The latest on trials, verdicts, legislation and more from the attorneys of Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP.
HDBD. Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP.
While the percentage of civil cases going to trial in Texas and elsewhere has steadily declined,¹ at HDBD we're seeing a different trend. Our clients continue to call upon us to defend them at trial, and we have consistently achieved impressive results.  Among our recent successes (both inside and outside the courtroom):
¹Curriden, Mark. "Civil jury trials plummet in Texas." Dallas Morning News 02 April 2012; Jennifer Walker Elrod (Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit), W(h)ither the Jury? The Diminishing Role of the Trial in Our Legal System, 68 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 3 (2011).
Please join us in congratulating Darrell Barger, partner in the Corpus Christi office, for being chosen by his peers as a 2012 “Lawyer of the Year” in the field of Personal Injury Litigation Defense, in The Best Lawyers in America®. Partners Kyle DreyerMike Terry and Richard Crews were also selected for the 2012 Texas Best Lawyers list. [read more]
 
HDBD is proud to announce its inclusion in the seventh-annual edition of Go-To-Law Firms for the Top 500 Companies for 2012.  FORTUNE 500® companies’ in-house legal departments designated the firms that they choose when seeking outside counsel. [read more]
Scott Edwards was selected to serve as a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council (“PLAC”), a selective group of highly skilled product liability defense attorneys.  Invitations to join PLAC are extended to the most experienced and capable trial and appellate lawyers in the product liability bar.
 
Congratulations to Brian Rawson and Giovanna Tarantino Bingham for being included in the Texas Super Lawyers list of Rising Stars in 2012 by Thompson Reuters.  This peer-rated list of attorneys under age 40 includes fewer than 3% of attorneys in Texas each year. [read more]
 
Mike Terry was recently invited to become a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  The invitation is based upon the recommendation of Fellows residing within Texas.  Membership in The Fellows is limited to one third of one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction.  [read more]
Our attorneys are often invited to share their trial experiences and insights at leading industry conferences and seminars across the country. We welcome the opportunity to connect with our clients and contacts at these events, so please let us know when you plan to attend any of our attorneys’ presentations.

Mike Terry presented at the Masters of the Courtroom: Elite Trial Attorneys Share Their Methods program in New York City on July 12, 2012. This unique program featured four trial attorneys who are recognized nationally as masters of the craft of presenting cases to juries. Mike and his co-presenters shared their insights, demonstrated their skills and interacted with the audience. An expert panel conducted a Q&A after each presentation. [learn more]
 
Pryce Tucker, a partner in the Dallas office, presented “Product Liability Recalls on the Rise: Legal Strategies” during a June 20 webinar. [view presentation slides]

Kyle Dreyer was selected by the International Association of Defense Counsel (“IADC”) to serve on the faculty for the 40th Annual Trial Academy held at Stanford Law School on July 28 - August 3, 2012. This renowned defense-focused program is often cited as the premier trial-skills training program in the country. [learn more]
 
Jeff Patterson co-chaired and presented at the ACI’s 5th Annual Automotive Product Liability Litigation Conference June 26-27 in Chicago, IL.  His presentation was “Cell Phones, Smart Phones, Navigation/Other Electronic Devices and Beyond: How Defense Counsel Can Use the Distracted Driver Defense as a Shield in Products Cases.”
Over the years, drug manufacturers have faced a significant volume of litigation over claims arising out of tactics used to encourage patients to obtain certain prescription medications.  In Centocor, Inc. v. Hamilton, the Texas Supreme Court recently expanded a defense doctrine that will significantly reduce the viability of failure-to-warn claims against pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Read more in “Texas Supreme Court Adopts Learned Intermediary Doctrine in Prescription Drug Failure-to-Warn Cases” co-authored by Vernon Hartline, Jr. and Roy McKay.   [full article]
There’s a new kid on the block in toxic tort litigation: hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). With numerous tort suits underway nationwide, fracking moratoriums in some jurisdictions, and extensive new regulations coming from the Marcellus Shale states, the litigation world is turning its attention to fracking issues. Claimants are pursuing inventive new theories. Legal education courses, articles, and presentations abound. Research groups and regulatory agencies are commissioning new studies as quickly as the last is published. Activity in the southern shales in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma seems to be moving at a more cautious pace, at least in the regulatory context. The latest studies suggest a less reactionary approach is indeed the wiser one. Yet still, litigation is being driven largely by public perception rather than science. As litigation increases (cue James Earl Jones’ haunting voice promising, “build the well sites and the litigation will come”), Texas case law presents strong defensive strategies.  Most notably, Texas has recently limited the viability of the largest damage claim: chronic injury damages from alleged exposure to fracking chemicals.

Read more in “In Defense of Texas Fracking Litigation” co-authored by Wendy May and Lauren Braddy. [full article] 
 

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