This Week in Photography Books: Tom Atwood

 

Everyone’s a little grumpy this time of year, and I’ve bitched about April as long as I’ve lived in Taos.

Allergies. Ditch cleaning. Windy, gray skies.

Taxes.

It sucks, basically, and each year, I yearn for May like a kid awaiting summer vacation. It never comes fast enough, but then again, I learned years ago that waiting for a future event, in order to get happy, never works out so well.

The irony, of which I am aware, is that I’ve got it pretty easy. With respect to the global game of life, I was dealt a pretty sweet hand, but still don’t always find a way to win.

Others, here in America or elsewhere in the world, face far rougher challenges than I do. The truth is simply that the world is not fair, and some people face discrimination, or violence, through no fault of their own.

The history of humanity is littered with the corpses of the oppressed.

Part of why I’ve always loved America, despite our copious flaws, is that one can see a march towards a more equitable society, over the course of our history. There has always been the backlash, (which we’re seeing now with #Trump) but over the course of time, we’ve corrected many of our errors.

Whether it was overcoming slavery, giving women and minorities the right to vote, overturning anti-immigrant legislation, or the break-up of Jim Crow laws, the changes in our society from the 17th to the 21st Centuries have been profound.

The improved rights of the LGBTQ community would have to be considered one of those successes, despite the near-daily-deluge of tweets about gender-neutral bathrooms.

Just now, the morning after watching the finale of “Grace and Frankie,” Season 3 on Netflix, I learned that Lily Tomlin, who married her partner in 2013, said that she had to wait until after her mother died to come out of the closet.

At 76!

She said if she’d told her mother while she was alive, it would have killed her.

Ms. Tomlin is one of the titular stars of the show, but oddly, she plays a straight woman who was married to a man, (played by Sam Waterston,) who left her because he was gay. And then, during the show’s run, he married his law-partner, played by Martin Sheen.

Sheen and Waterston are straight, playing gay. Tomlin is gay, playing straight. Jane Fonda, easily the best actor of the bunch, has no such sexual identity confusion. And somehow, it all holds together.

To say popular culture has come a long way from Will & Grace, at the beginning of the Millennium, is an understatement. Think about it: back in 2000, if you said the word trans, by itself, people would assume you forgot to include the last two syllables.

Trans-mission.
Trans-ition.
Trans-action.

You get the point.

These days, now that LGBTQ issues are again symbolic of America’s endless culture wars, it seems more important than ever to depict members of that community three dimensional.

It’s vital that people can see flesh and blood human beings, not stereotypical Gay bff’s who never wear pants. (Now that “Girls” is over, maybe Andrew Rannells will find some roles that are less-obvious in how they objectify his body?)

Thankfully, I’ve just put down “Kings & Queens In Their Castles,” a new book by Tom Atwood, published by Damiani. Now that I only review books by submission, Mr. Atwood was determined to get my attention, as he emailed several times, and then hit me up on Twitter.

He seemed to think I’d be a good person to look at this book, and frankly, he had excellent instincts. This one is almost-tailor-made for a jblau review. (Thanks, Tom.)

The premise here is not difficult to discern, as Mr. Atwood spent years building relationships, and meeting fellow members of the LGBTQ community. He was allowed into people’s homes, into the heart of their lives, and made pictures across a very wide spectrum of contemporary LGBTQ culture.

Before I say anything else, I’ll admit there are a lot of celebrities in this book. (Some are totally expected, like George Takei, John Waters, and of course Alan Cumming.) The artist, in his opening statement, admits that people like to look at pictures of famous people.

No surprise there.

But it works well in this project, as it mashes up the concept of “celebrities, they’re just like us,” which comes from the world of US Weekly, with the promise of outing a few people you didn’t know were queer. (There weren’t many, for me, but I didn’t know Heather Matarazzo was gay.)

Beyond the thrill of seeing what Steve Kmetko’s home office looks like, (I jest,) what works best about this book is that it studiously avoids over-worked production values. (This is not a book suffused with Liberace’s ghost.)

Rather, we see a multi-racial group of “regular” seeming people. They have jobs, and kitchens. They shop at Trader Joe’s, and live in trailers.

They’re doctors, and social workers, and yes, they work in theater.

Ironically, one of the funniest bits of “Grace and Frankie,” this season, was a recurring plot in which some homophobic protestors disrupt a San Diego community theater play. As they walk around with placards, they chant about wanting theater to be reserved for straight people again.

It’s a great joke, and in his statement, Mr. Atwood does make mention of the high proportion of gay Americans in the arts.

(Again, no surprise.)

In the past, I’ve addressed the fact that you guys, our audience, are almost entirely composed of Blue-State-Liberal-Artsy-types. This column, therefore, is often the epitome of preaching to the choir.

