The Intersection Among Torts, Science, Corporate Law, Insurance & Bankruptcy

Defense Publication Says: “Defense attorneys give up on jurisdictional fight in Madison County’s asbestos docket”

Posted in Asbestos, Trial Dates

Defendants have given up on moving cases out of Madison County, at least for now.  That’s the headline and message from an October 29, 2014 post at Legal Newsline. The entire article should be reviewed for full context, including the comments about appellate possibilities, and trial date settings. Two key quotes are as follows:

“Roughly one year after Associate Judge Stephen Stobbs took the bench as Madison County’s asbestos judge and made several well-intended strides to improve the “national” docket, defense attorneys have given up on arguing that cases are being filed improperly in the jurisdiction after four similar motions were denied earlier this year.


Huelsmann explained that when forum non conveniens motions are denied, it results in more filings, which leads to a larger number of trial settings.

“That is where it all stems,” he said. “If the cases are not getting dismissed on forum, they get trial settings.”

However, LaConte and Huelsmann didn’t anticipate much hope for improvement when it comes to seeking a more appropriate jurisdiction for out-of-state claimants in the nation’s epicenter of asbestos litigation.

“It’d like to be able to tell you today that things are different than six months ago,” Huelsmann said, “but it seems like things are staying here.”

“Without a commitment to dramatically reduce the number of trial settings,” LaConte added, “and an equal commitment to making sure that we are spending the resources of the county and all the parties on cases that really belong in Madison County, I don’t see that there’s going to be a lot of change in the current situation.”

Big Banks Oppose Business Method Patents – the Patent Litigation Sector Rolls On

Posted in Patent Claims/Trolls

When are patents good, or not so good, for businesses? An October 29, 2014 article at AmLaw describes big banks attacking purported patent trolls. As is so often the case these days, the litigation is brought by an association of interested parties. The article starts as follows; read it all for useful information on the processes of the patent litigation industry:

“Wall Street may not be as vulnerable to patent infringement lawsuits as Silicon Valley or the pharmaceuticals industry. But the gap is narrowing—and major banks are collaborating in an effort to keep accused patent trolls at bay.

The Patent Quality Initiative, a group formed earlier this month by the The Clearing House Payments Company, announced Monday that it had fired off a barrage of briefs aimed at undermining patents (and patent holders) that threaten the association’s two dozen global megabank members. The papers were filed last week by a Clearing House entity called Askeladden LLC—named for a Norwegian folk hero known for outwitting trolls.”

A New Study on the Race to the Bottom in Corporate Law – the “Lax Law” of Nevada is Attractive to “Aggressive” Companies Prone to Restatements

Posted in Policy Issues, Race to the Bottom

“Aggressive” companies prefer the “lax law” of Nevada. That’s the bottom line of a new paper on the race to the bottom in corporate law. The information arrives courtesy of an October 29, 2014 post at the CLS Blue Sky blog that links to a Harvard blog on corporate  governance.  Here’s the opening from the author’s October 28, 2014 summary at the Harvard site:

“In our paper, What Happens in Nevada? Self-Selecting into Lax Law, forthcoming in the Review of Financial Studies, we study the financial reporting behavior of firms that incorporate in Nevada, the second most popular state for out-of-state incorporations, after Delaware. Compared to Delaware, Nevada law has weak fiduciary requirements for corporate managers and board members. We find evidence consistent with the idea that lax shareholder protection under Nevada law induces firms prone to financial reporting errors to incorporate in Nevada, and that lax Nevada law may also cause firms to engage in risky reporting behavior. In particular, we find that Nevada-incorporated firms are 30 – 40% more likely to report financial results that later require restatement than firms incorporated in other states, including Delaware. These results hold when we narrow our set of restatements to more serious infractions, including restatements that reduce reported earnings, and to restatements that raise suspicions of fraud or lead to regulatory investigations.”

AACR Sees Number of US Cancers Increasing by 50% in the Next 20 Years

Posted in Asbestos, Cancer

A key quote from AACR’s 2014 Cancer Progress Report:

“During a telephone news briefing, the association’s leadership said that with an aging population, new cancer diagnoses can be expected to increase from 1.6 million this year to 2.4 million by 2035, and that developing new therapies as soon as possible is essential to address this expected surge. Half of all new cancer cases are in patients over age 50.”

The statement is cited to data from IARC.  See Ferlay J SI, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer  incidence and mortality worldwide: IARC Cancer Base No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. [cited 2014 Jul 31].  Available from:

For more specifics and more on cancer, see the AACR’s new 2014 Cancer Progress Report  - here.