You read right – Herrmann bailed. I can’t really blame him, Aon made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse. Take the in-house money and run, man. And get your nights and weekends back, too….

So it’s Bexis here, taking over the blog. First things first. Everything will continue essentially as is, except for Herrmann’s humor. That’s probably irreplaceable. Herrmann has the most wicked sense of humor of any lawyer I know, including me.

But beyond that, it’s like what they say in England: “The king is dead…. Long live the king.”  Herrmann may be gone, but long live the Drug and Device Law Blog.

I promise (cross my heart and hope to die) to all the blog’s loyal audience that you’ll keep getting the same: (1) timely commentary, (2) useful ideas, (3) cutting-edge defense oriented legal arguments, and (4) comprehensive research (and scorecards) on subjects both well-known and obscure – all delivered with the same light touch and clear pro-defense point-of-view that you’ve told me time and time again makes the blog easy and fun to read.

But if you think I’m going to be doing this alone, you’re crazier than I am. I do need to sleep at least a few hours a night.

So here’s what’ll be happening on that score.

Herrmann didn’t spring as much a surprise on me as his farewell post makes it appear. No, he told me about his big move a while ago. And I’ve been planning furiously ever since.

I’ve managed to find three partners here at Dechert that I think have what Herrmann called that “rare combination of (1) concern about the law, (2) intelligence, (3) ability to crank out articles at a ferocious pace, and (4) diligence to have kept up this endeavor.” They’re also masochistic enough to take on this gig. While Herrmann will no doubt gloat that it takes three people to fill his shoes, readers will see the method to my madness….

Anyway, without further ado, here they are: Behind door number one is Ronni Fuchs. Ronni’s in Dechert’s Princeton office and is one of the smartest lawyers I know. Some of you may remember her guest post on MDL developments a couple of months ago. Note the topic. Among other things, I hope Ronni will keep up Mark’s obsessive interest in MDL-related issues (I almost called them “minutiae,” but MDLs are so huge, that would be incorrect).

Behind door number two is Steve McConnell. Steve’s here in the Philly office with me, so we can watch each other. I’d have to say he’s one of the funniest lawyers I know this side of Herrmann. Steve also has significant trial experience that he’ll be bringing to bear on the various expert, evidentiary, and other trial related issues the blog has covered.

Behind door number three is Will Sachse. Will’s the most mysterious of the lot (I say that because you won’t find his picture on Dechert’s website) – but yes, he exists. In addition to being our resident non-conformist, Will’s got a lot of life-science-type experience beyond traditional product liability. For one thing, he knows about class actions, a lot. So, you can expect the blog to continue its extensive coverage of the class action aspect (second only to “preemption” in number of posts) of drug and device product liability litigation.

Three Dechert partners to replace Herrmann? I think we can pull that off.

As we’ve done for the last three years we’ll continue to sign all our posts as “we.”

Even with the new all-Dechert lineup, the blog isn’t going to turn into another drab big-firm blog – without “voice” as Herrmann called it in his parting shot (probably across my bow as much as anything) about blogging.

Bexis won’t let it.

Finally, we’ll of course be continuing URL-linked “tips of the hat” to all comers who send us new decisions and other useful stuff. The Drug and Device Law Blog remains what it was always been intended to be – an industry-wide resource. Like the proverbial rising tide, inter-firm collaboration helps all our clients, and that, more than anything else, is what we want to continue.