Tag Archives: Philadelphia Lawyer

Philadelphia’s Complex Litigation Center Under Attack Again

[UPDATE II, February 7, 2012: Mike Tremoglie at Legal News Line (which is owned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform) has published two follow-up stories in which I was quoted, one about the issue in general, and one about follow-up data the ICLE published on the location of plaintiffs in Philadelphia mass torts cases.] [UPDATE, December 3, 2011: More than a month after my post, the Wall Street Journal chimed in with an editorial parroting the "study" I discussed below. The WSJ, too, noted that, in medical malpractice trials, "Philadelphia juries find in favor of plaintiffs more often ... Continue Reading

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PA Workers Injured In Car Accidents Can Now Recover UIM Benefits

It's a common occurrence: an employee is out on the road as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian as part of their job when they are hit by a car. It’s particularly common for municipal employees like police officers and for delivery drivers and highway workers because they are, of course, out on the road and in danger a lot more than the rest of us. The next legal step is routine: the injured employee files a claim for workers’ compensation, which will cover some medical expenses and some fraction of their salary, and then files suit against the driver that ... Continue Reading

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Pennsylvania’s Defective Drug Design Laws Hang In The Balance

It's no secret that pharmaceutical companies are among the more litigious businesses in America. Up until 2003, when Congress stepped in, the big drug makers had a good thing going: whenever the patent was about to expire on one of their blockbuster drugs, they would file a new patent for trivial modifications to the medicine, and thereafter would sue generic drug manufacturers claiming that the generic version of the old drug somehow infringed on the new patent. Here’s the kicker: the big drug makers knew these patent infringement claims were frivolous, so they would enter into a “settlement” in which ... Continue Reading

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Be A Potted Plant: Sanctions For Deposition Coaching and Witness Conferences

During the Iran-Contra hearings, Brendan Sullivan, a senior partner at Williams & Connolly (I wrote more about them here) who represented Oliver North, famously responded to Senator Daniel Inouye's criticism of Sullivan's repeated objections during the Congressional hearings with "Well, sir, I'm not a potted plant. I'm here as the lawyer. That's my job."   The rules for Congressional hearings, though, are a bit different from the rules for a deposition in civil litigation in federal court. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(c)(1) is quite clear: "The examination and cross-examination of a deponent proceed as they would at trial under ... Continue Reading

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Pennsylvania Injury Lawyers: Don’t Let Insurance Companies Send Settlement Checks To Medicare, Medicaid or DPW!

[UPDATE: Complicating matters, on June 29th, 2011, a Third Circuit panel ruled in the Tristani v. Richman case (PDF) that Medicare / Medicaid has the right to assert liens, and that the default medical expenses apportionment scheme under 55 PA. CODE § 259.2 is appropriate. Expect more litigation and appeals to follow, likely beginning with a petition for en banc review. Despite the above, though, I don't believe the below analysis has changed — insurers still have no basis for refusing to pay plaintiffs. The lien is between the plaintiff and Pennsylvania's DPW.] This post is meant for all of my ... Continue Reading

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Inevitable Consumer Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Nutella’s “Healthy” False Advertising

One of the great things about being a lawyer is that, like a sports fan watching a play unfold, you can foresee lawsuits before they're even filed. Nutella is delicious, creamy, and chocolaty, but one thing it is not: healthy. That didn't stop Ferrero, the makers of Nutella, from starting up a healthy-for-kids advertising campaign last year in Europe, as profiled by the nutrition researchers at Obesity Panacea: Although this may surprise some of our readers, I really like junk food. I eat far too much pizza, I love chicken wings, and Nutella, the original chocolate hazelnut spread, is one of ... Continue Reading

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Guard Your Time Like It’s Your Money, Because It Is.

What's the most important tool on a lawyer's desk? There are a variety of alternative fee arrangements — like the contingency fee model our firm uses and the flat-fee model that is wrongly under attack — but there are really only two types of business models for law firms: those which profit from efficiency and those which profit from inefficiency. The latter model is used by the "BigLaw" firms with hundreds of lawyers working together to maximize the fees billed to the client. They call it "leverage," a clever name for using four attorneys — two of them too junior, ... Continue Reading

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“They Stole My Idea” Doesn’t Always Amount To An Intellectual Property Lawsuit

The Limited Scope Of Inventors' and Creators' Rights Under Copyright, Trademark, and Patent Infringement Law The business lawsuits actually filed, and defamation lawsuit not filed, surrounding Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have inspired some of my more popular posts. But there is one litigious part of the Facebook story that I did not cover, and that was the lawsuit brought by the Winklevoss twins against Zuckerberg alleging that he stole the idea for Facebook from them. Here's why I avoided that part: without knowing the intricacies of the case (a case they're trying to reopen), there's not a lot for me ... Continue Reading

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New Medical Malpractice “Tort Reform” Just Another Pack of Lies

Insurance-Funded Congressional Representatives Again Try To Deny Justice For Patients Injured By Medical Malpractice Some bad ideas just will not go away. A few days ago The Pop Tort noted that the new, anti-patient Congress was holding hearings on medical malpractice liability. If they had listened to the excellent testimony of Joanne Doroshow, Executive Director of the Center for Justice & Democracy, they would have realized that injured patients need more, not less, legal protection. But the “hearings” were a sham anyway, and a few days later the insurance-backed members of Congress introduced a new plan to strip away the ... Continue Reading

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Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s Medical and Regulatory Establishments Failed Gosnell’s Patients

Last week a Grand Jury in Philadelphia County returned its report on Kermit Gosnell, M.D., recommending he, and several of his employees, be charged criminally with multiple counts of murder (including murdering an adult patient through excessive anesthesia and obstructing emergency treatment), infanticide, violations of the Controlled Substances Act, obstruction of justice, perjury, illegal late-term abortions, violations of the Abortion Control Act, abuse of corpse, theft by deception, conspiracy, corrupt organization, and corruption of minors. The arrest and indictment have touched off old debates on the politics of abortion, debates I do not intend to enter here. But I have ... Continue Reading

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