Sep 27, 2012 03:44 PM

AAJ Mourns Loss of Betty A. Thompson

We are mourning the loss of a trailblazing attorney. Betty A. Thompson passed away on Tuesday, September 24 at the George Washington University Hospital at the age of 88. She was a longtime member of AAJ and the first woman to lead the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and the Arlington County Bar Association.

Fine-Print Can Limit Your Rights After Harm or Injury

The Washington Post had a column today from Keiser Health News warning consumers against signing away their rights due to clauses found in the fine-print of nursing home contracts.

Homeowners Still Without Relief from Chinese Drywall

It took more than three years, but a Chinese company’s efforts to evade responsibility for selling defective drywall in the U.S. may slowly be hitting a brick wall. Taishan Gypsum sold more than 10 million pounds of dangerous drywall, linked to metal corrosion, sulfuric gases, headaches, asthma, and other health problems here in the U.S. But for homeowners like Bill Morgan and his family, who paid the price for a foreign company’s dangerous product, the battle has been too long.

Third Circuit Deals Blow to Consumers Forced into Arbitration

The Third Circuit issued an opinion in Homa v. American Express this week that wiped out consumers’ hope for meaningful access to justice when faced with a forced arbitration clause.  The court found that when a forced arbitration clause with a class action ban is included in the fine print of a contract, individual arbitration is the consumer’s only remedy – even if a consumer can prove that the cost of arbitration is so high that it is not a viable option.

AAJ Opposes CMS Proposed Rulemaking on Medicare Repayment System

Washington, DC—The American Association for Justice (AAJ) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in opposition to the proposed rulemaking on future medical requirements in the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) system.   MSP is a process to ensure Medicare is reimbursed for medical bills that are the responsibility of another party – such as an insurer or negligent party.

AAJ Announces Mary Alice McLarty as President for 2012-2013

Mary Alice McLarty was elected as the new president of AAJ at the annual convention in Chicago. In addition to McLarty, AAJ’s new set of officers includes President-Elect J. Burton LeBlanc, Vice-President Lisa Blue Baron, Secretary Larry A. Tawwater, Treasurer Julie Braman Kane and Parliamentarian Laird M. Ozmon.

Watch McLarty’s address to AAJ membership below, and read the full press release here.

A 50-Cent Fix that Could Have Saved Lives

Those who attack the civil justice system in the name of so-called “tort reform” frequently don’t bother with facts.

That has been proven again by the Wall Street Journal in an editorial on gas can litigation. Had the Journal’s editorial writers done a little bit of homework before making their argument that a manufacturer of gas cans was being picked on by lawyers, they would have learned about the 50-cent fix that could have saved thousands from serious burns and death.

Big Numbers Expected at AAJ Convention

As plaintiff lawyers gather in Chicago for their annual convention, there will be a lot more of them than usual. Attendance numbers for the American Association of Justice convention are up significantly, the highest in five years.

This comes on the heels of AAJ’s winter meeting in Miami in 2011 which set a record for the best-attended winter meeting ever.

Why so much growth? CEO Linda Lipsen says the numbers partly reflect AAJ’s progress on a host of issues.

NYT: ALEC is a fraud on taxpayers

Today the New York Times calls out the shadowy corporate front group known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on its tax-exempt status as a nonpartisan charity despite ALEC’s clear pro-corporate, anti-consumer mission.