Defense Counsel Journal highlights trust transparency, punitive damages and product launch hurdles

By John Breslin | Dec 5, 2018

CHICAGO—A Chicago-based international association of defense lawyers has published its most recent journal on the latest trends in law practices.

Among the articles included in the Defense Counsel Journal, published by International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), address asbestos tort reform, a study of the claimed growth in punitive damages, and how manufacturers face legal hurdles when launching products.

In a jointly authored piece, John J. Hare and Daniel J. Ryan Jr. tackle the issue of transparency reform laws surrounding bankruptcy trusts.

The article, "The More Things Change: Bankruptcy Trust Reform and the Status Quo in Asbestos Litigation,” "debunks plaintiffs' lawyers' arguments that trust transparency reforms would delay litigation, deny compensation to the most sympathetic of plaintiffs, and divest plaintiffs of their traditional control over the trust and tort systems."

The authors claim trust transparency reforms have allowed for compensation to be more quickly disbursed by asbestos trusts.

"Where reforms have been enacted, they have achieved their purpose of fostering communication within the two-tiered system of asbestos compensation so that juries can properly account for all of a plaintiff's exposures to asbestos," the authors argue.

In another article, Conrad Flaczyk and Nicolas Glaudemans argue that punitive damages for breach of contract are "generally larger and more common than ever before."

This is an "extraordinary development," the authors state, because punitive damages were entirely barred under contract law in cases that centered purely on breach of contract.

They agree with the previously held view that punitive damages are the "bane of corporate defendants,” something that has never been more true than under contract law.

Another article looks at the history of a product's development and marketing, then investigates how it may face legal hurdles, particularly from consumer protection lawsuit, when manufacturers move into the US market.

The DCJ is a quarterly published by the IADC, which has 2,500 members worldwide.

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