Products Liability Litigation


Learn while you’re on the go. Listen to the Products Liability Litigation Committee’s audio recordings on this archive page.

Sound Advice

Best Practices for Using an Origin and Cause Expert
In this Sound Advice, Chelsea Smith gives a summary of the best practices for the use of experts in determining the origin and cause of a fire or explosion. (8:27 min)

Retaining and Working with Expert Witnesses
Bryan Coleman discusses the basic considerations for retaining and working with expert witnesses. (8:46 min)

Making Pro Bono Work for You
This is a short segment meant to provide young attorneys with suggestions for achieving desired skills and experiences through meaningful pro bono work. (6:20 min.)

Embracing and Excelling in Supporting Roles as a Young Attorney
Dan Ahasay provides strategies for maximizing your effectiveness behind the scenes as a supporting attorney at trial and appellate argument. (13:27 min.)

Seeing Beyond the Statute of Limitations: Assessing the Timeliness of a Products Action
While new litigators are quick to assess statutes of limitations, there are other important considerations in assessing whether a products action is barred. This Sound Advice briefly walks through those considerations. (8:44 min.)

Preserving Privilege When Communicating with Related Entities
Collette Alison Brown discusses issues related to preserving privilege when communicating with related corporate entities. (8:56 min.)

Time Management to Help You Enjoy the Practice of Law
By Peggy Bush Smith
Practical suggestions to help you enjoy the practice of law more as you learn to manage your time instead of your time managing you. (13:53 min.)

Non-Traditional Discovery
By Morgan Branch
Products Liability/Drug and Device litigation PFS/DFS process. (07:24 min.)

Potential Effects of H.R. 985 on Product Liability and Mass Tort Litigation
By Evan Moltz
This recording discusses the potential affect legislation being considered by Congress could have on the future of product liability litigation. (8:58 min.)

The Art of Genteel Conversation in Litigation
Peggy Smith Bush, managing partner of Southern Trial Counsel| PLC discusses how to achieve better results for your clients and bring more enjoyment to practicing law through the art of genteel conversation. (16:11 min.)

Providing Superior Representation as Local Counsel
By Neville H. Boschert
A discussion of how local counsel's relationship with national counsel and the client can affect local counsel's ability to provide superior representation. (10:51 min.)

MDLs: Advantages and Disadvantages of Centralization and the Venue Selection Process
By Daniel A. Spira
Multidistrict litigation (MDL) can have positive efficiency and convenience implications, but also brings potential disadvantages for litigants, beginning with an unpredictable venue and judge selection process. This Sound Advice provides an overview of the MDL venue and judge selection process, and the significant implications and related risks that result. (9:51 min.)

Autonomous Vehicles: How Safe is Safe Enough?
By Doug Robinson & Siena Caruso
Product liability litigators Doug Robinson and Siena Caruso discuss recent developments in autonomous vehicle regulations and its impact on product liability litigation. (14:39 min.)

FRCP 37(e) Spoliation Sanctions - A View from the Bench
By United States Magistrate Judge Kristen Mix - District of Colorado
US Magistrate Judge Kristen Mix is interviewed by Dan Wittenberg to discuss the purpose of Rule 37(e), decisions a court must make under the Rule before imposing sanctions and tips for a practitioner to avoid Rule 37(e) sanctions. (12:54 min.)

10 Things You May Not Know About Criminal Prosecutions in Food Safety Cases
By Caryn Trombino
In recent years, the DOJ has intervened in food contamination cases with greater frequency and with a stronger emphasis on criminal rather civil sanctions. Listen as Caryn Trombino describes the trends. (7:25 min.)

Challenges to the Use of Representative Evidence in Class Actions
By Evan Moltz
Listen as Evan Moltz discusses the effect of the Supreme Court's decision in Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo. (8:21 min.)

5 Quick Tips for Preparing a Witness for Depositions
By Michelle Ramirez
Whether it's your first or hundredth deposition, Michelle Ramirez's primer will share some best practices and guidelines to best prepare company witnesses. (6:19 min.)

Civility in the Law
By Lisa Reppeto
Veteran litigator Lisa Reppeto discusses the recent trend toward less civility in lawyers and the costs of such behavior. (6:24 min.)

Understanding is Believing (Part I)
Lawyers wear many hats. Listen as Richard Willis discusses the importance of teaching scientific or technical concepts to jurors and some of the best practices to do so.

Fraudulent Joinder
Listen as Rachel Nevarez explains the concept of a fraudulent joinder and how it may be beneficial to your clients.

Going In-House: An Interview on Making the Move
Listen as Dan Wittenberg speaks with Sara Athen regarding her decision to make the jump from private practice to corporate law.

Recent General Order for Referral of Civil Matters to Magistrate Judges
Court dockets everywhere!  Bryan Coleman describes the Northern District of Alabama’s unique way of dealing with the crowding, redefining the traditional
role of magistrate judges along the way.

Self-Driving Vehicles
Expert litigator Laura Walther explains how changes in technology will change the types of experts and their testimony in product liability cases involving vehicles.

Don’t Fear Voir Dire
Trial consultant Ann Greeley walks you through the Voir Dire process, explaining why it is more important to remove potentially harmful 

Small Clients: Steps to Implement a Litigation Hold
Litigation holds are often considered only in large corporate cases.  But veteran litigator William Dance explains how, despite the costs, they may be helpful for smaller clients as well.

5 Tips for Preparing a Foreign Witness to Testify
Jana Jobes Wozniak offers some best practices that should alleviate any issues that may arise while preparing witnesses from abroad.