But I recently got an email from a regular, Republican reader who assured me you’re not all so consistent in your beliefs. It was a polite note, I must admit, and lacked any name-calling or inappropriate vitriol.

Basically, we engaged in a bit of cross-party communication, which is pretty rare these days.
As such, I’ll try to assume, from now on, that you’re a more heterogenous mix.

But people keep coming back here, each week, because I spout off a bunch of words, and show a really cool book too. This one qualifies, as its insider access gives us glimpses into normal lives.

Regular places.
Regular people.

Like the gay bartender, from Utah, hanging out shirtless in his trailer. He’s not glamorous, and in another photo book, in a different context, we might think he was embroiled in the Opioid epidemic.

Instead, we can imagine a bit about his story. Do the guys at the bar know? If so, are the cool with it?

Or rather, does he live in the closet, making off-color jokes about boobs and harlots?

Does he have to pretend, to stay safe?

Without asking further questions, we’ll never know. But good books get conversation started, and this one definitely qualifies.

Bottom Line: A cool, important look at gay Americans in their homes.

To purchase “Kings & Queens In Their Castles,” click here

 

If you’d like to submit a book for review, please contact me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com

 

————————

Visit our sponsor Photo Folio, providing websites to professional photographers for over 9 years. Featuring the only customizable template in the world.

————————

This Week in Photography Books: Tom Atwood

 

Everyone’s a little grumpy this time of year, and I’ve bitched about April as long as I’ve lived in Taos.

Allergies. Ditch cleaning. Windy, gray skies.

Taxes.

It sucks, basically, and each year, I yearn for May like a kid awaiting summer vacation. It never comes fast enough, but then again, I learned years ago that waiting for a future event, in order to get happy, never works out so well.

The irony, of which I am aware, is that I’ve got it pretty easy. With respect to the global game of life, I was dealt a pretty sweet hand, but still don’t always find a way to win.

Others, here in America or elsewhere in the world, face far rougher challenges than I do. The truth is simply that the world is not fair, and some people face discrimination, or violence, through no fault of their own.

The history of humanity is littered with the corpses of the oppressed.

Part of why I’ve always loved America, despite our copious flaws, is that one can see a march towards a more equitable society, over the course of our history. There has always been the backlash, (which we’re seeing now with #Trump) but over the course of time, we’ve corrected many of our errors.

Whether it was overcoming slavery, giving women and minorities the right to vote, overturning anti-immigrant legislation, or the break-up of Jim Crow laws, the changes in our society from the 17th to the 21st Centuries have been profound.

The improved rights of the LGBTQ community would have to be considered one of those successes, despite the near-daily-deluge of tweets about gender-neutral bathrooms.

Just now, the morning after watching the finale of “Grace and Frankie,” Season 3 on Netflix, I learned that Lily Tomlin, who married her partner in 2013, said that she had to wait until after her mother died to come out of the closet.

At 76!

She said if she’d told her mother while she was alive, it would have killed her.

Ms. Tomlin is one of the titular stars of the show, but oddly, she plays a straight woman who was married to a man, (played by Sam Waterston,) who left her because he was gay. And then, during the show’s run, he married his law-partner, played by Martin Sheen.

Sheen and Waterston are straight, playing gay. Tomlin is gay, playing straight. Jane Fonda, easily the best actor of the bunch, has no such sexual identity confusion. And somehow, it all holds together.

To say popular culture has come a long way from Will & Grace, at the beginning of the Millennium, is an understatement. Think about it: back in 2000, if you said the word trans, by itself, people would assume you forgot to include the last two syllables.

Trans-mission.
Trans-ition.
Trans-action.

You get the point.

These days, now that LGBTQ issues are again symbolic of America’s endless culture wars, it seems more important than ever to depict members of that community three dimensional.

It’s vital that people can see flesh and blood human beings, not stereotypical Gay bff’s who never wear pants. (Now that “Girls” is over, maybe Andrew Rannells will find some roles that are less-obvious in how they objectify his body?)

Thankfully, I’ve just put down “Kings & Queens In Their Castles,” a new book by Tom Atwood, published by Damiani. Now that I only review books by submission, Mr. Atwood was determined to get my attention, as he emailed several times, and then hit me up on Twitter.

He seemed to think I’d be a good person to look at this book, and frankly, he had excellent instincts. This one is almost-tailor-made for a jblau review. (Thanks, Tom.)

The premise here is not difficult to discern, as Mr. Atwood spent years building relationships, and meeting fellow members of the LGBTQ community. He was allowed into people’s homes, into the heart of their lives, and made pictures across a very wide spectrum of contemporary LGBTQ culture.

Before I say anything else, I’ll admit there are a lot of celebrities in this book. (Some are totally expected, like George Takei, John Waters, and of course Alan Cumming.) The artist, in his opening statement, admits that people like to look at pictures of famous people.

No surprise there.

