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June 13, 2017

 

Deposition Strategies for Developing Alternative Exposures
DRI Magazine, For the Defense (June 2017)

The value of the resources now available to defense counsel to use during plaintiffs’ depositions to develop alternative exposure testimony cannot be overstated. Read more in the June 2017 edition of DRI, For the Defense. "Deposition Strategies for Developing Alternative Exposures" was written by Maron Marvel attorneys Sarah Beth Jones, Mary Margaret Gay, Anna Beth Baker and Joanna Bates Kuhn.

Link to full article: https://www.slideshare.net/MaronMarvel/deposition-strategies-for-developing-alternative-exposures
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June 8, 2017

 

Maryland appellate court upholds summary judgment for turbine maker based on statute of repose


The Maryland intermediate appellate court ruled in late May that a Plaintiff’s claim against a turbine manufacturer was barred by Maryland’s 20-year statute of repose, upholding the granting of CBS Corp.’s (Westinghouse) motion for summary judgment.


The date of the Plaintiff’s last alleged exposure to asbestos dust from the turbine was June 28, 1970, and his mesothelioma was diagnosed in 2013. The court held that because the statute of repose (Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-108) incorporates the common law discovery rule, and the plaintiff’s “injury” occurred 43 years after the turbine became available for its intended use, plaintiff’s claim was barred.


Plaintiff argued that the circuit court erred in retroactively applying the statute of repose, claiming his injury “arose” on June 28, 1970, and the session law that passed the original statute of repose contained language indicating that the statute does not apply to injuries arising on or before June 30, 1970. Further he argued that the date of accrual was irrelevant, and the statute of repose could not be applied retroactively to him, “because subsequent revisions and amendments to the statute lack a ‘clear expression’ in favor of retroactivity.” The appellate court distinguished the terms “accrue” and “arose,” and held that although this argument is correct today for asbestos cases, it could not be grafted onto the Legislature’s intent in 1970 when the statute of repose was passed because those terms had not yet been distinguished. Therefore, based on the history, language and intent of the statute, the court concluded that the term “arising” carried the same meaning as the term “accruing” (regarding the date the injury was discovered).


Further, Plaintiff argued that because the statute of repose has an exemption for manufacturers in asbestos litigation that exemption applied to CBS. The court held however that applying the manufacturer’s exemption to CBS would be unconstitutional because such exemption was not enacted until 1991, which was after Plaintiff’s claim was barred on July 1, 1990. Accordingly, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled the trial court correctly granted CBS’s motion for summary judgment.


Duffy v. CBS Corp., Nos. 453, 40, 2017 Md. App. LEXIS 561 (App. May 31, 2017).

 

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May 31, 2017

 

HIGH COURT UPHOLDS DAIMLER
BNSF Ry. Co. v. Tyrrell, No. 16-405

 

In BNSF Ry. Co. v. Tyrrell, the Montana Supreme Court explicitly declined to apply Daimler AG v. Bauman because the facts of the case involved American parties and arose in the U.S., not foreign parties and overseas injury, as in Daimler and because the plaintiffs in Montana sued under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) which is a different federal cause of action from the one at issue in Daimler.

 

On April 25, 2017, the Supreme Court heard argument and on May 30, in an 8 – 1 decision, reversed and remanded the matter.


Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court and Justice Sotomayor filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.


BNSF argued that the Due Process Clause prohibited Montana state courts from exercising personal jurisdiction over BNSF because the cases do not arise in Montana, BNSF is not at home in Montana, and this is not an exceptional case under Daimler. The Montana Supreme Court held that Daimler should be limited to cases with similar facts, namely claims brought by foreign plaintiffs against a foreign defendant based on events occurring outside the United States and declined to follow Daimler because it did not involve FELA claims or a railroad defendant. The Supreme Court held that Section 56 of the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) does not address personal jurisdiction over railroads, it merely prescribes venue of an action, and the Montana courts’ exercise of personal jurisdiction under Montana law does not comport with the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Absent any allegation of injury from work in or related to Montana, the exercise of general personal jurisdiction over out of state corporations shall be limited to a forum in which the corporate defendant is “at home”. Respondents argued that BNSF consented to personal jurisdiction in Montana, but the Supreme Court did not review this argument as it was not addressed by the Montana Supreme Court.


