, chemical-industry-friendly state might seem an unlikely forum-shopping choice for plaintiffs doing toxic tort work, but both SimmonsCooper and Baron & Budd have been heading there with asbestos and benzene cases lately, reports the Madison County Record. A key figure: senatorial scion Joseph ("Beau") Biden III of Wilmington's Bifferato, Gentilotti and Biden, now the state's attorney general. Earlier: here and here, among others.

"It's Over"? - PointOfLaw Forum

I just came from a talk by an ATLA officer boasting of the "record number" of trial lawyers elected to the House and Senate, and return to read Alison Frankel in The American Lawyer announce "The power of the plaintiffs bar is on the wane in this country, and will be for a long time to come."

The story nicely catalogs a variety of reform victories in a relatively plaintiff-friendly way (e.g., "Business interests learned that if state judges didn't vote their way, they could replace those judges with others who would", ignoring that it was the plaintiffs' bar who put those judges on the bench in the first place, and financed an attack on reformer judges in Alabama), but ignores underplays setbacks in Wisconsin and Louisiana courts, and the regrouping of the asbestos bar in Delaware. [Correction: Frankel correctly points out in an email that her piece did have a sentence reading "The relatively sleepy Wisconsin Coalition for Civil Justice Reform was just energized by a series of pro-plaintiff state supreme court rulings, and plans to campaign in nonpartisan judicial elections in April"; the piece mentions Delaware in passing, also. I regret the overstatement. Frankel's full e-mail is after the jump.]

Has the plaintiffs' bar peaked? Well, if in the sense that there will never be another fen-phen-like settlement that allows attorneys to steal billions of dollars, and that the defense bar is now warier of the most egregious abuses of the plaintiffs' bar. But fraud continues apace in the plaintiffs' bar in the Vioxx, welding, and asbestos litigations; the plaintiffs' bar is extraordinarily well-funded and seeking new entrepreneurial opportunities to create profitable new causes of action; ATLA is planning an aggressive counterattack with voters and all three branches of government, not to mention the law schools; and Congress, with Sarbanes-Oxley alone, has done about as much to abet the plaintiffs' bar in the last six years as it has to stymie it. Reformers have achieved a lot of success in the last ten years and eliminated a fraction of the worst abuses in the system. But contrary to the title of the piece, it's not "Over."

Delaware, Maryland AG races - PointOfLaw Featured Discussion

Joseph R. Biden III, otherwise known as Beau Biden, is the son of Senator you-know-who. He's now running for Delaware attorney general, locked in a tight race with Republican Ferris Wharton that has attracted large out-of-state donations on both sides. As Ted pointed out last July, citing a Madison County Record report, "the SimmonsCooper law firm has affiliated itself with the 36-year-old's Delaware law firm in bringing asbestos lawsuits in Delaware, presumably because Madison County is no longer available as a blank-check venue."

Next door in Maryland, meanwhile, Montgomery County D.A. Doug Gansler is expected to win easily as the Democratic candidate for attorney general of his state. According to the AP, "For models, [Gansler] looks to New York's Eliot Spitzer and Michael Moore, the former Mississippi attorney general who sued tobacco companies. Gansler consulted with both during his campaign." Not recorded is whether Moore gave him tips on how to steer billions in contingency-fee legal work to cronies and campaign backers.

Joseph R. Biden III - PointOfLaw Forum the son of the similarly-named Democratic senator from Delaware. The Madison County Record is reporting that the SimmonsCooper law firm (OL Dec. 1; Sep. 20; Sep. 28; OL Jan. 5, 2004) has affiliated itself with the 36-year-old's Delaware law firm in bringing asbestos lawsuits in Delaware, presumably because Madison County is no longer available as a blank-check venue (Jan. 3). (Steve Korris, "Delaware court seeing upsurge in asbestos filings", Jul. 1).

Update: Allen Adomite of ICJL has a much more detailed analysis of the situation that's a must-read.

Asbestos bankruptcy coverage - PointOfLaw Forum

More coverage, this time in the insurance trade press, of that House Judiciary Committee hearing last month (see Jul. 21) in which our friend Prof. Lester Brickman of Cardozo Law School explained in detail how "pre-packaged" bankruptcies permit some plaintiff's lawyers to conspire with asbestos-company managements against the interest of both truly sick claimants and insurance companies ("U.S. Probes 'Pre-Pack' Scandal", Insurance Day, Jul. 23).

The steps in the process: 1) under 1994 revisions to federal bankruptcy law, a bloc representing 75 percent of claimants can seize control of a bankruptcy, even if its claims are not the largest or strongest; 2) lawyers representing large numbers of unimpaired asbestos claimants are thus in a good position to seize control of such bankruptcies; 3) these lawyers negotiate with incumbent managers to strike deals which leave the managers in control of most operating assets in exchange for giving the lawyers a claim against insurance coverage and guaranteeing high payments to the lawyers' unimpaired clients; 4) the gains from rigging the process in this way come at the expense of nonasbestos creditors of the bankrupt companies, seriously ill asbestos claimants, and insurers.