Full Measure Talks to Kenny Byrd About the “Forgotten” Tobacco War

Cigarette in ash tray

Lieff Cabraser Nashville partner Kenneth S. Byrd recently spoke with Sharyl Attkisson of Full Measure in an in-depth cover story about the forgotten legacy of the big tobacco lawsuit settlement, “the one that came after the nation’s cigarette makers got caught red handed in a decades-long cover-up of their products’ risks and addictive qualities.” However, that staggering settlement did not directly benefit individuals injured by the tobacco companies’ conduct and deceptions. As the report explains, many of those injured smokers and their families are now waging a quiet war on a lengthy case-by-case basis. [Read more…]

“Shock, Dismay, and a Resolve to Hold USC and Dr. George Tyndall Accountable for Sexual Misconduct and Cover-Up” – A Post by Lawyer and USC Alum Annika K. Martin

USC and Dr. George Tyndall Sexual Abuse Cases

On a beautiful spring morning in 2004, on an outdoor stage in view of Tommy Trojan, I accepted my diploma from the University of Southern California’s law school. I was so proud to be a USC graduate that day, and for many days and years after that, as I used my law degree to fight for those who had been harmed by others. [Read more…]

Recorder Q&A With Kelly Dermody on Employment Cases, Gender Pay Disparities, and the Future

Recorder Q&A With Kelly Dermody on Employment Cases

Law.com’s online journal The Recorder caught up with Lieff Cabraser partner and Chair of the firm’s Employment Law practice group Kelly M. Dermody for a substantial and wide-ranging question and answer session published June 1st (subscription). Noting Ms. Dermody’s leadership on equal pay and promotion gender class actions against industry giants like Microsoft, Google, and Goldman Sachs, the publication talked to her about arbitration and class waivers, culture and its shaping of the law, and current progress on gender issues, among other topics. [Read more…]

Impact Fund Guest Blog – Anne Shaver on “Distinguishing Dukes: Another Victory For Employment Discrimination Class Actions”

Impact Fund Guest Blog – Anne Shaver on “Distinguishing Dukes: Another Victory For Employment Discrimination Class Actions”

Lieff Cabraser partner Anne B. Shaver has written a piece for the Impact Fund legal practitioner blog titled “Distinguishing Dukes: Another Victory For Employment Discrimination Class Actions.” The piece looks at the gender discrimination case Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs, No. 10-6950 (S.D.N.Y.), wherein the court recently certified a Rule 23(b)(3) class of female vice presidents and associates who challenge Goldman Sachs’ performance evaluation, compensation, and promotion processes, and explains how the Dukes’ cases limits on class actions don’t apply. [Read more…]

“Supreme Court Deals Blow to Employees Holding Employers Accountable” – Rachel Geman Writes for ACS Blog

“Supreme Court Deals Blow to Employees Holding Employers Accountable” – Rachel Geman Writes for ACS Blog

Lieff Cabraser partner Rachel Geman has written a piece for the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) titled “Supreme Court Deals Blow to Employees Hoping to Hold Employers Accountable.” In the piece, Geman challenges the wisdom of the recent 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, where Justice Gorsuch’s majority opinion held that employees’ rights to cooperate in concerted activities under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not extend to participation in class and collective actions, substituting unfair forced arbitration for the right to have a case heard in open court. [Read more…]

Jonathan Selbin on the Future of Class Actions in Bloomberg Law

Jonathan Selbin on the Future of Class Actions in Bloomberg Law

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court on jurisdictional limits to lawsuits may have a significant impact on the size and location of class action lawsuits

Bloomberg News is wrapping up 2017 with an examination of the future of class action law in light of Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court (“BMS”), a case focusing on jurisdictional limits on cases against corporations. “It’s too early to tell how the courts will apply BMS to class actions, but class action litigators are preparing to go to war over where class suits, particularly nationwide suits, can now be filed.” With overweening corporations as the target of most class suits, it seems clear the defense bar will push for a reduction in the scope and size of aggregate actions via what they see as BMS’s proscription of expanded jurisdiction, while plaintiffs will seek to convince courts that BMS is inapposite and should not be held to constrict use of the class action mechanism to obtain judgments for the fraudulent misconduct of the corporate world. [Read more…]

Rachel Geman Talks to the Washington HeraldNet About Customer Fury Over Fraudulent Short-Term Health Plans

Rachel Geman Talks to the Washington HeraldNet About Customer Fury Over Fraudulent Short-Term Health Plans

While short-term medical health plans have received recent White House support, numerous lawsuits have been filed nationwide by angry customers disputing exclusions over pre-existing conditions and the outright denial of claims under these reduced-duration insurance policies. [Read more…]

Mark Chalos in the Tennessean on the Brentwood Academy Negligence Lawsuit and Damages Caps

Mark Chalos in the Tennessean on the Brentwood Academy Negligence Lawsuit and Damages Caps

A civil lawsuit against Brentwood Academy accusing the Nashville prep school of negligence and fact concealment relating to an allegedly pervasive pattern of bullying, sexual harassment, assault and sexual assault is seeking $30 million in combined damages. Brentwood Academy is accused of allowing teenage male students to repeatedly harass and sexually assault a classmate, and then downplaying the attacks and failing to report the incident to authorities. In addition to seeking justice for the plaintiff, the lawsuit will also test the constitutionality of Tennessee’s lawsuit damages caps. [Read more…]

Increasing Diversity in Leadership Positions – Elizabeth Cabraser in Trial Magazine

Increasing Diversity in Leadership Positions - Elizabeth Cabraser in Trial Magazine

