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Friday, February 02, 2018

DOL Is Issuing Opinion Letters Again

In 2010, the Department of Labor stopping issuing "Opinion Letters" to assist employers and employees in understanding how labor regulations were applied to particular situations.  Although not binding on either the DOL or courts, they were quite helpful and were issued with some frequency.  Between 2010 and 2016, however, that practice was stopped and less formal "Administrative Interpretations" were issued on an infrequent basis.  From 2010 to 2016, only 11 AI's were released.

Opinion Letters have been reinstated by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, and already 17 OL's have been issued in 2018.  To review them, click here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

SCOTUS Adopts "Stop-the-Clock" Tolling of Statute of Limitations for State Law Claims

On January 22, 2018, the United State Supreme Court held that claims arising under state law in a federal lawsuit, unless there is a state law to the contrary, are tolled or suspended, and plaintiffs have the time remaining on the statute of limitations period applicable to their state law claims plus the 30-day window provided under 28 U.S.C. 1367(d) to refile their state law claims once a federal court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over those state claims. The lower courts had ruled that the "grace period" approach, allowing just 30 days to refile state claims if the statute of limitations had run during the time the case was pending in federal court, should be used, but the Supreme Court rejected that view and adopted the "stop-the-clock" approach. Artis v. District of Columbia, ___ U.S. ___ (2018).

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Punitive damages, which are not allowed in products liability cases in Michigan, also cannot be recovered in an accident occurring in Mississippi, which does permit punitive damages.  In Gaillet v Ford Motor Co., the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that even though the accident giving rise to the case occurring in another state, the Michigan law of damages applied.  Read Judge Edmunds choice of law opinion here.

ABA Publishes Best Law Blogs for 2018

Every year, the ABA publishes a list of the 100 best legal blogs.  In December 2017, the ABA posted it here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Caps on Non-Economic Damages for 2014

The Michigan Department of Treasury has announced that the new caps on noneconomic damages in products liability cases where the product did not cause either death or permanent loss of a vital bodily function for 2014 is $440,200. The indexed cap in cases involving death or permanent loss of a vital bodily function is now $786,000. The cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases is now $464,400.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ABA Picks the 100 Best Legal Blawgs/Blogs

For the 7th time, the ABA has picked its favorite 100 blogs (or blawgs) and there are some very good ones no matter what area you practice in.  Click here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Author of “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law” Speaks at 48th Annual Association of Defense Trial Counsel Meeting on May 21, 2013

Mark Hermann, the Global Head of Litigation for Aon, the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance broker, and the author of one of the best-selling books ever published by the Litigation Section of the ABA, will be the featured speaker at the DAC on May 21, 2013.  He will discuss that book, his enormously popular blogs and articles on litigation, and his new book, “Inside Straight”, which collects his best postings and commentaries on the practice of law in general and litigation in particular.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Four Big Changes to Removal Under the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act

The Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act went into effect on January 6, 2012 and alters removal of cases from state to federal court in four fundamental ways.

First, it now allows each defendant in a multiple defendant case a full thirty days following service on that defendant to file a removal notice.  Previously, there was a split of authority on whether the 30 days ran from the date the first defendant was served.

Second, the Act adopts new procedures for establishing the amount in controversy necessary to sustain diversity jurisdiction, with the default being “the sum demanded in good faith in the initial pleading" or Complaint.  There are several important exceptions, however, including discovery conducted in the state court proceeding after the case is no longer removable being a basis for later removal.

Third, while the one year absolute bar to removal remains, the Act provides that even after one year a case can become removable if “plaintiff has acted in bad faith in order to prevent a defendant from removing the action.”

Finally, the Act eliminates a federal court’s discretion to hear state-law claims asserted in a case removed to federal court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction and requires the district court to "sever from the action all [state-law] claims . . . and . . . remand the severed claims to the State court from which the action was removed.”