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2017 September Insights
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THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT'S RECENT PERSONAL JURISDICTION DECISIONS: FEDERALISM AND RESTRICTION ON FORUM SHOPPING, OR A "PARADE OF HORRIBLES"?
 
In May and June 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued two decisions which bolster a corporate defendant's ability to challenge personal jurisdiction when sued outside its home state and significantly limit plaintiffs' ability to shop around for the friendliest forum. Together, the pair of decisions address the assertion of both general and specific personal jurisdiction.

This article provides an overview of what corporate defendants and their attorneys need to know to apply these decisions in future cases. Additionally, this article touches on the subject of retroactive application in pending cases.

Marking the first time the U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the application of its 2014 decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. 746, 187 L.Ed.2d 624 (2014), in a general personal jurisdiction case, BNSF Ry. Co. v. Tyrrell, 137 S.Ct. 1549, 198 L.Ed.2d 36 (2017), refined the law concerning assertion of general jurisdiction over nonresident defendants. Tyrrell is the first opinion that Justice Neil Gorsuch has participated in since his appointment to the Court.

 
CAN BIOMARKERS AND GENETICS HELP PREDICT THE FUTURE OF MALIGNANT PLEURAL MESOTHELIOMA?

KURTIS B. REEG
, PAUL L. KNOBBE, AND LYNN LEHNERT
 
The unremitting march of asbestos-related mesothelioma case filings continues across the country. For the patient, the medical community, and the defendants, finding ways to predict, diagnose, alter, and treat this horrific malady are front and center. This article focuses on evolving and cutting-edge medical science that offers hope in forecasting one variety of this dreadful disease.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma ("MPM") is a fatal cancer primarily affecting workers exposed to asbestos fibers. Despite predictions of decline in incidences of mesothelioma, global incidences are increasing. Schneider, Marc A., et al., Glycodelin is a potential novel follow-up biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma, Oncotarget, Vol. 7, No. 44, p. 71285 (October 4, 2016), available at http://www.impactjournals.com/oncotarget/index.php?journal=oncotarget&page=article&op=view&path%5b%5d=12474&pubmed-linkout=1. Occupational studies demonstrate that inhalation of asbestos produces asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma, lung, and other cancers. Baumann, Francine and Carbone, Michele, Environmental risk of mesothelioma in the United States: An emerging concern - epidemiological issues, J. of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, Vol. 19, Nos. 5-6, pp. 231-249 (2016), p. 231, available at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10937404.2016.1195322. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") began regulating occupational exposure in the early 1970s; in 1989 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned most asbestos-containing products. Id.


SUCCESSION PLANNING: PROTECTING YOUR FIRM & CLIENTS' LEGAL INTERESTS IN TIMES OF TRANSITION

Lawyers as a group are fearless, ageless, and optimistic. We throw ourselves into our day-to-day work, and we prefer not to be bothered by anything that may distract us from our clients' cases. Many of us do not recognize the word retirement. We assume that, as long as our mind is intact, we can practice law as long as we want. Because we mostly practice in law firms, most law firms do not plan for the unexpected. Indeed, a recent study showed that less than five percent (5%) of law firms have any kind of succession plan in the event of the loss of firm leadership or firm rainmakers. See Sterling, John and Remsen, Jr., John, Planning for the Future. When It Comes to Succession Planning, Law Firms Have Plenty of Room for Improvement, Legal Mgmt. (Jan. 6, 2015), available at http://www.managingpartnerforum.org/index.cfm/planning/articles/.

The reality is that any attorney can be sidelined by unexpected death, illness, or the death or illness of a spouse, child, or parent. Life-changing events prompt lawyers to retire when retirement was not in the plan. Similarly, lawyers make life-changing decisions to leave private law practice to enter the judiciary, seek other public office, move in-house, or pursue personal business ventures. As a result of these unexpected and expected life-changing events, all law firms and lawyers need to have a succession plan.


LEGAL WRITING IN THE
ELECTRONIC AGE

 
Over the past twenty (20) years, a shift from paper filing to electronic filing has occurred in appellate courts across the United States, and the rate is increasing. From 2010 to 2014, the number of state appellate courts requiring or allowing e-filing increased from fifteen (15) to thirty-three (33). ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers, The Leap from E-Filing to E-Briefing, at 3 (2017) ("CAL E-Briefing Report"), available at https:///www. americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/appellate_ lawyers/2017_cal_ebrief_report.authcheckdam.pdf. It is not a stretch to expect that "all or nearly all jurisdictions will have appellate e-filing within the decade." Id. 

The advent of e-filing has introduced electronic- document management, allowing judges and court staff to access documents by computer instead of paper files. As of 2016, almost every federal circuit court of appeals issued iPads to their judges (judges in the D.C. Circuit may choose the tablet type), and over fifty percent (50%) of state appellate courts do the same (usually iPad or Surface). See CAL E-Briefing Rpt. at 8-11. However, not every appellate judge uses his/her electronic device to read briefs. Surveys show judges often read on a PC screen and in print when in the office; however, the number of judges reading on paper decreases each year. It seems likely that nearly all judges and court staff eventually will read legal arguments on screens, not paper.



Copyright © 2017
Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
All rights reserved
You may contact us at:
275 N. York Street, Elmhurst, IL 60126 | 630-433-4517
Reid S. Manley, Chair, Publications Committee, FDCC
more Calendar

11/28/2017
Webinar - The FDCC, Your Firm and You

12/13/2017
Webinar - Succession Planning for In-House Counsel

2/24/2018 » 2/28/2018
2018 Winter Meeting - Amelia Island

4/6/2018 » 4/8/2018
TechU

5/20/2018 » 5/23/2018
Litigation Management College

5/20/2018 » 5/23/2018
Litigation Management Graduate Program

Featured Members
Melinda S. KollrossDefense Counsel, Clausen Miller PC, Chicago, IL
J. Eric MilesDefense Counsel North, Pursell & Ramos, PLC, Nashville, TN

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