In a separate opinion, Justice Sotomayor concurred that FELA does not confer personal jurisdiction over railroads in state courts. However, in dissent, renewed the debate raised in Daimler suggesting that International Shoe requires a comparative contacts test. “The majority’s approach grants a jurisdictional windfall to large multistate or multinational corporations that operate across many jurisdictions. Under its reasoning, it is virtually inconceivable that such corporations will ever be subject to general jurisdiction in any location other than their principal places of business or of incorporation. Foreign businesses with principal places of business outside the United States may never be subject to general jurisdiction in this country even though they have continuous and systematic contacts within the United States. See id., at ___–___ (slip op., at 17–18). What was once a holistic, nuanced contacts analysis backed by considerations of fairness and reasonableness has now effectively been replaced by the rote identification of a corporation’s principal place of business or place of incorporation.”

We expect that the Court will be issuing its opinion in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco, No. 16-466 in the near future.

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April 25, 2017

 

High Court Hears Personal Jurisdiction Arguments

Washington, D.C. – Oral argument was heard today on two cases that may impact the application of the high court’s personal jurisdiction decision, Daimler AG v. Bauman

During argument this morning in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco, No. 16-466, and BNSF Ry. Co. v. Tyrrell, No. 16-405, Petitioners focused the Court upon the Due Process Clause, its protections and existing precedent.  Respondents focused the Court upon the showing of systematic and continuous contacts and the risk of further burdening the courts with multiple claims.  The Court was very engaged in all aspects of the arguments made by each side.  Justice Neil M. Gorsuch raised the implication of Federalism and the determination of which particular state's citizen's rights were to be protected; plaintiff's or defendant's?  Is a state's interest in protecting its citizens outweighed when a plaintiff clearly does not care by filing outside of the state?  Justice Anthony M. Kennedy raised whether mass tort claims required a varying solution to existing law.  The Court further sought argument as to whether there were similar state and federal interests such that legislative vehicles could be used to resolve some of the perceived problems raised in these appeals. 

The Court’s decisions should be issued prior to the end of the Court’s term at the end of June, and are expected to impact the future application of personal jurisdiction – and - perhaps add clarity to the diverse rulings issued since Daimler.

OF NOTE - On March 23, 2017, GlaxoSmithKline LLC (“GSK”) filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States from a decision of the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division and the Supreme Court of Illinois’ order denying petition for leave to appeal.  GSK poses the question of whether there must be a meaningful causal link between the defendant’s forum-state contacts and the plaintiff’s claims for the claim to “arise out of or relate to” a defendant’s forum-state contacts and the exercise of specific personal jurisdiction.  GSK suggests that the case presents the Supreme Court with an excellent vehicle to decide the causation standard in the Bristol Myers split authorities.  Responses to the petition are currently due May 30, 2017.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact
Paul A. Bradley at pab@maronmarvel.com or Stephanie A. Fox at saf@maronmarvel.com 
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October 17, 2016

 

National Law Firm Updates Name to Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy

Delaware-based law firm with 10 offices in seven states adds Tom Tardy as named partner

WILMINGTON, Del. (Oct. 17, 2016) – National law firm Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson LLC is pleased to announce that the firm now will be known as Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy LLC. The new name goes into effect Oct. 17, 2016, and reflects the addition of Thomas Tardy as a named partner.

This exciting change comes one year after Tardy joined the firm in October 2015, along with more than 30 attorneys and 60 support staff in five offices. That major expansion doubled the size of the firm’s legal and support staff and expanded its presence in several major metropolitan markets across the United States.

“It was with utmost pleasure that we welcomed the attorneys in our Southern offices to our family last year,” said founding attorney Jim Maron. “They are great lawyers with national reputations in their fields, and today, we are happy to announce that we are changing the name of the firm to more prominently tout the reputation of our Southern team.”

In addition to nearly doubling the firm’s headcount, those additions expanded the Delaware-based law firm into three states, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The strategic expansion gave the firm a significant presence along the Gulf Coast, with new offices in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Jackson, Mississippi, as well as a new office in Red Bank, New Jersey.

“We were very fortunate with the timing of our joining Maron Marvel,” said Tardy. “After working
closely with the attorneys at Maron Marvel for more than 10 years and sharing several mutual
clients, the partnership was a natural fit, as we knew Jim Maron and his team well and we knew what great lawyers they were.”

The update to the firm’s name also comes as it marks its 20th anniversary. What began as a boutique toxic tort firm today has evolved into a practice representing clients from coast to coast, and servicingmany international businesses in both a trial, local, and national capacity.
The firm was established in Wilmington, Delaware in 1996 by current managing members James Maron,Wayne Marvel, and Karen Brehm, after they left a national firm to create their own dedicated to providing national oversight to numerous clients. Several years later, their colleagues Paul Bradley and Robert Anderson similarly left large firms to join in this pursuit. After working closely with the original attorneys at Maron Marvel for many years, on behalf of several mutual clients, Tom Tardy and his team joined the firm on Oct. 1, 2015.

