Tort Reform by Any Other Name

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but tort reform still smells bad to traditional opponents despite an attractive title.  That’s why most observers believe that the House-passed “Protecting Access to Care Act,” H.R. 1215, is going nowhere. Opponents don’t oppose the goal of protecting access …

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Iowa Supreme Court Recognizes Wrongful Birth Action

On June 2 the Iowa Supreme Court expressly recognized the right of parents to sue for wrongful birth. Pam and Jeremy Plowman allege the following: Pam underwent ultrasound in week 22 of her pregnancy. The radiologist’s report noted fetal head abnormalities and recommended follow-up. But her OB/GYN told her …

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Sometimes It’s Not What You Say But How You Say It

A recent First Circuit opinion demonstrates that sometimes how you say something is more important that what you say.  In fact, that principle led the court to reverse the NLRB’s order that a Massachusetts hospital must rehire a former employee. New hire Camille Legley made quite an impression on his first …

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Two Times Twelve Doesn’t Necessarily Equal Twenty-Four

In the august halls of a federal courthouse, things aren’t always what they seem.  Say, for example, court rules require that briefs must “be double-spaced and in 12-point font with 1-inch margins.”  Knowing that a “point” is 1/72 of an inch, you might assume that the font should be 12/72, or …

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Hail Mary Passes & Banana Peels

March 23 saw a rare spectacle in the courtroom of the Indiana Supreme Court: lawyers for a medical malpractice case plaintiff, supported by the Indiana Trial Lawyers as amicus, and lawyers for the physician defendant in the case, supported by Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana as amicus, argued for the same result: …

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Sometimes a Belt & Suspenders Aren’t Enough

Even the most cautious lawyer might think that Columbia North Hills Hospital had done enough to compel arbitration when a former employee sued for sexual harassment, retaliation, and negligence.  The trial court thought so.  It granted the hospital’s motion to compel arbitration and then entered judgment …

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