Trial Lawyers Argue on Venue Rules in Two Missouri Supreme Court Cases
At issue in the talcum powder cases are state rules permitting multiple plaintiffs to be joined in the same case and tried in the same venue.: Weaver argued that while, even if the claims were found to have been properly joined initially, a trial judge should be required to sever and transfer a claim to a proper venue when that claim is set for a separate trial.
“Otherwise, what you are doing is putting the efficiencies purportedly gained from joinder ahead of protecting the rights of the parties to litigate the case without prejudice,” he said.
The National Law Journal article, “Missouri Supreme Court Hears Venue Arguments in Talc Case” (subscription required), references a second venue case before the Missouri Supreme Court argued by Price. Seeking to move a case from St. Louis Circuit Court to St. Louis County, Price was mentioned in a recent article, “Missouri Supreme Court takes on venue rules” (subscription required), in Missouri Lawyers Weekly.
“This whole scheme doesn’t work in the practical, real world of litigation. It is only a scheme to obtain venue,” said William Ray Price Jr. of Armstrong Teasdale, a former Supreme Court judge who is representing defendant Abbott Laboratories.
Price is a former Missouri Supreme Court Judge, having served two terms as chief justice and authoring more than 300 published opinions during his tenure. In private practice, Ray has tried a number of jury and bench trials, argued numerous appeals, and served as a mediator, arbitrator, and court-appointed master in various civil and administrative cases. He litigates claims involving class actions, mass torts, product liability, pharmaceutical liability, environmental regulation, land use, administrative, governmental, and complex business issues.
Weaver has served as lead trial and appellate counsel in commercial, product liability, insurance and eminent domain litigation matters in both state and federal courts in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. As leader of the firm’s appellate practice area, he has implemented sophisticated post-trial strategies that weave persuasive arguments with legal and policy reasoning in over 135 appeals. In 1999, Tom was elected as a fellow in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.