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JAMES M. BECK is Counsel resident in the Philadelphia office of ReedSmith. He is the author of, among other things, Drug and Medical Device Product Liability Handbook (2004) (with Anthony Vale). He wrote the seminal law review article on off-label use cited by the Supreme Court in Buckman v. Plaintiffs Legal Committee. He has written more amicus briefs for the Product Liability Advisory Council than anyone else in the history of the organization, and in 2011 won PLAC's highest honor, the John P. Raleigh award. He has been a member of the American Law Institute (ALI) since 2005. He is the long-time editor of the newsletter of the ABA's Mass Torts Committee.  He is vice chair of the Class Actions and Multi-Plaintiff Litigation SLG of DRI's Drug and Device Committee.  He can be reached at jmbeck@reedsmith.com.  His LiinkedIn page is here.

We’ve mentioned before that negligence per se requires a claimed violation of a definite enactment – like a 70 mile per hour speed limit – that can substitute for the ordinary negligence “reasonable man” standard.  However, we’ve never really studied it closely.  Because negligence per se seems to be flowing rather than ebbing in prescription

We’ve repeatedly advocated that defendants try turn the e-discovery tables on plaintiffs whenever possible – particularly in MDLs where discovery is flagrantly one-sided – by going after plaintiffs’ social media information.  In just about every case involving allegations of personal injuries, social media will have admissions by plaintiffs concerning their conditions and activities that concern

It hasn’t happened yet, but just as the Supreme Court originally did with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Albrecht, 139 S. Ct. 1668 (U.S. 2019), the Court issued an order on June 24, asking for the Solicitor General’s views in Avco Corp. v. Sikkelee, No. 18-1140.  The Order is on SCOTUSBlog, here

We’ve blogged a number of times about how litigation funding arrangements involving personal injuries and mass torts collide with various ethical and statutory obligations owed by either the funders or the lawyers they fund.  These all involve United States litigation.  But when the New York Times reported on the questionable funding arrangements that have occurred

We know of only a couple of cases that have allowed “experts” to testify on the subject of punitive damages.  First, in the Actos litigation, the court allowed a so-called “ability to pay” expert opinion to be presented to the jury.  In re Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation, 2013 WL 6383104, at *5 (W.D.

Bexis vividly remembers how he first learned of 21 U.S.C. §337(a).  It was early 1995, and he had just joined the Danek Medical legal team in the early going of the Orthopedic Bone Screw MDL.  The plaintiffs’ complaints went on and on about “negligence per se” and purported violations of the FDCA.  Bexis figured that