In an unusual departure for the NY Times, they presented today an excellent article of some length on the story of Marshall, Texas and how it has evolved into the epicenter of patent law cases involving some of the largest companies in the US.
What makes this article so intriguing is rarely in a liberal leaning paper do you get such an exhaustive review of how certain courts and jurisdictions become haven's for either mass tort filings, product liability cases or in this case patent law cases involving high stakes. As anyone in the settlement business knows, there are certain jurisdiction's and forums that are very plaintiff friendly, just as there are counties and courts that are exceptionally plaintiff unfriendly. This article goes into great length and detail about how Marshall, TX and the federal court of Judge T. John Ward became the court of choice for patent suits, and the implications on how the cases are tried, settled and the impact all this activity has had on the little East Texas town.
Good reading, but it will of course be picked up on and high lighted by the "tort reform" advocates as just another example of how trial lawyers forum shop, as if defendants don't do the same thing by getting cases removed to more favorable jurisdictions. What makes this court so attractive is it's a quick docket, the judge is all business and the juries tend to bring home large plaintiff verdicts. Check it out and let me know what you think.