CCL’s Andre M. Mura Argues In Missouri Supreme Court

March 27th, 2012

The Missouri Supreme Court held oral argument in Watts v. Cox Medical Center, No. SC91867. The case concerns the constitutionality of a Missouri law limiting compensation for non-economic harm in cases where medical negligence is proven. Andre M. Mura presented argument on behalf of the plaintiffs. The Missouri Solicitor General’s Office argued on behalf of the defendants.

Missouri Lawyers Media has coverage of oral argument (subscription required). It notes that this “high-profile appeal” “has drawn attention from across the state and nation.”

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of Post-Engle Multi-Million Dollar Verdicts Against Tobacco Companies

March 26th, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court turned aside a major push by tobacco companies to review the constitutionality of several million-dollar jury verdicts that will compensate the families of dead smokers. Bloomberg, Reuters, UPI, and Sunshine State News have coverage. These are the first of the so-called Engle cases tried and reviewed by the Florida courts. Bloomberg reports that “[a]bout 8,000 post-Engle cases claiming death and injury from smoking are pending against Reynolds, Altria Group Inc. (MO) and other U.S. cigarette makers in Florida state and federal courts.”

The cases are R.J. Reynolds Co. v. Gray, No. 11-272, R.J. Reynolds Co. v. Martin, No. 11-274; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Hall, No. 11-755; and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Campbell, No. 11-756.

Mr. Gregory G. Katsas of Jones Day represented the petitioners. CCL’s Robert S. Peck was counsel of record for the respondents in the Gray and Martin appeals. With him on the briefs was Valerie M. Nannery.

CCL Argues In Florida Supreme Court That State Cap on Noneconomic Damages Is Unconstitutional

February 9th, 2012

CCL’s Robert S. Peck argued in the Florida Supreme Court that Florida’s statutory limits on compensatory damages for non-economic harm violate plaintiffs’ rights of equal protection, trial by jury, access to the courts, and separation of powers under the Florida Constitution. The case, Estate of McCall v. United States, No. 09-163755, comes to the Florida Supreme Court on certified questions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. With Bob on the briefs was Valerie Nannery.

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of Punitive Damages Award in Class Action Against Farmers Insurance

January 23rd, 2012

The Supreme Court has declined to review an $8 million punitive damages verdict against Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon in a class action brought by policyholders, in Farmers Insurance Co v. Strawn. The Oregon courts found that Farmers failed to comply with Oregon personal injury protection (PIP) law and its policy contract by failing to pay all reasonable medical expenses it was required to pay. CCL’s Robert S. Peck, counsel of record for the plaintiffs/respondents, opposed review of Farmers’ petition, which asserted in part that it was denied due process because plaintiffs proved the reliance element of fraud on a class-wide rather than individualized basis. Petitioners were represented by Mr. Theodore J. Boutros of Gibson Dunn.

U.S. Supreme Court Finds Arbitration Can Be Required Under CROA

January 10th, 2012

In CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood, 132 S. Ct. 665 (2012), the Supreme Court ruled that claims arising under the federal Credit Repair Organizations Act are subject to arbitration pursuant to a valid arbitration agreement. In an amicus brief for the American Association for Justice, filed in support of respondents, John Vail of CCL argued that such claims should not be subject to arbitration. The amicus brief was cited favorably in Justice Ginsburg’s dissent.

CCL Attorneys Speak at George Mason University School of Law’s Sixth Annual Symposium on Civil Justice Issues

November 14th, 2011

The George Mason Judicial Education Program is “the nation’s preeminent provider of high-quality and balanced judicial education programs that focus on economics, finance, accounting, statistics, and scientific method.” This week it hosted the sixth annual judicial symposium on civil justice issues. CCL’s Robert S. Peck was this year’s keynote speaker. In addition, Valerie M. Nannery was a panel speaker.

Supreme Court Petition filed by CCL’s Andre M. Mura Selected As “Petition of the Day” By SCOTUSblog

October 17th, 2011

SCOTUSblog has selected a petition filed by CCL’s Andre M. Mura as its “petition of the day.” The case, Malaterre v. Amerind Risk Management Corp., No. 11-441, asks the U.S. Supreme Court to consider “whether a tribal business corporation formed pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 477 with the aim of insuring Indian Housing Authorities may properly invoke tribal sovereign immunity as a ground for avoiding its contractual obligation to provide insurance coverage for liability claims arising from injuries sustained by tribal-member tenants in Indian housing units.”

CCL at Milbank Tweed Forum Series at New York University Law School

October 12th, 2011

The Milbank Tweed Forum Series at New York University Law School hosted “A Brewing Debate: Does the Tort System Need Reform?” Panelists included Andre M. Mura of CCL; Elizabeth Cabraser of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP; J. Russell Jackson, of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP; and Victor Schwartz, general counsel, American Tort Reform Association. Professor Catherine Sharkey of NYU Law was the moderator.

CCL Presents Oral Argument in West Virginia’s Highest Court

September 20th, 2011

CCL’s Louis M. Bograd argued before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on behalf of plaintiffs in In re E.B, No. 09-P-47 M. The case concerns issues of first impression regarding reimbursements of medical expenses paid by Medicaid.

CCL Speaks at Annual Convention of North Carolina Advocates for Justice

August 31st, 2011

CCL’s Robert S. Peck spoke at the annual convention of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, as part of a panel addressing the constitutional implications of restrictions on tort law.