Kirk Hartley

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What if Alexa went to law school? That’s the interesting headline used to tee of some exchanges about AI and changes to Lexis/Nexis products, including legal research and court dockets.  This February 11, 2019 post at Dewey B. Strategic is worth reading for some glimpses into the past and what’s ahead; it is titled: Lexis Prepares to Launch a Research Bot – And a CourtLink Makeover…
“Protection gaps” are one of the results of the failure of state regulation of most forms of insurance. The gap problem – as it exists for property insurance – will be discussed in detail at an upcoming conference at Rutgers Law School, with an interesting and economically diverse set of business community speakers, and truly astute professors and lawyers. Wish I could be there. See the agenda pasted below. To register, go to https://ipe.rutgers.edu/ipe_reg.php?event_id=611.…
Three new justices joined the Florida Supreme Court early in 2019 due to retirements of others. The new justices all were appointed by a Republican governor; no doubt tort system defendants are hoping the new justices alter the existing legal balance in Florida. It will be interesting to see what happens. Evelyn Fletcher Davis provides a cogent summary of the new justices here in a February 20, 2019 article.…
At long last, plans are moving forward to establish a national mesothelioma patient registry in the United States. A key meeting of experts planning the registry will be held on Tuesday March 26, 2019  in Bethesda. The meeting will include panel presentations by mesothelioma experts from CDC and NIOSH, and will include a substantial opportunity for stakeholders to provide to suggestions and comments.  The long hoped for registry is moving into place after years of efforts…
In the UK, an “overalls” case is a shorthand term for a “take home” case, as we refer to them in the US. Of greater note, a UK plaintiff recently succeeded  in such a case, as described in a February 18, 2019 post at AsbestosLaw blog, which is published by UK Barristers who acted for the claimant. The opinion includes a detailed discussion of the evidence; it is online here.
An interesting WSJ opinion article of February 15, 2019 briefly recaps the work of some of the persons involved in private forensic use of DNA databases to track down people for family reasons, to solve “cold cases” or for other reasons. One paragraph explains: “In June police arrested a 49-year-old suspect, Raymond Rowe, a local disc jockey known as “DJ Freez.” They found him with the help of Parabon NanoLabs, a Reston, Va.-based forensic DNA…
It’s seldom simple to plan and manage a compensation fund for personal injuries. The currents status of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund provides yet another example of some the challenges. In short, on February 15, 2019, the Fund announced a major decrease in its payment percentage, unless it obtains additional funding; see this page at the fund website.  The changes are more generally described in a February 15, 2019 article at the Washington Post.
Interesting times ahead as Imerys filed a chapter 11 petition in an effort to try to manage the mesothelioma and ovarian cancer claims against it and other entities.  The petition and a related declaration list the top 30 plaintiff firms, which includes numerous plaintiff firms that are not “regulars” in chapter 11 asbestos cases, as well as some firms who are regulars. The list of “regulars” includes Motley Rice and the Simmons firm. The declaration…
It’s world cancer day, a reminder of the biggest global terrorist and driver of much litigation. The chart is from: Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Siegel RL, Torre LA, Jemal A. Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018 Nov;68(6):394-424. doi: 10.3322/caac.21492.
Lawyers involved in mass tort litigation should be aware of this January 24, 2019 article (some would say puff piece) in Science regarding Dr. David Egilman, as well as some of quotes in it. The title is:  “Expert witness David Egilman wins billions—and makes enemies—as he fights companies over public health.” The author,  Douglas Starr,  is co-director of the Boston University Science Journalism Program.…