NEW CLASS ACTION NEWSLETTER: AN EMBARRASSMENT TO ITS BOARD OF EDITORS? My free copy of Class Action Law & Strategy, the new publication from Law Journal Newsletters, was supposed to entice me to subscribe at the "special rate" of $299 per year. Sorry, but I wasn't impressed. The lead article--"The Class Action Fairness Act: What Is It All About?"--was nothing but a political tract that parrots the Bush White House on tort reform. Example:
Another driving force behind CAFA was the recognition of abuses of the system that had harmed even defendants that acted responsibly. One such abuse specifically recognized by Congress was forum shopping: the practice of filing claims in jurisdictions with the most beneficial legislation and bringing actions in jurisdictions that have a history of large damage awards. One of the most widely abused forums, which has been shopped by many plaintiffs' counsel in class action cases, is Madison County, IL. A notable case from this jurisdiction involved Phillip Morris, the cigarette manufacturer, which was ordered to pay $10.1 billion in a suit that involved deceptive marketing of "light" cigarettes.
There's a lot more similar "analysis" in the article, which would work great as a newspaper Op-Ed but fails as a teaching tool. It certainly didn't inspire me to sign up for a year of Class Action Law & Strategy.
I'm also thinking that the publication's Board of Editors might not have been too happy with the inaugural issue. Why? Because one of its members is Stephen Tillery, the Illinois lawyer who obtained that large judgment against Philip Morris.
Sort of odd, don't you think?
UPDATE 12/28/05: "Tillery Resigns from Board."
Related post: "Thinking Out Loud About the Federal Class-Action Bill."