Archives for April 2013
by: Lynn A. Toops, Attorney
As a class action attorney and mother of two toddlers under the age of 3, I am constantly struggling to find healthy snacks and drinks that my children can eat or drink on the go. Before buying any packaged food for my children, I scour the label to make sure that I’m making the healthiest choice possible. Unfortunately, a recent class action case shows that a product’s label may not really tell you much (or even the truth about) what’s in the package.
by: Richard E. Shevitz, Attorney
The Supreme Court’s recent reversal of class certification in Comcast Corporation v. Behrend has generated commentary as divided as the Court’s 5 to 4 opinion. But while Comcast will no doubt be trumpeted by those opposing class certification as a major shift in precedent, the opinion never purports to do anything other than apply existing procedural law to the particular facts of the case before it. Thus, as even the dissent points out, the opinion does not signal a wholesale change in the legal landscape of class actions, and is better seen as merely providing guidance for class certification in antitrust matters.
Advances in modern medicine over the past decade have given patients many great treatment options. Drugs have been designed to treat myriad of conditions from heart arrhythmia to kidney disease. Ideally, drug manufacturers have a goal to create medicine for patients that will give them maximum benefit with minimum risk. It seems that lately this ideal has been lacking. Adverse event reports have been filed with the FDA for a variety of drugs that have led to heighted patient safety warnings and recalls.
by: Richard E. Shevitz, Attorney
The recent revelations that DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious law firms, has apparently intentionally padded its bills to a client who had the audacity to challenge them are, sadly, not shocking to anyone in the legal world. Not that it was specifically, DLA Piper, of course, but that large, silk stocking law firms regularly overbill their clients is the dirty, little not-so-secret that seems to be an acceptable norm to corporate America. Of course, many law firms resist that pressure, but the simple reality is that an hourly billing arrangement can sometimes put a law firm and its client at odds. Clients desire a prompt and inexpensive resolution and law firms that primarily rely on hourly billing may be inclined to bill for more services than necessary. An alternative billing arrangement can be a great way for the two parties to meet in the middle.
by: David J. Cutshaw, Attorney
In a very tragic case, our Court of Appeals in Erwin v. HASBC Mortgage Services, Inc., 983 N.E. 2d 174 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013) ruled that a mortgage company has no duty to maintain property of a homeowner who abandons the property. In this case, a homeowner had placed an in-ground pool on his property with a safety cover, but did not fence in the pool. The home owner filed bankruptcy and abandoned the property–and the pool. The pool and the pool cover deteriorated and was not maintained for several months. A five-year-old granddaughter of a neighbor slipped into the pool and drowned. Because the sunken pool cover was covered in algae, the young girl could not climb out of the pool when she slipped into the pool.