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This is my first post as a new member of the Drug & Device Law team.  Like many of you, I’ve been a consistent reader of the blog for years and I rely on it regularly.  I remember talking with Jim Beck and Mark Herrmann many years ago when the blog was just getting started (pretty sure it was 2006).  Now here we are.  I’m a partner with Butler Snow LLP’s Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare practice, and I’ve focused my practice on mass torts for almost my entire career.  I’m excited about contributing to the blog and welcome any comments. Now on to business. 

MDL discovery is inevitably burdensome on defendants, and the challenges defendants face in attempting to limit the scope of MDL discovery are exponentially more difficult than in single plaintiff cases. Throw a few hundred cases together in an MDL, and courts seem much more willing to view the scope of permissible discovery through a vastly broader lens.  So we read with interest decisions that limit discovery, place some of the burden on the plaintiffs, or—even better—implement cost shifting and require the plaintiffs to pay for some or all of what they seek in discovery.Continue Reading Cost Shifting in the Tasigna MDL

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For as long as we have been representing drug and device companies in product liability litigation, the plaintiffs have accused our clients of “buying the science.”  Sometimes, this has allegedly been by funding studies or offering support to outside researchers such as free product or access to administrative support.  Sometimes, this has allegedly been by

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Some of us are participating in beta testing of generative artificial intelligence (“AI”) for legal applications in the law firm environment.  So far the verdict is – associates can breathe easy, at least for now.  Nothing we’ve seen is capable of replicating legal research even at a first-year level of quality.

But that doesn’t mean that AI won’t impact prescription medical product liability litigation.  In particular, we’re not surprised to learn that AI is being used in the context of FDA-required adverse event reporting, purported problems with which have become one of the other side’s go-to preemption dodges.  Just a few examples from a simple Google search:Continue Reading Musing about Discovery and Artificial Intelligence

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We’ve written about Lone Pine orders many times before.  (Here and here, for example.) In brief, a Lone Pine order (so-called because that is the name of the seminal New Jersey case) requires plaintiffs to furnish medical evidence, usually in the form of an expert affidavit, showing that the plaintiff suffered from the

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The legal doctrine we discuss today, the reporter’s privilege, lies outside our traditional bailiwick but is worth a quick visit. Recognized in most states, the reporter’s privilege—also known as the journalist’s or newsman’s privilege—is an absolute or conditional “protection, under constitutional or statutory law, from being compelled to testify about confidential information or sources.” Black’s

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Plaintiffs love sales representatives.  They love to use them to try to keep cases in state court—naming them as non-diverse defendants.  They love to try to use them to get around preemption—claiming a direct duty from the rep to the plaintiff.  And they certainly love making sales representative statements and conduct a focal point of

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In our recent ediscovery for defendants update, we highlighted two of the twenty-eight cases we included as the most important:  In re Tasigna (Nilotinib) Products Liability Litigation, 2023 WL 6064308 (Mag. M.D. Fla. Sept. 18, 2023), and Davis v. Disability Rights New Jersey, 291 A.3d 812 (N.J. Super. App. Div. March 16, 2023).  Today we’re explaining why.Continue Reading The Two Most Significant New Ediscovery for Defendants Decisions

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It’s been a while (since mid-2021) since we last updated our cheat sheet devoted to ediscovery for defendants.  That’s because, unlike most of our other cheat sheets and scorecards, cases involving defense discovery of plaintiffs’ social media can be found in a wide variety of non-drug/device contexts – other personal injury, employment, civil rights, anything

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In addition to its expected slam of the judiciary’s Federal Rules Committee largely toothless proposal for an MDL-specific rule of civil procedure, the LCJ recently did something both innovative and unexpected (at least to us) – on September 19, it proposed amending multiple federal civil rules to address privacy issues.  See LCJ, “FRCP

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There are approximately 1.4 million people currently serving in the United States military and 16.5 million US military veterans—and we thank them all for their service.  In prescription medical product liability litigation, especially in MDLs and mass torts, that means defendants are more likely than not to run into plaintiffs who received at least some