ST. LOUIS – Jurors on July 12 handed Johnson & Johnson a body-blow, levying a total $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages to 22 women who claimed its talcum powder contained asbestos that caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
As the President considers a new judge to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy he would do well to remember that the Kennedy seat was supposed to go to Judge Robert Bork, a good man who was unjustly attacked and precluded from sitting on the Supreme Court. Conservatives have long recognized Bork should have had that spot.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court recently released a court opinion to uphold the majority of Texas’ House and Congressional district maps, ending the years-long debate over whether Texas’ legislatures intentionally drew districts to discriminate against minorities.
DALLAS – Because Purdue Pharma “made billions” selling opioids, “why the heck should it not pay for creating this epidemic” – that was the rhetorical question offered by attorney Jay Henderson, who represents numerous Texas counties currently engrossed in opioid litigation, at a recent conference.
A dissident emerges in Pennsylvania's opioid litigation: Lehigh Co. claims its case has been highjacked
The fight for control of Pennsylvania’s opioid litigation is not over, as Lehigh County is not happy that its case has been grouped in with more than 30 others and that lawyers it previously rejected have been tasked with overseeing the proceedings.
The concept of written legal rules—of the law itself—assumes that their content is fixed and ascertainable. The rule of law likewise depends on citizens having advance notice of what they can and cannot do, pursuant to clear, knowable directives. Legal scholars expend enormous energy pontificating about the appropriate techniques judges should apply in the course of constitutional interpretation: textualism, originalism, and so forth. Libertarian theorists argue strenuously that judges must be given greater authority—through “judicial engagement”—over the political branches. Each day, lawyers across the country trot off to court, briefs in hand, hoping to convince a black-robed judge–enthroned behind a raised, magisterial bench—that the relevant legal rules, properly construed, compel a ruling in favor of their client.
Appeals court reverses $8 million jury award against DuPont, saying cancer victim shall 'take nothing'
DALLAS – A Texas man who received a multimillion dollar jury award in 2015 after his leukemia was found to have been caused by years of exposure to benzene in the paints and paint thinners he used on the job will receive nothing, a state appeals court ruled earlier this month.
DALLAS – SightLine Health LLC has agreed to pay $11.5 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit over allegations it violated the Anti-Kickback Statute regarding Medicare.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed federal jurisdiction in Texas’ lawsuit against New Mexico on March 5, ordering the case involving water rights to the Rio Grande River to be remanded back to the Special Master.
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is challenging a U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas ruling that declared Texas district maps were drawn with the intent to discriminate against minorities.
Rarely do challengers of landmark legislation get a second bite at the apple in constitutional litigation. Thanks to some enterprising state attorneys general, however, champions of limited government may have another chance to overturn the signature overreach of the Obama Administration. Six years after Obamacare was initially upheld, opponents of the law (technically “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” or “ACA”) are preparing a second test case, based—ironically enough—on the implausible rationale of the initial ruling.
My law school years (1977-80) at the University of Texas were, in hindsight, close to idyllic. I loved my first-year professors, tuition at UT was dirt cheap, Austin was a wonderful place to live, and I reveled in the “college town” ambience, which was new to me. (Prior to arriving at UT, I had never attended a college football game. During my first year—when the Longhorns went undefeated in the regular season and Earl Campbell won the Heisman Trophy–I had season tickets on the 50-yard line at UT’s gigantic Memorial Stadium, for a pittance that even a broke law student could afford.) The post-game victory spectacle—honking horns on the Drag and the Tower lit up in orange—formed indelible memories.
At the University of Texas School of Law, on March 6, 2018 the student chapter of the Federalist Society sponsored a debate on the impact of race-based affirmative action on Asian-Americans. The speakers were noted UT law professor Sanford Levinson (defending racial and ethnic preferences) and Houston attorney Cory Liu, a volunteer with the organization Students for Fair Admissions, speaking in opposition. The speakers eloquently exchanged their views, before an attentive audience of over 100 persons, for nearly an hour, and then opened the discussion up to questions.
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - Plaintiff lawyers meeting in San Francisco last week for a conference on opioid litigation acknowledged that the hundreds of lawsuits they have filed in state and federal court will be difficult to resolve without an unprecedented national settlement whose mechanics are still difficult to predict.
February 13th was the 2nd anniversary of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Few can doubt the lasting impact the judge had on the judiciary and the country. His death left a choice for the American electorate they seldom have—the choice of a justice nominated by the departing President Barack Obama with the promise of candidate Donald Trump to nominate justices like Scalia. In perhaps their greatest tribute to the judge, the country chose as President the man who promised judges like Scalia who recognize “…the need for a democratic society not to expect the Constitution to make all its important decisions.”
The Supreme Court will hear oral argument today [February 26] in one of the term’s most important—and highly publicized—cases, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31. As many readers are aware, the case involves the constitutionality of “agency shop” arrangements in public sector collective bargaining agreements, which compel non-member employees to make payments in lieu of union dues as a condition of their employment. Agency shop clauses are commonly used in public-sector labor contracts, enabling powerful unions representing teachers and other government employees to collect large sums of money from workers who never consented to such exactions (and who, for that matter, never voted in favor of union representation).
As someone who writes frequently on the topic of judicial activism, I am often asked, “What is the solution?” This is a vital question. Put another way—as I did in a previous essay at American Greatness—“Can Activist Judges Be Controlled?” The short answer is: With great difficulty, yes. But if it’s a quick and easy answer you want, forget it. The current crisis took decades to develop. It won’t be resolved with a sweeping gesture.
Baron & Budd files suit against pharmaceutical distributors for role in creating opioid crisis in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - On Jan. 24, the national law firm of Baron & Budd announced that it has been hired to represent the Parish of East Baton Rouge and the City of Baton Rouge in litigation against five of the largest pharmaceutical distributors and three drug wholesale distributors for their role in allegedly creating a public nuisance by failing to regulate orders of prescription opiates in the Parish of East Baton Rouge.
CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - There will be a lot of familiar faces in U.S. District Judge Dan Polster’s courtroom in Cleveland on Jan. 31, when lawyers gather for a hearing on multidistrict litigation against the nation’s opioid manufacturers and distributors.