But it works well in this project, as it mashes up the concept of “celebrities, they’re just like us,” which comes from the world of US Weekly, with the promise of outing a few people you didn’t know were queer. (There weren’t many, for me, but I didn’t know Heather Matarazzo was gay.)

Beyond the thrill of seeing what Steve Kmetko’s home office looks like, (I jest,) what works best about this book is that it studiously avoids over-worked production values. (This is not a book suffused with Liberace’s ghost.)

Rather, we see a multi-racial group of “regular” seeming people. They have jobs, and kitchens. They shop at Trader Joe’s, and live in trailers.

They’re doctors, and social workers, and yes, they work in theater.

Ironically, one of the funniest bits of “Grace and Frankie,” this season, was a recurring plot in which some homophobic protestors disrupt a San Diego community theater play. As they walk around with placards, they chant about wanting theater to be reserved for straight people again.

It’s a great joke, and in his statement, Mr. Atwood does make mention of the high proportion of gay Americans in the arts.

(Again, no surprise.)

In the past, I’ve addressed the fact that you guys, our audience, are almost entirely composed of Blue-State-Liberal-Artsy-types. This column, therefore, is often the epitome of preaching to the choir.

But I recently got an email from a regular, Republican reader who assured me you’re not all so consistent in your beliefs. It was a polite note, I must admit, and lacked any name-calling or inappropriate vitriol.

Basically, we engaged in a bit of cross-party communication, which is pretty rare these days.
As such, I’ll try to assume, from now on, that you’re a more heterogenous mix.

But people keep coming back here, each week, because I spout off a bunch of words, and show a really cool book too. This one qualifies, as its insider access gives us glimpses into normal lives.

Regular places.
Regular people.

Like the gay bartender, from Utah, hanging out shirtless in his trailer. He’s not glamorous, and in another photo book, in a different context, we might think he was embroiled in the Opioid epidemic.

Instead, we can imagine a bit about his story. Do the guys at the bar know? If so, are the cool with it?

Or rather, does he live in the closet, making off-color jokes about boobs and harlots?

Does he have to pretend, to stay safe?

Without asking further questions, we’ll never know. But good books get conversation started, and this one definitely qualifies.

Bottom Line: A cool, important look at gay Americans in their homes.

To purchase “Kings & Queens In Their Castles,” click here

 

If you’d like to submit a book for review, please contact me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com

 

————————

Visit our sponsor Photo Folio, providing websites to professional photographers for over 9 years. Featuring the only customizable template in the world.

————————

This Week in Photography Books: Tom Atwood

 

Everyone’s a little grumpy this time of year, and I’ve bitched about April as long as I’ve lived in Taos.

Allergies. Ditch cleaning. Windy, gray skies.

Taxes.

It sucks, basically, and each year, I yearn for May like a kid awaiting summer vacation. It never comes fast enough, but then again, I learned years ago that waiting for a future event, in order to get happy, never works out so well.

The irony, of which I am aware, is that I’ve got it pretty easy. With respect to the global game of life, I was dealt a pretty sweet hand, but still don’t always find a way to win.

Others, here in America or elsewhere in the world, face far rougher challenges than I do. The truth is simply that the world is not fair, and some people face discrimination, or violence, through no fault of their own.

The history of humanity is littered with the corpses of the oppressed.

Part of why I’ve always loved America, despite our copious flaws, is that one can see a march towards a more equitable society, over the course of our history. There has always been the backlash, (which we’re seeing now with #Trump) but over the course of time, we’ve corrected many of our errors.

Whether it was overcoming slavery, giving women and minorities the right to vote, overturning anti-immigrant legislation, or the break-up of Jim Crow laws, the changes in our society from the 17th to the 21st Centuries have been profound.

The improved rights of the LGBTQ community would have to be considered one of those successes, despite the near-daily-deluge of tweets about gender-neutral bathrooms.

Just now, the morning after watching the finale of “Grace and Frankie,” Season 3 on Netflix, I learned that Lily Tomlin, who married her partner in 2013, said that she had to wait until after her mother died to come out of the closet.

At 76!

She said if she’d told her mother while she was alive, it would have killed her.

Ms. Tomlin is one of the titular stars of the show, but oddly, she plays a straight woman who was married to a man, (played by Sam Waterston,) who left her because he was gay. And then, during the show’s run, he married his law-partner, played by Martin Sheen.

Sheen and Waterston are straight, playing gay. Tomlin is gay, playing straight. Jane Fonda, easily the best actor of the bunch, has no such sexual identity confusion. And somehow, it all holds together.

To say popular culture has come a long way from Will & Grace, at the beginning of the Millennium, is an understatement. Think about it: back in 2000, if you said the word trans, by itself, people would assume you forgot to include the last two syllables.

Trans-mission.
Trans-ition.
Trans-action.

You get the point.

