During April 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, CCL maintained the furious pace of activity that was seen the previous month. Among the highlights of CCL's activities:

  • CCL filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the American Association for Justice and Public Justice in the U.S. Supreme Court in Ford Motor Co. v. Bandemer, originally schedule for argument in April, but now postponed until the term that begins in October.  Before the Supreme Court, Ford argues that it cannot be subjected to personal jurisdiction in either Minnesota or Montana in two cases in which plaintiffs sued Ford for defective designs that caused serious injury. In one case, the injury was death. Ford asserts that there must be a causation element to jurisdiction, so that it does not matter that the person injured or the injuring event both took place in the place of lawsuit. Instead, it contends that it may only be sued where it is headquartered, where it designed the flawed vehicle, or where the vehicle was first purchased. The CCL-authored brief points out that Ford maintains a continuing relationship with car owners and their vehicles, where its dealerships service the vehicle and it encourages owners to buy Ford parts, even if serviced elsewhere, as part of a "Keep Your Ford a Ford" campaign. In fact, one of the two cars in the suit was serviced in a Ford recall at a local dealership. The clear, continuing relationship with the vehicle in the jurisdiction, the brief argues, demonstrates that there is no unfairness in requiring Ford to defend itself within the home jurisdiction of these plaintiffs. On the other hand, any attempt to require the plaintiffs to sue elsewhere would place a hardship on the plaintiffs.
  • CCL participated with co-counsel in filing a supplemental brief in Johnson v. UPS, a case pending in the South Dakota Supreme Court that CCL helped argue in February 2019. The supplemental brief discusses a new U.S. District Court decision that supports liability in the case. UPS had withdrawn workers compensation benefits from the plaintiff six months after she had prevailed on the benefits question in a prior trip to the South Dakota Supreme Court. A jury found it wrongful and awarded both compensatory and punitive damages. The case is still pending.
  • CCL also filed a brief on punitive damages in the Volkswagen Emissions MDL, where Volkswagen has outfitted its cars with "defeat devices" designed to trick emissions testing into believing the cars complied with federal and California requirements when they did not. Despite clearly favorable law cited in CCL's brief, the court reduced individual punitive damage awards from $25,000 each to an arbitrary ratio of 4:1, vastly reducing the damages. The cases are now on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
  • CCL also filed supplementary authority in Smith v. Surgery Center, a challenge to Colorado's medical-malpractice damage cap, pending in the state court of appeals.