A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of November 14-20.
Collapse Of 5-Hour Energy Case Reveals The Secrets Of Class Action Lawyers
Daniel Fisher | Forbes
Howard W. Rubinstein has been disbarred once and has had his law license suspended twice by the State Bar of Texas for violations including misuse of client funds. But things really fell apart when he decided to sue billionaire Manoj Bhargava’s 5-Hour Energy drink.
If Past is Prelude, SCOTUS Will Just Tinker in This Term’s Class Action Cases
Alison Frankel | Reuters
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Chief Justice John Roberts’ inauguration, the Akron Law Review has published a collection of papers on the impact of the Roberts Court’s decisions on class actions. The articles, a mix of studies by law professors and class action practitioners, were all written before the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this fall in a trio of cases posing some fundamental questions about class actions, such as whether Congress can legislate constitutional standing and whether classes can be certified if they contain members who have not been injured.
Should Oil Firms Be Held Liable in Earthquake Lawsuits?
Wall Street Journal
In 2011, a string of powerful earthquakes struck near the town of Prague, Okla., part of a surge in seismic activity in the state. Geologists eventually linked the quakes to increased oil and natural-gas production in the area—specifically, to the practice of injecting wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, into wells deep underground. Sandra Ladra, a Prague resident who was injured in the most severe of the quakes, brought a lawsuit against New Dominion LLC and other oil and gas companies that operate injection wells in the region, accusing the companies of engaging in “ultrahazardous activities” that led to her injuries.
Lisa A. Rickard, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform | New York Times Letter to the Editor
Your three-part series on arbitration, beginning with “Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice” (front page, Nov. 1), is a one-sided view of arbitration and class-action lawsuits that parrots the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ talking points.
Federal Judge Says His Overworked Colleagues Bench Close to Burnout
Jacob Gershman | Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog
Judges in federal trial courts have for some time expressed concern about the ever-growing backlog of civil cases. The workload complaint from the judiciary appears to be getting more urgent.
NJ Court Backs Train Cos. In Secondhand Asbestos Case
Emily Field | Law360
A New Jersey state appeals court on Thursday upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a woman’s suit against the Port Authority Transit Corp., various rail companies and automotive parts makers that claimed that she was exposed to asbestos through her father’s employment at those companies.
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