Study may undermine asbestos-talc connection

A new study questioning the link between talc powder and asbestos may prove to be a weapon that defense attorneys seize upon in lawsuits over the possibility of baby powder causing cancer. The study compares the rates of mesothelioma between urban and rural women. According to Forbes:

The study in the journal Risk Analysis found rural mesothelioma rates actually exceeded urban rates in more than half of the years studied between 1973 and 2012, despite the fact ambient asbestos exposures in urban areas are an order of magnitude higher due to heavy use of asbestos in commercial construction until the 1970s.

You may recall that National Trial Lawyers President Mark Lanier won a $4.3 billion verdict in July against Johnson & Johnson based on the argument that talc powder contains trace amounts of asbestos. You can read more about how the study may be used in defense of future talc lawsuits at Forbes. 

How Mark Lanier used cheese to help win a $4.7B talcum powder verdict

Mark Lanier

Mark Lanier of Lanier Law Firm

National Trial Lawyers President Mark Lanier isn’t afraid to use a few props to make a point to a jury. Forbes has a profile of Lanier titled “A Bale of Hay and a Block of Cheese: How Mark Lanier Won $4.7 Billion Talcum Powder Verdict” The story begins with how Lanier pulled a knife out of his pocket during the trial and “held it over a large block of yellow cheese.”

“You’ve got Bailiff Jim over there just looking for an excuse to shoot, so I looked at the judge and said `Am I allowed to do this?’” Lanier recalled at a recent meeting for mass tort trial lawyers. “`For now,’ the judge said.”

Lanier was using the knife and cheese to illustrate to the jury how talc is mined. He went on to use a bale of hay, a bathroom scale and “drawings scribbled on overhead projector slides” to communicate with jurors. Read more about Lanier’s techniques and tactics at Forbes. 

NTL President Mark Lanier earns Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year award

Mark Lanier

Mark Lanier of Lanier Law Firm

National Trial Lawyers President Mark Lanier, founding partner of The Lanier Law Firm, has been named the 2018 Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year by the editors and reporters of ALM and The National Law Journal. The prestigious award will be presented at the 2018 Elite Trial Lawyers event on Oct. 5, 2018, at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

“There are so many outstanding and experienced attorneys representing the interests of their clients and the public every day in courts across the nation,” said Mr. Lanier. “To be selected from among that group for this award is a supreme honor.”

In July, Mr. Lanier won one of the largest verdicts in plaintiffs’ personal injury history. He and his experienced trial team secured a nearly $4.7 billion verdict on behalf of 22 women who developed ovarian cancer as a result of longtime use of asbestos-laced talcum powder made by Johnson & Johnson.

That verdict follows the firm’s success in three federal jury trials where a total of nearly $2 billion was awarded against J&J and its Pinnacle division based on claims from multiple people who suffered serious medical complications caused by the company’s defective hip implant devices. These results cumulatively put Mr. Lanier close to $20 billion in verdicts during his highly acclaimed career.

In addition, for the fourth time in the Elite Trial Lawyers award’s five-year history, The Lanier Law Firm is a finalist for recognition in three separate practice areas: Mass Torts, Medical Devices, and Product Liability.

According to the ALM legal news and information service, its researchers reviewed more than 300 submissions across 23 categories to arrive at a list of finalists that “have demonstrated exemplary performance in cutting-edge work on behalf of plaintiffs over the last 18 months.”

The Lanier Law Firm has offices in HoustonNew YorkLos Angeles and Oklahoma City. For close to 30 years, the firm has worked tirelessly to find unique solutions to its clients’ unique needs. The firm is composed of more than 60 skilled attorneys, practicing in a broad array of areas, including business fraud, asbestos exposure, personal injury, commercial litigation, and others. Visit https://www.lanierlawfirm.com.

Ken Starr joins Lanier team

Mark Lanier

National Trial Lawyers President Mark Lanier of The Lanier Law Firm

It’s a team-up you that might surprise you at first: National Trial Lawyers President Mark Lanier has hired former US Solicitor General, Federal Judge and Independent Counsel  Ken Starr as counsel to The Lanier Firm. But their story goes back farther than you might think. According to TexasLawyer.com, Lanier met Starr nearly 25 years ago when the former was a third-year law student competing in the American Bar Association National Moot Court Championship, which Starr was judging. Lanier says he was “blown away” when he got to meet Starr. It’s clear the admiration goes both ways. “It’s a very deep, personal friendship and I’ve long admired what [Lanier] has done and has accomplished,” Starr said. “He’s a justice seeker, a justice warrior and I greatly admired that,” Starr told TexasLawyer.com. Incidentally, in 1984 Lanier’s team went on to be named national champions, and he was honored as best oralist.

NTL president says Remington bankruptcy could put settlement at risk

Gun maker Remington is expected to file for bankruptcy, a move that threatens a landmark class action settlement, according to The National Trial Lawyers President Mark Lanier. CNBC quotes Lanier as saying “If they file for bankruptcy, it will stay all proceedings.” Lanier was a lead attorney for plaintiffs who said Remington’s Model 700 and several similar models could fire without the trigger being pulled because of a design defect. Lanier also told CNBC that he’s concerned that none of the weapons will be retrofitted with a fix.

NTL President-Elect Mark Lanier among National Law Journal’s 2017 Winning Litigators

The National Trial Lawyers 2018 President-Elect and Lanier Law Firm founder Mark Lanier is honored among the National Law Journal’s 2017 Winning Litigators based on his courtroom victories on behalf of people injured by Johnson & Johnson’s defective Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants.

In December 2016, Mr. Lanier and his trial team secured a verdict of more than $1 billion for six plaintiffs harmed by the defective implant. Jurors agreed that the implants failed prematurely, leaving victims to face additional surgeries, pain and debilitating conditions.

“My mission, and what we ultimately accomplished, along with our amazing trial team, was to clearly present the complex evidence that proved to the jurors that the devices were defective and that company officials knew about the flaws but failed to warn patients and doctors of the risks,” Mr. Lanier told the National Law Journal. “The jury saw hard evidence and was rightly angry. Their verdict demanded change.”

Asked by the NLJ for trial tips that are key to his success, Mr. Lanier responded: “Work yourself to death in preparation! Talent is nice. Actually, talent is great! But hard work trumps talent over and over again.”

Earlier in 2016, the Lanier team secured a $500 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a separate lawsuit over defective Pinnacle hip implants.

Recognized as one of the Most Influential Attorneys of the Decade by the National Law Journal and as one of the 25 Greatest Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century by Texas Lawyer, Mr. Lanier was named the 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year by The National Trial Lawyers. In 2015, he received the American Association of Justice’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He also is the founder of the Christian Trial Lawyers Association and the Lanier Theological Library.

With offices in Houston, New York and Los Angeles, The Lanier Law Firm is committed to addressing client concerns with effective and innovative solutions in courtrooms across the country. The firm is composed of outstanding trial attorneys with decades of experience handling cases involving pharmaceutical liability, asbestos exposure, commercial litigation, product liability, maritime law, and sports and entertainment law. Visit http://www.lanierlawfirm.com.

NTL President-elect Mark Lanier joins lawsuit over mentally disabled football player

The National Trial Lawyers President-elect Mark Lanier has joined a civil lawsuit against an Idaho school district over the locker room attack of a black mentally-disabled football player. Lanier, winner of the 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year award at the Trial Lawyers Summit, says the attack is “about the most appalling thing” he’s ever seen. Details in this story from magicvalley.com.