Friday, April 29, 2011

Mark Lanier featured in Attorney-Penned Movie

I haven't seen this movie starring Mark Lanier as himself. But, having been a drafter of the appeal brief in McDarby v. Merck, I can affirm that Mark Lanier is one hell of a trial lawyer. - Attorney-Penned Movie Features Mark Lanier Playing Trial Lawyer

Thursday, April 28, 2011

BP Profit Falls as Costs of Gulf of Mexico Spill Outweigh Higher Oil Prices -

BP Profit Falls as Costs of Gulf of Mexico Spill Outweigh Higher Oil Prices -

Most Cardiologists earn over $300,000 - but think they are underpaid

Remember these numbers the next time you read about why we have to limit medical malpractice claims.

New York, NY - Cardiologists—especially males—are among some of the highest-paid physicians in the US, but most believe they are inadequately reimbursed for what they do.Those numbers come from a 2011 Physician Compensation Report, based on a survey of over 15 000 US physicians conducted earlier this year and compiled by Medscape [1].According to survey respondents, cardiologists were among the third-highest-paid physicians in 2010, after orthopedic surgeons and radiologists, with 60% of cardiologists reporting that they made more than $300 000 and 20% saying they earned more than $500 000. Those earnings include salary, bonus, and profit-sharing earnings, but not any non-patient-related earnings, such as payments from consulting/speaking engagements or expert-witness services.By comparison, pediatricians, the lowest paid, earned a median income of $148 000 in 2010, slightly lower than primary-care physicians, at $159 000.Female cardiologists earn markedly lower salaries, on average, than their male counterparts—a median of $249 000, compared with $340 000. The gender gap appears to be related to women prioritizing more flexible schedules over salaries, to "allow for more family time," the survey results say. Of note, 80% of physicians who responded to the survey were male.
Compensation survey reveals numbers, disparities |

At 9/11 Trial, Lawyers Will Watch the Clock -

Judge Alvin Hellerstein has informed counsel that he will limit trial time to one month in the only wrongful death action against the airlines and others whose negligence is alleged to have facilitated the 9/11 catastrophe.  90 cases settled.  Thousands accepted the compensation offered by the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund

According to the Times 
Donald A. Migliori, a lawyer for the Bavises, said limiting the trial to one month and dividing the time equally — he made the 50- to 60-hour estimate — was ambitious for a case of such magnitude, particularly for his client, the plaintiff, who bears the burden of proof. The lawsuit contends that the hijackers were able to board United Airlines Flight 175 in Boston because of negligence by United and other defendants, which include an airport security firm.
At 9/11 Trial, Lawyers Will Watch the Clock -

Monday, April 25, 2011

Data mining - targeting MD's for drug sales

In the Vioxx cases "targeting" of physicians was a big issue.  The hard sell was on for a medication with little to commend it - and experience would prove - much to fear from it.  The high-priced patented prescription medication competed principally with the generic naproxen - sold as Aleve.  Merck's sales staff was armed with information from pharmacy benefit providers about what medicines the doctors prescribed.

Three states have limited the practice.  The Supreme Court will soon hear the case - Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc.  I don't know that it is an invasion of privacy.  But I do think it is part of a hard sell that presents risks that doctors will respond to the blandishments and the pressure, rather than the data about the drug's risks and effectiveness.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Oyster on the Seder Plate? -

by Paul Greenberg

LAST night I put an oyster on my Seder plate.


While I didn’t particularly want to put something traif atop that most kosher of dishes, this Passover falls on the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. And since BP, the leaseholder of the failed well, seems intent with its new television ads on making us forget about the spill, I felt that something drastic was in order to help us remember. Combining the memorial powers of the Seder plate with the canary-in-the-coal-mine nature of the oyster seemed a good way to keep the disaster — and BP’s promises to clean up its mess — in mind.
This past March I spent a week in Louisiana’s bays and bayous. All over the region I encountered oyster dredges full of dead, empty shells and broken oystermen with equally empty pockets. Many of the oystermen I interviewed reported that 80 percent of their beds had been killed.
Ecologically speaking, this is huge: a single oyster can filter 40 gallons of water a day, and the millions of oysters in Louisiana’s waters are one of the things that make the gulf work as an ecosystem.
An Oyster on the Seder Plate? -

The Restaurant Owner — Oil Rolled in, and Tables Emptied Out -

The Restaurant Owner — Oil Rolled in, and Tables Emptied Out -

The Restaurant Owner — Oil Rolled in, and Tables Emptied Out -

The Restaurant Owner — Oil Rolled in, and Tables Emptied Out -

The Regulator — Answering a Call to Serve, Slowly -

The Regulator — Answering a Call to Serve, Slowly -

Kenneth Feinberg Draws Critics Over Oil Spill Fund -

$20 billion to hand out. And they're still not happy.
Kenneth Feinberg Draws Critics Over Oil Spill Fund -

Many on gulf Coast Frustrated by Claims Process - NY Times

Many Louisiana residents claim they did not sign up for the lawyer who, according to court records. is their lawyer.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Year After Deepwater Horizon Spill, a Perfect Day for Redfish -

The commercial fishermen of the Gulf Coast face a tough choice.  BP's settlement czar Kenneth Feinberg has offered them compensation of double their 2010 loss.  He thinks the fish suffered little.  Here we see a great day of fishing in the Bayou.  What does it mean for the long term?  Chris Santella reports from the Gulf:

