ALFA International Publications

June 1, 2022
It feels like everywhere you turn these days people are talking about implicit or unconscious biases. A brief understanding of what these terms mean and the impact they can have in the workplace (as well as your own personal life) makes it clear why everyone is talking about them.In its simplest form, unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form ou…
June 1, 2022
What is the “Heeding Presumption” in Products Liability Warnings Cases? In a product liability case in which the plaintiff is asserting failure to warn claims, the plaintiff ultimately bears the burden of proving that a failure to warn actually caused the plaintiff’s injuries.   Meeting that burden of proof is easier in states which recognize or follow the “heeding presumption” doctrine.…
June 1, 2022
When developing or acquiring a new product the means by which you can protect your company from legal and business risks are, in theory, straight forward. As with most endeavors, the goals are to avoid risk, shift risk, and quarantine risks that cannot be avoided or redirected. Some guidelines for implementing these goals are set forth below. Avoiding the Risk Due Diligence As a rule, the more in…
June 1, 2022
The “nuclear verdict” is a term recently coined to refer to unexpectedly high damage awards that appear to exceed rational parameters in civil cases. However, verdicts with monetary awards that far exceed expectations, and/or that are considered to be inflated, outlandish or even destructive, have been considered to be a problem for at least a generation (thus the phrase “old wine, new bottles”). …
June 1, 2022
Hundreds if not thousands of companies market and sell products as their own, even though they do not actually manufacture them in arrangements with product manufacturers that are often referred to as “White Labeling” agreements.  Even more businesses rely on vendors for critical components that drive their products.Those AmazonBasics batteries you recently purchased?  They were manufact…
June 1, 2022
Once little more than science fiction, products based on artificial intelligence (“AI”) have found their way into many aspects of our daily lives. Self-driving, autonomous vehicles are on the roads in certain parts of the country.  Millions of Americans use and rely on Fitbits and similar products to register and track biometric data and make recommendations for fitness, nutrition and health decis…
June 1, 2022
The Origins of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 7.1 Upon its addition to the Federal Rules of Civil procedure in April 2002, Rule 7.1 has required nongovernmental corporate parties in federal court to file a disclosure statement that (1) identifies any parent corporation and any publicly held corporation that owns 10% or more of its stock, or (2) states that there is no such corporation.  See …
June 1, 2022
The duty to preserve and not spoliate evidence is a requirement that transcends substantive areas of law and impacts virtually all litigators and clients involved in product liability claims and lawsuits. Spoliation of evidence is a “hot topic” because it is something that must be considered and affirmatively raised in every such case. To ensure the ability to present necessary evidence at trial, …
June 1, 2022
The return to courtroom trials brings excitement and the persuasion of in-person testimony. However, the excitement disappears when your opponent tries to compel the appearance of a witness that you do not want anywhere near the witness stand. With the advent of videoconference testimony and the use of Federal Civil Rules 43 and 45, plaintiffs are attempting to extend the federal subpoena power to…
June 1, 2022
This seminar was going to occur in October 2021.  The Pandemic got worse again and so our Practice Group canceled the seminar and rescheduled it for the current planned dates.  I had written the following introduction for the October 2021 seminar date: As I write this in August 2021, the status of Covid and how businesses are handling it is still very much unresolved.  Only a couple months ago, it…