Spokesmen for the American Bar Association has told Congress that
proposed federal products liability legislation would seriously
impair the rights of those who have been injured and the consuming
The legislation, they said, would introduce great uncertainty and
confusion into a judicial system that, with rare exception, has been
working on the state level in a sound and rational way.
Testifying before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on the Consumer
were Keith Davidson, chairman-elect of the ABA tort and insurance
practice sections and Marshall Shapo, professor of law at
Northwestern University Law School and reporter for the ABA's five
year study on the American tort liability system.
ABA witnesses told commitee members there was no data to
substantiate accusations that the system as a whole is not working.
They urged caution before Congress replaces the substantial body of
state laws that was "painfully wrought over a period of a quarter
centry and more" to protect the American public against unsafe
Shapo pointed out that there is no "army of injury victims who are
claiming that the law has treated them unjustly," although many are
not compensated through the litigation process. Further, he noted
that the major consumer organizations have not supported this sort of
Davidson said the committee needs to gather facts on the operation
of the present legal system, including its insurance components,
before enacting a law.
He said its members need to be particuarly aware of the "liability
"If Congress takes a bite out of the products liability apple,"
Davidson noted, "it is inevitably going to have to deal with the
whole orchard of insurance."
- Scott L. Gesell, an associate with the Oklahoma City law firm
of Andrews, Davis, Legg, Bixler, Milsten and Murrah, has been
appointed to serve on a corporate law committee of the young lawyers
division of the American Bar Association.
Gesell will serve a one year term at the request of John K. Irion,
chairman of the division's corporation, banking and business law
In addition to corporation law, Gesell concentrates much of his
practice in the area of litigation and bankruptcy. . .
- Oklahoma City attorney Andrew E. Thurman will present two
programs this month to registered nursing managers at a conference
sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Health Care
Thurman, an associate with the firm of Miller, Dollarhide, Dawson
& Shaw, will speak on "Corporate Legal Organizations and their Impact
on Emergency Departments," on March 24, 1:45 p.m., at the Holiday Inn
Northwest, 3535 Northwest Expressway.
The second program, also to be held at the Holiday Inn Northwest,
is set for March 26 at 1:45 p.m. It will cover the "Legal
Considerations Impacting on the Orthopedic Department and Its
- Charles W. Whalen Jr., a former U.S. representative from
Ohio, will present a public lecture March 20 as part of the
Scholar-Leadership Enrichment Program on the University of Oklahoma
campus in Norman.
Whalen will speak at 7:30 in 200 Dale Hall, located at 455 W.
The former lawmaker, who served in the U.S. House from 1967 to
1979, will examine America's human rights record, emphasizing the
legislative struggles that have resulted from efforts to end
Whalen and his wife, writer Barbara Whalen, are authors of the
book "The Longest Debate," which recounts the legislative history of
the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. …