Womble Carlyle’s Joel Pieper is Counsel of Record on an amicus brief filed in March 2017 with the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC) in a personal jurisdiction case - "Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco."
Manufacturers increasingly face large numbers of lawsuits simultaneously pursued by hundreds of plaintiffs who choose to aggregate their cases in “magnet” jurisdictions with no meaningful connection to the events at issue. The disproportionate clustering of such suits in the most plaintiff-friendly courts, which are typically far removed from the key evidence and witnesses, unfairly increases the expense, risks and burdens of litigation for the nonresident manufacturers. The United States Supreme Court decided to hear the "Bristol-Myers" case after the California Supreme Court found that Bristol-Myers was subject to personal jurisdiction in connection with hundreds of product liability claims filed in a California state court by out of state claimants that were allegedly injured by a Bristol-Myers pharmaceutical product outside of California. PLAC urged the Court to find that such an expansive assertion of personal jurisdiction by a state court violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Joel Pieper has over 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer, managing complex, commercial litigation with a focus on matters involving product liability, commercial construction, class actions, insurance coverage disputes, and claims involving fraud, embezzlement or self-dealing by company executives.
Bill Womble, Jr. is an experienced trial attorney. He has handled cases ranging from the most complex class action suits to fact-intensive products liability and individual long-term disability claims matters.
Jim Morgan is recognized as a highly skilled and accomplished civil litigator. Over the past 25 years, Jim has acquired extensive litigation experience, handling complex legal issues in both state and federal court.