As an adjunct to a new series on the demise of Dewey, the American Lawyer now has provided a simple reminder of big law firm's that failed, including Chicago's Keck Mahin. The mortuary provides stark reminders.
Under the Federal Rules, Requests to Admit Can Be Served After a Discovery Cut-off, says Chicago's Judge Milton Shadur
In Chicago, Judge Milton I. Shadur is a senior district judge and something of a legend. He's very smart, and not bound by convention. So, note below his ruling that requests to admit are NOT discovery and can be served after a discovery cut-off. The excerpts below are from a column by Steve Garmisa - he too is darn near a legend, as a practicing lawyer having written for years a highly-regarded column on law for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
There are some out of the ordinary topics and thoughts in this Opinio Juris post by Kenneth Anderson. The post identifies a new interview of a senior CIA official. It then goes on to brief but pointed thoughts on the topic of targeted killings (i.e. covert action) and applicable standards.
The email ad below caught the eye. The topic provides something to ponder for undergrads thinking about law, as well as the lawyers thinking about a new focus.
One other idea: also learn a commercially useful language.
The Section of Science & Technology Law
THE SCITECH EDGE: CAREER AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AT THE INTERSECTION OF LAW, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY
WHEN: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 12:00pm CST
This 90-minute program will offer strategies and tactics to help you build your practice quickly. Join us to gain invaluable insights from these SciTech leaders: Scott Partridge (a partner at Baker Botts in Houston and 2008-2009 Section Chair), Vid Mohan-Ram, Ph.D. (an associate at Foley and Lardner in D.C., former editor/writer at Science Magazine's Next Wave, and Vice-Chair of the Section's Biotechnology Law Committee) and Kristie Prinz (founder of the Prinz Law Office in Silicon Valley and a member of the Section's Program Committee). The program moderator, Julie Fleming (founder of attorney consultancy Life at the Bar LLC, author of the 2009 book, The Reluctant Rainmaker: A Guide for Lawyers Who Hate Selling, and Secretary of the Section), will share additional perspectives based on her conversations with lawyers around the world. We’ll discuss:
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You’ll leave this program with a list of bite-sized activities you can implement immediately to move your practice forward.
CLE credit is not available for this program.
Your e-mail address will only be used within the ABA and its entities. We do not sell or rent e-mail addresses to anyone outside the ABA.
American Bar Association | 321 N Clark | Chicago, IL 60654 | 1-800-285-2221
Science moves much faster than does "the law," and the changes in science over time will have a profound impact on the framing and resolution of legal issues.
For a new example, consider that respected medical journals Nature and Nature Genetics this month published articles from three research teams asserting identification of one or more genes they say are materially related to an increased risk of contracting non- small cell lung cancer, which comprises about 80% of lung cancers. Having one copy of the gene is said to be a characteristic of about 50% for persons of European descent, and far lower among persons from Asia and Africa. According to the authors, inheriting one copy of the gene raises the risk by about 28%, and inheriting two copies of the gene raises the risk by 70-80%. Some of the authors suggest the gene may be tied to the tendency to smoke. The press articles indicate that the research teams made the usual prediction that tests for the two genes will be available in the future.
The implications for law in general are profound when one considers all of the societal and legal issues related to health itself, and the obligations of insurers, governments or individuals for the expenses of treating (or, some day, preventing) a non small cell tumor in the lung. Those many issues are far beyond the scope of this blog. Here, the focus will remain on the potential tort litigation issues that may flow from these studies, and the other studies that surely will follow.
For example, many asbestos claimants with "lung cancer" attibute the disease in whole or in part to inhalation of asbestos fibers and/or cigarette smoking. In such cases, what difference should it or does it make if the claimant has one or more copies of the identified genes, and has the non small cell tumor? Defendants may ask for genetic testing and if they find the presence of one or two copies of the gene said to be relevant, they may argue that their presence breaks the legal causation chain and so precludes liability. Defense counsel also may invoke Daubert principles and seek to bar expert testimony from plaintiff's experts if the testimony is not focused in persons with two copies of the gene - will that tactic be allowed to work ? How soon?
Plaintiffs' counsel, on the other hand, may be expected to argue that the "two copies" claimant is just like the "eggshell skull" plaintiff we all heard about in law school. We were taught that the general rule is that a liable defendant cannot avoid financial responsibility simply because a particular person had an especially thin skull. Will that rule continue in force in the age of genomic testing? Should it stay in force as is, or does it need modification?
Plaintiffs also may use the presence of two copies of the gene to try to meet legal standards they cannot meet today for some claimants advancing fear of cancer claims or other claims. For example, some state law opinions (e.g Havner in Texas) will for the most part refuse to permit a claim unless the plaintiff proves that there is a relative risk of a specific disease created by "exposure" to a substance that is at or exceeds 2.0. Will science over time allow plaintiffs' lawyers to meet the 2.0 standard for claimants with the "two copies" even if the 2.0 standard could not be met for a person without the two copies of the "lung cancer" gene?
These and many other issues are arriving fast. For press articles with more details on the lung cancer studies, see: