Alison Frankel

Tobacco plaintiffs’ firms say Lieff Cabraser botched 11th Circuit appeal

By Alison Frankel
May 7, 2015

(Reuters) – The plaintiffs’ firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, working with regular appellate counsel Samuel Issacharoff of New York University School of Law, submitted a compelling petition last week at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the appellate court to reconsider a three-judge panel’s ruling in Graham v. R.J. Reynolds. In that April 8 decision, the 11th Circuit held that Florida smokers’ strict liability and negligence claims against tobacco companies are implicitly preempted because Congress has imposed federal regulation on cigarettes but has not banned them. Lieff Cabraser’s brief argues not only that the 11th Circuit opinion is at odds with a previous 11th Circuit decision based on the same basic facts and case law but that it’s also contrary to U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

Big Tobacco, graphic packaging, and the First Amendment

By Alison Frankel
November 8, 2011

Even tobacco companies are entitled to the free speech protections of the First Amendment.