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Wyeth Inc. v. Weeks, ‘Innovator Liability,’ and Alabama’s Road to Tort Hell


Prior to 1994, Alabama was widely perceived as a “tort hell,” a place where judges and juries actively looked to shift liability to perceived “deep pocket” defendants. The hellish days were marked by outlandish punitive-damage awards, dodgy procedures, and plaintiff-friendly legal doctrines. Most notoriously, in BMW v. Gore, the Alabama supreme court affirmed a $2 million punitive-damages award on the grounds that BMW had touched up a car’s paint job without disclosing it, reducing the vehicle’s value by $4,000, meaning that the damages were awarded in a ratio of 500:1. Class-action lawyers got their plaintiff classes approved simply by dropping by a judge’s office, a procedure that came to be known as “drive-by” certification. Plaintiffs in consumer-fraud cases just had to show that they justifiably relied on what they were told, not that they acted reasonably. . . .
Continue reading at National Review Online

What the Voting Rights Act Argument Was Really About


If you only listen to the coverage and editorials surrounding Wednesday’s argument on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, you probably assume that the bedrock of our democratic institutions is under assault. Dire predictions about the entire Voting Rights Act being in danger are emphasized by its very name—how could the Supreme Court hate voting rights?" . . .
Continue Reading at InsiderAdvantage

Jack Park: Texas Wins One for Judicial Restraint