The discovery phase in your products liability lawsuit has been completed and it’s time to decide the next course of action before proceeding to trial. One possibility, of course, is to move for summary judgment to knock out the entire case pending against your client. However, you have concluded that, despite the strengths of your case, there are enough “issues of fact” to make the exercise probably useless.

Have you considered instead a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment? Perhaps you should.

The first step is to determine whether your jurisdiction permits motions for partial summary judgment to be filed. Rule 56 of The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure specifically calls for “Partial” summary judgments in its very title. In my home state, New York’s CPLR 3212(e) reads, “In any other action summary judgment may be granted as to one or more causes of action, or part thereof, in favor of any one or more parties, to the extent warranted, on such terms as may be just.” Thus, there is little doubt that under the right reading of the law and facts, a partial summary judgment might be allowed. Continue Reading The Motion for Partial Summary Judgment: The Litigator’s Often Forgotten Tool

Facebook and Twitter Apps on Google PlayWhile it is true that social media has become one of the main sources for discovery in personal injury litigation, the basic tenets of discovery that apply to the standard document requests, also apply to this new technological source of information. The question of whether a demand for any and all information on the Facebook page of a grieving mother in a wrongful death lawsuit could lead to the discovery of admissible evidence relevant to her loss of consortium claim was recently addressed by the Appellate Court in Florida. In short, the Court’s latest decision on this issue was a message to defense attorneys that, although information posted on social media has limited privacy rights, the Courts will still not allow a defense attorney to engage in a fishing expedition of a plaintiff’s Facebook page.

Continue Reading Florida Court Says, “No Phishing Expeditions Allowed on a Plaintiff’s Facebook Page”

BusinessTestimony_HorPart 2 of Series on Florida’s Adoption of the Daubert Standard for Admissibility of Expert Testimony

The Florida legislature’s adoption of the Daubert Standard for admissibility of expert testimony took several sessions to pass as a well-organized Plaintiff’s Bar fought hard against it. However, the legislature’s affinity for laws that promote the growth of business within the state eventually won the day. Why did the Plaintiffs’ Bar resist?

Continue Reading Why Do Florida Plaintiff’s Attorneys Dread the Application of Daubert?

ScienceExpertTestimonyFlorida jurors are now considering more reliable expert testimony since the Florida legislature reformed the court’s role in precluding unreliable expert testimony. Starting July 1, 2013, the court has to follow the Daubert standard, which requires a judge to exercise greater scrutiny of the facts and data on which an expert’s opinions are based.  As a result, Florida defense lawyers and their clients have a stronger arrow in their quiver to attack a plaintiff’s case that’s based on shaky expert opinions.

Continue Reading Florida’s More Stringent Daubert Standard: Part 1

computer-monitor-keyboard-mouseRecent technological advances made over the past ten years in social media combined with the explosion in popularity of social networking sites on the Internet have created a new source for potential evidence in litigation. Within the context of product liability litigation, the ability for consumers to use Social Media to publicize their opinion of a product or, their opinion of a company that sells that product, is a new source for risk to manufacturers and their insurance carriers. This is the direct result of Social Media becoming the preferred form for consumers to voice their complaints.

Continue Reading Social Networking: From Chat Room to Court Room?