Today, Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy is a diverse group, with employees hailing from a wide range of backgrounds encompassing 30 law schools, 47 colleges, 24 judicial clerks and externs, doctors in medicine and philosophy, former civil engineers, toxicologists, chefs, and a combat veteran. Women make up 44 percent of the firm’s attorneys and 32 percent of the firm’s leadership, while 15 percent of the firm’s attorneys are ethnic minorities. Further, the firm’s attorneys are fluent in 15 languages.
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Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson Attorneys Selected as 2015 Mid-South Super Lawyers

 

Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy LLC is proud to announce 10 of the firm’s attorneys have been selected for the 2015 Mid-South Super Lawyers Edition. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is conducted through independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. The firm congratulates Thomas W. Tardy, III and Laura Goodson for being named Top 50 Mississippi Super Lawyers; Marcy Croft, Mary Margaret Gay, Chan McLeod, and Laura Goodson for being chosen as 2015 Mid-South Super Lawyers; Laura Goodson for being named a Mid-South Top 50 Female Attorney; and Amanda Summerlin, Beau Cole, Clare Rush, Christi Jones, and Rebekah Clayton for being selected as 2015 Mid-South Rising Stars.

 

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Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson Nearly Doubles in Size with Lateral Hires

Delaware law firm adds 32 attorneys, gains five offices and significant presence along Gulf Coast

WILMINGTON, Del. (Oct. 5, 2015) – National law firm Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy LLC is pleased to announce a major expansion that nearly doubles the size of its legal and support staff and expands its presence in several major metropolitan markets across the United States.

Thirty-two attorneys have joined Maron Marvel, all of whom focus their practices on toxic tort litigation, products liability, environmental litigation, and related practice areas, along with more than 60 paralegals and support staff. In addition to nearly doubling the firm’s headcount, the additions will expand the Delaware-based law firm into three states: Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

The strategic expansion gives Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson a significant presence along the Gulf Coast, with new offices in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Jackson, Mississippi, as well as a new office in Red Bank, New Jersey. That expands Maron Marvel to a total of 67 attorneys and more than 110 support staff in 10 locations: the five new offices and the five existing offices in Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Jersey City, New Jersey, and Charleston, South Carolina.

“Our goal, from the very founding of our firm, has been to become the premier mass toxic tort firm in the country. This move helps get us there,” said James J. Maron, founding partner of Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson. “This is a significant milestone in the evolution of our firm, and we look forward to combining the skills of our two legal teams to continue to meet our clients’ objectives, together.”

The new attorneys and staff formerly were with the national law firm of Forman Watkins Krutz & Tardy LLP. Thomas Tardy will be joining Maron Marvel, a move that he said is the result of more than a decade-long working relationship.

“For more than 10 years, our group has worked closely with Jim Maron and his team and have gained a healthy respect for them as attorneys and an appreciation for their business plan,” said Tardy. “Their vision and use of technology is aligned with ours, and we look forward to giving Maron Marvel a much larger presence in the Gulf and taking advantage of their multiple offices in the East.”

Most of the attorneys and staff joining Maron Marvel will continue to work from their existing offices and locations. The new arrangement went into effect on Oct. 1, 2015.

Tardy said the move was an amicable one.

“W.G. Watkins and Fred Krutz are two of my oldest friends,” Tardy said, of his former law partners. “We still have many long-standing relationships, and we value that history. It has been a pleasure to practice law with them.”

Maron said the expanded footprint and larger legal team offers great growth possibilities for the firm’s attorneys and staff and enhanced service for the firm’s clients.

“This is a historic day for our firm,” said Maron. “Our team is excited and energized by this growth, and we look forward to putting that energy to work on behalf of our clients nationwide.”

The new Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson attorneys are:


Jackson, MS

Thomas Tardy     
Brannon Berry     
Stefan Bourn 
Sara Budslick 
Julie Chaffin 
Rebekah Clayton
Beau Cole
Marcy Croft
Richard Crump
Kay Dodge
Mary Margaret Gay
Laura Goodson
Samuel Habeeb
James House
Christi Jones
Sarah Beth Jones
Joanna Kuhn
Alexander Martin
John McCants
Chan McLeod
Donald Partridge
Clare Rush
Amanda Summerlin
Elizabeth Turley


Dallas TX

Todd Ogden
John Parsons
John Robinson

 

Houston TX

Roger Nebel

 

New Orleans LA

Ebony Morris
Joseph Morton


Philadelphia PA

Michael Connery


Red Bank NJ

Timothy Coughlan