The American Association for Justice’s “Diversity in the Law” June 2017 issue of Trial magazine includes a new article by Lieff Cabraser founding partner Elizabeth Cabraser on “Five Ways to Increase Leadership Diversity in the Courtroom.” Focusing on inclusivity among counsel in large multidistrict litigation and class actions, the piece sounds a call for increased diversity in court-appointed leadership positions, and goes on to provide specific tips on how lawyers can work to ensure increased leadership positions for female lawyers, attorneys of color, and members of the LGBT community. [Read more…]

Mark Chalos in The Tennessean on United Airlines as the Iceberg’s Tip of Bad Corporate Behavior

Mark Chalos in The Tennessean on United Airlines as the Iceberg's Tip of Bad Corporate Behavior

Lieff Cabraser Nashville office Managing Partner Mark Chalos is no fan of unleashed corporations. As an opinion piece in The Tennessean makes clear, Chalos sees incidents like United Airlines’ recent behavior with respect to a physician manhandled off a flight to make room for an airline employee as emblematic of a system where critical regulation has been steadily eroded, of years of corporate efforts to “eliminate the mechanisms that hold them accountable for their bad behavior.” [Read more…]

Judges Opting for Rapid Self-Education in Complex Cases

Judges Opting for Rapid Self-Education in Complex Cases

The Recorder reveals that in a wide variety of complex cases, judges are rising to the challenges posed by arcane and multiplex underlying factual issues by seeking to rapidly educate themselves about the nuances of various detailed and complex matters. These topics often include matters of science and technology as well as patent and invention strategies. In some instances, judges have taken the unusual step of asking scientists and inventors to make presentations at tech tutorials in an effort to bypass advocacy in pursuit of more straightforward info. [Read more…]

American Progressives Band Together For Resistance In The Trump Era

American Progressives Band Together For Resistance In The Trump Era

As many as five million people nationwide attended the Women’s March on January 21. The following week, 175,000 individuals showed up at airports and public squares protesting the Muslim travel ban, with 50,000 more standing forth in other similar protests by early March. Around 150,000 people are regularly attending their congressional representatives’ town halls or appearing at “Resist Trump” Tuesday events. [Read more…]

Female Lawyers Continue to Struggle with Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Female Lawyers Continue to Struggle with Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Over the past five years, only 16.5% of lead attorney spots have gone to female lawyers in the still largely male-dominated realm of multidistrict litigation (MDLs). In spite of the progress women have made in the law generally, and some growth in MDL leadership positions, female lawyers are still outnumbered 3 to 1 in MDLs by their male counterparts, reports Law360. [Read more…]

Kenneth Byrd in Nashville Scene on Big Tobacco Sponsorship of Schools

Kenneth Byrd Quoted in Nashville Scene on Tobacco Sponsorship of Schools

The Nashville Scene reports that cigarette giant Phillip Morris, now known as Altria, will be the founding sponsor of the 7th Annual Academies of Nashville gala, an event put on by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce honoring teachers and principals, and recognizing partnerships between business and schools. [Read more…]

New Bill Focuses on Class Actions: What Does This Mean For Defense and Plaintiffs’ Attorneys?

New Bill Focuses on Class Actions: What Does This Mean For Defense and Plaintiffs’ Attorneys?

A new bill focusing on class actions was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on February 15th on a 19 to 12 vote. Known as the 2017 Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act (H.R. 985), the legislation was introduced February 9 by committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). [Read more…]

Dean Harvey Comments on Valeant-Kadmon Pharma Antitrust Challenges

Dean Harvey Comments on Valeant-Kadmon Pharma Antitrust Challenges

Reuters has published a compelling analysis of ongoing challenges facing pharmaceutical “rogue” Valeant with a focus on its price-inflated drug Syprine and its relationship with also-beleagured pharma company Kadmon. Among other issues, Valeant has been singled out as a prime offender in the realm of hyper-inflated pharmaceutical drugs, with, Syprine, its life-saving Wilson’s disease liver ailment treatment costing some patients nearly $300,000 for a year’s use (in 2011, Valeant priced the drug at less than $1,000 for 100 capsules, a rate that rose by 2015 to over $21,000 for the same dose). [Read more…]

How Lawyers Can Be Good Allies: A Strategic Engagement Conference

Kelly Dermody, Lieff Cabraser partner

[Guest Post to the California Civil Rights Coalition website by Kelly Dermody, Managing Partner of Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office and chair of the firm’s Employment practice group]

“Around 4:00 a.m. on November 9, I knew something fundamentally had changed. Our civic institutions, impartial judiciary, fair elections, and rule of law had been openly mocked and undermined. [Read more…]

Spokeo Still Standing: No Sign Of A Circuit Split

Spokeo Still Standing: No Sign Of A Circuit Split

In an expert analysis article published by Law360 (subscription) entitled “Spokeo Still Standing: No Sign Of A Circuit Split,” Lieff Cabraser attorneys Nicholas Diamand and Andrew Kaufman review the U.S. Supreme Court’s May decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, et al. The decision “reaffirmed that, under principles of federal jurisdiction, invasions of privacy give plaintiffs standing to assert their rights in federal court,” wrote Diamand and Kaufman. [Read more…]

Why Drug Prices Skyrocket Despite Market Competition

Pharmacy

The LA Times has published an excellent piece on the skyrocketing costs of U.S. prescription drugs despite marketplace competition. The absence of competition for a good or service traditionally provides fertile ground for cost escalation and price-gouging, classic greedy anticompetitive behavior, but the Times’ article explores the prevalence of continuing drug cost escalations in the U.S. even where competition does exist. [Read more…]