The New Mass Tort Protocols
May 9, 2012 – The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas recently issued new protocols to be employed in mass tort cases, including asbestos litigation. The new protocol affects many aspects of mass tort lawsuits. For example, the new rules prohibit reverse bifurcation of a case unless the parties agree otherwise – now requiring that the fault issues of the case be heard at the same time as the nature and extent of injuries can be presented. Though pre-trial appearances are unlimited, pro hoc vice counsel (out-of-state lawyers) are now limited to no more than two trials per year in Philadelphia. Unless otherwise agreed by defense counsel or upon a showing of special circumstances, all discovery must take place in Philadelphia.
The new protocols particularly impacts asbestos lawsuits. Though there are exceptions, in general for asbestos cases scheduled for trial after February 29, 2012, plaintiffs will now be assembled in groups of at least 8 and not more than 10 based on the appropriateness of the application of the same law (i.e. applicable state law), the occurrence of the same disease (i.e. mesothelioma, lung cancers, other cancers and non-malignancy cases), and representation by a common plaintiff’s law firm. Now more than ever, plaintiffs suffering the tragic effects of asbestos exposure will find it necessary to seek only the most experienced Philadelphia asbestos attorneys to guide them through the complex requirements of asbestos litigation.
Conference To Discuss New Mass Tort Rules
Recognizing the complexities and potential impact of the new mass tort protocols, Harris Martin Publishing has scheduled a conference on the subject, “Examining the Court’s New Mass Tort and Asbestos Protocols”. The Conference will be held on June 5, 2012, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. Featuring Judges Sandra Mazer Moss, John W. Herron and Arnold L. New of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, discussions will include an update on various mass tort protocol initiatives such as deposition protocols for doctors and corporate officers and federal-state coordination of claims. Also, both plaintiff attorneys and defense attorneys will present their respective views on the new rules, and speakers will present a practical guide to the new mass tort program. Additionally, Philadelphia asbestos attorney Benjamin Shein of the Shein Law will present on the topic of the impact of the new rules on the future of asbestos lawsuits. If you have questions about the new mass tort and asbestos litigation protocol, contact Mr. Shein at 1-877-Sheinlaw (1-877-743-4652) or contact him online.
For more information on the Conference, click here.