Recent FDA Draft Guidance on the Use of Social Media
The ever-changing role of social media has created many new potential legal issues. Listen to longtime litigator Lori Leskin’s analysis of recent FDA guidance on the use of social media in the pharmaceutical industry. (12:14 min.)

How to Successfully Handle Your First Products Liability Case
Kristie Wetterer outlines key points to keep in mind upon receipt of a complaint, when crafting an answer, and initial case assessment and discovery.  (7:49 min.)

Consumer Product Crisis: Strategies to Protect a Product’s Reputation
Laura J. Walther discusses both offensive and defensive strategies, from a combined  legal and media standpoint, to help keep your client’s product from having its good name damaged in public. (7:06 min.)

Self-Driving Vehicles: The Future of Automotive Regulation
Technological advances often outpace changes in the law. Listen as Kuppersmith discusses autonomous vehicles and how both state and federal laws are dealing with this potentially huge change in transportation law. (7:51 min.)

What Food and Beverage Company Lawyers Need To Know About Insurance Coverage
Cohen discusses how companies can use the insurance coverage that they already may have to protect themselves – and their brands— against potential losses and costs from claims regarding their products’ labels and ingredients. (9:13 min.)

When Did Your Company Last Review Its Insurance Program?
While this practice may not be at the top of your to-do list, Tonya Newman discusses the benefits of this type of audit in addition to highlighting specific issues that should be addressed. (9:10 min.)

U.S. v. Caronia:  Off-Label Promotion Is Protected Speech
Listen as longtime litigator Chris Johnson reviews the U.S. v. Caronia case and how it may impact the federal government’s ability to bring certain cases and to prosecute so-called mislabeling cases. (9:41 min.)

Joint Defense Agreements
Although they’ve been around for a long time, not everyone fully grasps the pros and cons of such an approach. Listen as Lee Ziffer outlines the unique advantages and disadvantages of this type of agreement. (9:28 min.)

Is Your Client’s Product Subject to the Jurisdiction of the CPSC?
Before investing time and energy on behalf of your clients, you should first determine whether their product is a consumer product. Laura Walther outlines the differences between types of products. (6:35 min.)

Building Your Network: A Diverse Perspective
According to Ira Gonzalez, the best networking doesn’t usually just happen - it requires a plan. Learn how to develop your business and career with an eye toward the future. (7:48 min.)

New Consumer Product Safety Regulations
Two new regulatory rules for consumer products have recently gone into effect. Chuck Joern explains the importance of each for you and your clients. (12:24 min.)

Whistleblower Protections
Josh Johanningmeier summarizes the new OSHA rules regarding whistle-blowers. (07:45 min.)

The Complex World of Consumer-Products Regulations
In the case of a product-safety complaint, you need to know what your reporting obligations are. Listen as Josh Johanningmeier guides you through the complex world of consumer-products regulations. (10:15 min.)



Corporate and Business Litigation for Young Lawyers
Dan Ahasay moderates a Roundtable with speakers Paul Wojcicki, Trevor Gasper, and Gunnar Wieboldt about industry-leading corporate and business litigators from diverse backgrounds, including both firm and in-house attorneys. Topics include case-management, cost concerns, relationship and business building, making the move in-house, and more. (53:18 min)

Potential Health Risks and Regulatory Hurdles Associated with Cannabis and Its Concentrates
Consumption of cannabis concentrate products now constitutes a substantial and growing percentage of cannabis use. Cannabis concentrates consist of a range of products that are produced by treating the raw cannabis vegetable matter with a solvent to isolate the chemical components of interest. After reviewing the various extraction methods and quality assessment challenges, the panel will discuss what is known (and unknown) about the potential toxicological effects of cannabis extracts. Further, the panel will focus specifically on increased potency, solvent and pesticide residues, terpenes, solvent impurities and flavorings/fragrances.  

In addition, the panel will discuss the new California cannabis regulations that impose significant—and costly—requirements on cannabis businesses, including testing requirements. Beyond those specific obligations, cannabusinesses need to be mindful of other regulatory requirements in California, such as warning requirements under Proposition 65. Failure to comply with Proposition 65 may subject a company to an enforcement action, which in turn may be leveraged by third parties to deny or revoke cannabis licenses. The panel will provide an overview of Proposition 65 and cannabis specific regulatory requirements and offer insights on managing them. (54:42 min)

How Young Lawyers Get Noticed by Their Clients
(50:24 min.)

What Young Lawyers Need to Know When Looking For an Expert Witness
Junior litigators are often tasked with finding and retaining an expert witness. In products liability litigation, an expert witness plays a pivotal role; therefore, it may feel daunting for a young lawyer to be charged with such an important task. Roadblocks are sure to occur. For example, expert witnesses’ curricula vitae may look the same to a lawyer who is not experienced in a particular industry. Or it may be difficult to determine how "likable" an expert witness will be to a jury. To avoid common pitfalls, this Roundtable panel will offer concrete best practices for finding and vetting expert witnesses. (55:59 min.)

Mutual Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. v. Bartlett and Preemption in Pharmaceutical Litigation
Learn about the significance of the Bartlett decision and its impact on the court's preemption holdings. (57:33 min.)

Career Development 101: Practical Advice
Young lawyers today face various challenges as they work to further their careers, from establishing and expanding a network to finding a good advocate who will help advance their career. Join us for a discussion on how can young lawyers turn these challenges into opportunities. (01:13:25 min.)

Biopharmaceuticals and Products Liability Litigation
The difference between biologics and small molecule therapeutics—the types of drugs most products lawyers have litigated to date—as well as recent developments stemming from the 2010 Affordable Care Act will be the focus of this roundtable. (56:26 min.)