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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

What’s in a Name – Why GlobalTort ?

Why GlobalTort? From the lawyer’s perspective, the name was chosen for multiple reasons.

One reason for the name GlobalTort is that it succinctly identifies the reality of most of today’s mass tort litigation. Due to the globalization of manufacturing supply and distribution chains, and the information sharing power created by the Internet, “mass tort” litigation is rapidly evolving into a truly global industry that will expand and prosper until societies find new, consensus ways to reasonably balance the competing interests inherent in tort litigation. Globalization also means that plaintiff and defense firms are now starting to act in a truly global fashion, with offices and affiliates around the world. “Mass tort” claims also are now being drawn from and/or filed in a wide range of nations.

The GlobalTort name also was chosen because each group of so-called “mass tort” cases almost invariably raises addtional issues that cross a variety of lines. For example, all or most of the cases within a particular group of cases likely will include issues that plaintiff’s lawyers like to say are “global” issues (e.g. when did “the ____ industry know ____.”) In addtion, the underlying cases should not be looked at in a vacuum, and instead they raise a wide range of issues that include disclosure obligations, financial accounting rules, issues regarding indemnification rights and obligations, and insurance coverage issues, including issues regarding “shared insurance,” meaning historic insurance available to multiple members of corporate families.

The name also was chosen because our three founders practice in divergent substantive areas, and so we hope to identify and offer comments on a wider than usual range of the of the private and public issues related to tort litigtion. In addition, we intend to go beyond just the cases and to comment on notable legislation, regulation and policy issues. And, finally, we hope the blog will over time evolve to the point that it includes comments from other nations and other professionals, thus furthering a global view of tort litigation.

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