 “I think that the reason fishing has been great is related to the spill. First, many of the species that make up the marine ecosystem here have had an entire spawning period to reproduce and grow without being harvested, thanks to commercial fishing moratoriums. That puts more bait in the water, which supports more and bigger fish.
“I also believe that redfish habitat in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico has been damaged, and that some of the displaced fish have come here. I have not personally seen any oil residue around these marshes, but I can’t say it’s not there. We just don’t know for sure. One thing that’s certain; the long-term effects of the spill have not played out.”
Year After Deepwater Horizon Spill, a Perfect Day for Redfish -

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gulf’s Complexities Come Into Focus as Spill’s Damage Is Tallied -

Leslie Kaufman reports for the Times:
"There is no doubt that gulf water, wildlife and wetlands sustained injury when, beginning on April 20 last year, some 4.9 million barrels of oil and 1.84 million gallons of dispersants poured into the waters off Louisiana. But the ecosystem was not passive in the face of this assault. The gulf, which experiences a natural seepage of millions of gallons of oil a year, had the innate capacity to digest some of crude and the methane gas mixed with it. Almost as soon as the well was capped, the deep became cleaner to the eye. By the same token, dozens of miles of marsh still remain blackened by heavy oil, government crews are still grooming away tar balls that wash up ceaselessly on beaches and traces of the dispersants are still found floating in the currents....."
Gulf’s Complexities Come Into Focus as Spill’s Damage Is Tallied -

Saturday, April 2, 2011

OTHERWISE: Diving into the wreck: BP and Kenneth Feinberg’s Gulf Coast Gambit

OTHERWISE: Diving into the wreck: BP and Kenneth Feinberg’s Gulf Coast Gambit

Blowout: Legal Legacy of the Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe - Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University School of Law, Marine Affairs Institute is hosting 
update - the complete program 
April 13, 2011 
Bristol, Rhode Island 


One of our nation's worst environmental and human disasters began on April 20, 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 people, injuring 17 others, and spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. What is the state of the law one year later, as the human and environmental toll rises? This conference will convene national leaders, elected officials and legal experts to examine the law’s response to this calamity to date and consider  the future legal legacy. We will consider issues of agency capture, tort liability, natural resource damages, and changes to law and regulation contemplated by Congress and the President's National Commission.

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.  Welcome 
Ronald O. Champagne, President, Roger Williams University 
David A. Logan, Dean, Roger Williams University School of Law 
Susan E. Farady, Director, Marine Affairs Institute, RWU School of Law    

9:15 – 9:30 a.m.  Keynote:     Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) (video recorded) 

9:30 –11:00 a.m.  Panel I:   Origin of a Disaster

Deepwater Horizon was sited in accordance with existing regulations and policies, yet the blowout and its aftermath demonstrated significant weaknesses in the current regulatory system.  This panel will examine how this disaster unfolded, including the laws regarding offshore oil and gas, protection of the marine environment, the health and safety of maritime workers, and the role of regulators and industry.  

Moderator: Michael Burger, Professor, RWU School of Law  
Stephen Da Ponte, Atty., USCG Headquarters, Office of Maritime and International Law 
Juliet Eilperin, Reporter, The Washington Post Garret Graves, Director, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority,   State of Louisiana 
Sidney Shapiro, Associate Dean for Research and Development, Wake Forest University School of Law 
David Westerholm, Director, Office of Response and Restoration, National Ocean Service, NOAA 

11:00 – 11:15 a.m.  Break
11:15 – 12:30 p.m.  Panel II:   Assessing Damage to Marine and Human Communities   

 The Gulf of Mexico ecosystem experienced significant harm as a result of the Deepwater disaster.  This panel will discuss the challenges of assessing damage to ecosystems and the human communities that surround them following an environmental disaster.  

Moderator: Susan Farady, RWU School of Law 

Panelists: Hal Chittum, Chittum Skiffs 
Kevin Dean, Esq., Motley Rice
 James J. Opaluch, Professor & Dept. Chair, Environmental and Resource  Economics, University of Rhode Island
Jill Rowe, Biologist, Applied Science Associates, Inc. 

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  Lunch   
Speaker:   Christopher M. Reddy, Sr. Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute   
1:30 – 2:45 p.m.  Panel III:   Sue or Settle? The Adequacy of Tort Law to Fairly and Expeditiously Compensate Victims of Mass Disasters

The Deepwater Horizon catastrophe caused extensive damages to businesses on the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.  This panel will explore whether tort law is up to the task, either procedurally or doctrinally, to fairly compensate victims of mass disasters or whether a compensation fund is preferable. 

Moderator: David A. Logan, RWU School of Law   
George W. Conk, Adjunct Professor & Sr. Fellow, Stein Center, Fordham Law School
Deborah E. Greenspan, Atty., Dickstein Shapiro LLP   
Donald A. Migliori, Esq., Motley Rice 

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.  Break

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.  Keynote Speaker:     Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) (video recorded) 

3:15 – 4:45 p.m.  Panel IV:   The Legal Legacy

 The wake of the Deepwater disaster included numerous legislative hearings, introduction  of numerous pieces of legislation and high-level investigative Commissions. Will legislation significantly change law and policy in environmental, energy and tort arenas?  What will the lasting legal legacy of the Deepwater Horizon be?       

Moderator: Dennis Nixon, Associate Dean/Professor, University of Rhode Island 

Panelists: Fred H. Bartlit, Jr., Esq., Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott  
   LLP, Chief Counsel to National Commission on BP Deepwater Horizon  
   Oil Spill    
Thomas C. Galligan., Jr., President and Professor of Humanities, Colby-  Sawyer College     
David Pettit, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council 
Jonathan K. Waldron, Esq., Blank Rome LLP 
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.  Reception               Linden Place, Bristol, RI