Photo of Stephen McConnell

“Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labor when the end was rest,
Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,
With feasts, and off’rings, and a thankful strain.”

― Alexander Pope, Imitations of Horace

Today isn’t officially a holiday, but the preparations for Thanksgiving make it terribly difficult to put in a productive day at the office.  (Some uncharitable types will wonder how this day is different from any other for this particular scribe.)  Because we will spend at least as much time today picking up organic butter, a bourbon pecan pie, and Beaujolais nouveau as we will perusing babbling briefs, we are thankful.  Tomorrow we will plant ourselves at table, poised between gluttony and gratitude.

We decided to canvass our DDL blog colleagues on what was making them thankful. Not surprisingly, some mentioned the learned intermediary doctrine, preemption, and statutes of limitations.  There were also shout-outs for Netflix, cornbread sausage dressing, and Eos lip balm.  One particularly high-minded blog editor was thankful to be at a law firm that recognizes the value of thought leadership.  “It takes a lot of non-billable time to write this blog.  A lot!  But it is important to our clients and to the patients who need their medicines and devices, and it is important to us.”  Just so.

Naturally, Bexis had the most to say.  We will quote his list of thanks:

  • I’m thankful to DARPA for the internet, without which none of what we’ve done would be possible.  There are some things that the government can do right.
  • I’m thankful to the tobacco companies for carrying the laboring oar in creating preemption in product liability cases.  Cipollone was the first time the United States Supreme Court found preemption in product liability litigation.
  • I’m thankful for Alfred Caronia standing up to the FDA when nobody else would.
  • I’m thankful for Obamacare because everyone deserves access to life-saving drugs and medical devices, and while I personally would prefer a single-payer system, it was the best we could hope for under the circumstances.
  • I’m thankful for off-label use because without it my daughter might have been crippled by juvenile dermatomyocitis, for which there was no on-label treatment.

The author of today’s post also has a list:

  • Thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for the Tincher opinion.  Even if Tincher does not quite render our Commonwealth’s product liability law pellucid, it at least strains out the Azzarello murkiness and muck.
  • Thanks for the Serial podcast, which has created a whole new cultural conversation.
  • Thanks to the Drug and Device Law Daughter for winding up her semester abroad in India without incident.  (Well, almost.  She was hit by a car, but apparently it was a very small, slow car.)  From her Facebook posts, it is clear that she has had quite an adventure in that marvelous country.  It is also clear that she disobeyed our strict instruction not to play with the wild monkeys.  Never mind.  Come home.  All is forgiven.
  • Thanks to the Drug and Device Law Son for displaying the number one determinant for success in this world: a motor.  His capacity for hard work is especially stunning when we contemplate how our own college days were filled with indolence and things that cannot be discussed in a PG-rated blog.
  • Thanks to our fellow DDL bloggers for basically writing most of today’s post for us.  (Our indolence continues.)
  • Last but not least, thanks to our clients and colleagues who offer support and suggestions. We are even thankful for our critics.  If you stop by our house tomorrow, perhaps whilst the Eagles are midway through thumping the Cowboys, we will gladly cut you a slice of bourbon pecan pie.