Just over a year ago, I authored a Product Liability Advocate blog entry and a Law360 article explaining appropriate methods for asserting objections under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34, as amended on December 1, 2015. Last week, Judge Andrew J. Peck, U.S.M.J. of the Southern District of New York, issued an order that in his court any discovery objections that fail to comply with Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended on December 1, 2015, will be deemed waived:
Continue Reading Don’t Risk Waiving All Objections to Discovery Responses

In Water Splash v. Menon, case number 16-254 before the U.S. Supreme Court, a long-standing and deep split of authority on a basic question involving international service of process has finally reached the high court. This case was granted certiorari by the Court in early December 2016. It has been briefed by both sides and is now set for argument to proceed on March 22, 2017. The question presented is whether the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Service Convention) allows service of process by mail.
Continue Reading A Challenge to Hague Service by Mail Is Now Before the SCOTUS…Finally

CA Flag 1The Supreme Court of California has overturned prior case law and imposed broad new liability on “employers and premises owners” in “take-home” toxic exposure cases. In a lengthy opinion issued in the consolidated Kesner v. Superior Court  and Haver v. BNSF Railway Co. matters, the Court stated:

We hold that the duty of employers and premises owners to exercise ordinary care in their use of asbestos includes preventing exposure to asbestos carried by the bodies and clothing of on-site workers. Where it is reasonably foreseeable that workers, their clothing, or personal effects will act as vectors carrying asbestos from the premises to household members, employers have a duty to take reasonable care to prevent this means of transmission. This duty also applies to premises owners who use asbestos on their property, subject to any exceptions and affirmative defenses generally applicable to premises owners, such as the rules of contractor liability.
Continue Reading California Imposes Broad Liability in “Take-Home” Toxic Exposure Cases

Columns in the courtyard of the Palace of the Legion of Honor.The California Court of Appeal has confirmed that the “government contractor” defense may apply to products made available to both the federal government and commercial markets, even where the defendant did not design or produce the product at issue.

Continue Reading Government Contractor Defense May Apply to Commercially Available Products

New York’s appellate departments are now unified with respect to their interpretation of Article 10(a) of the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Service Convention). The issue of whether Article 10(a) of the Hague Convention permits service of process by mail to a foreign country in the absence of an objection from the state of destination has now been resolved in New York. The First Department in Mutual Benefits Offshore Fund v. Zeltser, 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 04344, earlier this year reversed itself and joined the state’s three other appellate departments in holding that service of process by mail under those circumstances was indeed permissible.
Continue Reading New York Appellate Courts Now Unified on Hague’s “Send versus Serve” Issue