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

Welcome New Members






Lem E. Montgomery III
Butler Snow LLP



Andrew Tauber
Winston & Strawn LLP



Michael B. Gallub
Herzfeld + Rubin



Francis J. Grey, Jr.
Ricci Tyrrell Johnson & Grey



Carl Rowley
Thompson Coburn LLP

Thomas P. Branigan
Bowman and Brooke LLP

Gregory C. Ulmer
BakerHostler

Homer B. Ramsey
Herzfeld + Rubin

News

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.


30(b)(6) Discovery in the Age of COVID-19

Defending corporate representative depositions in the new reality.

J. Richard Caldwell, Jr.

If there is one lesson all trial lawyers have learned over the last year, it’s that life and the practice of law must go on, even in the face of upheavals affecting our profession. Depositions of corporate representative witnesses under Rule 30(b)(6), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is a prime example of how lawyers must learn to adapt to changing times and circumstances.

To read the full article, click here.


J. Richard Caldwell, Jr.
Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, P.A.

Dick Caldwell is a founding member of PLAC, and an active contributor to our Future of Jury Trials working group. Dick is also a founding partner of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, P.A., where he is currently Of Counsel in the firm’s Tampa, FL office. He was one of the first attorneys in Florida to become board-certified in Civil Trial Practice. Dick is engaged in civil trial and appellate practice, concentrating in the defense of product liability, insurance, professional liability, and commercial litigation. He has tried over 100 cases to verdict in state and federal courts across the country, and is a frequent author and presenter on the subject of products liability and other topics.

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.

2021 Sponsors

  

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

Fall 2021 Conference: PLAC's Fall Conference will be held at the Broadmoor, September 29-October 1, 2021 in Colorado Springs, CO.


Webinars:        
April 15, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET: EPA Regulations Under the Biden Administration – What Companies Need to Know
April 20, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET: A Look at the FDA Under the Biden Administration: What Companies Need to Know
April 22, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET: PLAC Regulatory Series: NHTSA

Questions? Email us at plac@plac.com.