In December, I posted this preview of the then forthcoming book, Drug and Device Product Liability Litigation Strategy, by Mark Herrmann and David B. Alden (Oxford University Press 2011). I received my copy of the book just before the holidays, and it is as good as advertised.
The book has many strengths. It is comprehensive, generally accessible, eloquently written, and well-researched. Perhaps its greatest accomplishment is the breadth of its usefulness to a wide range of readers with varying levels of sophistication. The book starts at the beginning, with a discussion of the history of mass tort litigation and a summary of the relevant FDA regulations. Following a discussion of each of the typical causes of action in drug and device cases, the book goes on to cover every conceivable procedural phase, from MDL assignment, to motions practice, to discovery, and finally through the rarest of events in mass tort litigation: trial. The step-by-step approach makes the book a perfect starting point for a new associate, client, or colleague who is just becoming familiar with medical products litigation. But packed in to the logically organized chapters are a wealth of practice tips and research summaries that make the book a handy practice aid to even the most seasoned practitioner.
The book’s authors admit (and make no apologies for the fact) that it has a defense-oriented slant, and it’s main audience would certainly be defense-oriented practitioners and corporate legal departments, but that does not mean that it would not be a useful guide to plaintiffs in pharmaceutical or other mass tort litigation.
In short, this book is a welcome addition to my personal law library. Now, my problem is figuring out how to protect it from being permanently “borrowed” from one of my colleagues.