These days, now that LGBTQ issues are again symbolic of America’s endless culture wars, it seems more important than ever to depict members of that community three dimensional.

It’s vital that people can see flesh and blood human beings, not stereotypical Gay bff’s who never wear pants. (Now that “Girls” is over, maybe Andrew Rannells will find some roles that are less-obvious in how they objectify his body?)

Thankfully, I’ve just put down “Kings & Queens In Their Castles,” a new book by Tom Atwood, published by Damiani. Now that I only review books by submission, Mr. Atwood was determined to get my attention, as he emailed several times, and then hit me up on Twitter.

He seemed to think I’d be a good person to look at this book, and frankly, he had excellent instincts. This one is almost-tailor-made for a jblau review. (Thanks, Tom.)

The premise here is not difficult to discern, as Mr. Atwood spent years building relationships, and meeting fellow members of the LGBTQ community. He was allowed into people’s homes, into the heart of their lives, and made pictures across a very wide spectrum of contemporary LGBTQ culture.

Before I say anything else, I’ll admit there are a lot of celebrities in this book. (Some are totally expected, like George Takei, John Waters, and of course Alan Cumming.) The artist, in his opening statement, admits that people like to look at pictures of famous people.

No surprise there.

But it works well in this project, as it mashes up the concept of “celebrities, they’re just like us,” which comes from the world of US Weekly, with the promise of outing a few people you didn’t know were queer. (There weren’t many, for me, but I didn’t know Heather Matarazzo was gay.)

Beyond the thrill of seeing what Steve Kmetko’s home office looks like, (I jest,) what works best about this book is that it studiously avoids over-worked production values. (This is not a book suffused with Liberace’s ghost.)

Rather, we see a multi-racial group of “regular” seeming people. They have jobs, and kitchens. They shop at Trader Joe’s, and live in trailers.

They’re doctors, and social workers, and yes, they work in theater.

Ironically, one of the funniest bits of “Grace and Frankie,” this season, was a recurring plot in which some homophobic protestors disrupt a San Diego community theater play. As they walk around with placards, they chant about wanting theater to be reserved for straight people again.

It’s a great joke, and in his statement, Mr. Atwood does make mention of the high proportion of gay Americans in the arts.

(Again, no surprise.)

In the past, I’ve addressed the fact that you guys, our audience, are almost entirely composed of Blue-State-Liberal-Artsy-types. This column, therefore, is often the epitome of preaching to the choir.

But I recently got an email from a regular, Republican reader who assured me you’re not all so consistent in your beliefs. It was a polite note, I must admit, and lacked any name-calling or inappropriate vitriol.

Basically, we engaged in a bit of cross-party communication, which is pretty rare these days.
As such, I’ll try to assume, from now on, that you’re a more heterogenous mix.

But people keep coming back here, each week, because I spout off a bunch of words, and show a really cool book too. This one qualifies, as its insider access gives us glimpses into normal lives.

Regular places.
Regular people.

Like the gay bartender, from Utah, hanging out shirtless in his trailer. He’s not glamorous, and in another photo book, in a different context, we might think he was embroiled in the Opioid epidemic.

Instead, we can imagine a bit about his story. Do the guys at the bar know? If so, are the cool with it?

Or rather, does he live in the closet, making off-color jokes about boobs and harlots?

Does he have to pretend, to stay safe?

Without asking further questions, we’ll never know. But good books get conversation started, and this one definitely qualifies.

Bottom Line: A cool, important look at gay Americans in their homes.

To purchase “Kings & Queens In Their Castles,” click here

 

If you’d like to submit a book for review, please contact me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com

 

————————

Visit our sponsor Photo Folio, providing websites to professional photographers for over 9 years. Featuring the only customizable template in the world.

————————

This Week in Photography Books: Tom Atwood

 

Everyone’s a little grumpy this time of year, and I’ve bitched about April as long as I’ve lived in Taos.

Allergies. Ditch cleaning. Windy, gray skies.

Taxes.

It sucks, basically, and each year, I yearn for May like a kid awaiting summer vacation. It never comes fast enough, but then again, I learned years ago that waiting for a future event, in order to get happy, never works out so well.

The irony, of which I am aware, is that I’ve got it pretty easy. With respect to the global game of life, I was dealt a pretty sweet hand, but still don’t always find a way to win.

Others, here in America or elsewhere in the world, face far rougher challenges than I do. The truth is simply that the world is not fair, and some people face discrimination, or violence, through no fault of their own.

The history of humanity is littered with the corpses of the oppressed.

Part of why I’ve always loved America, despite our copious flaws, is that one can see a march towards a more equitable society, over the course of our history. There has always been the backlash, (which we’re seeing now with #Trump) but over the course of time, we’ve corrected many of our errors.

Whether it was overcoming slavery, giving women and minorities the right to vote, overturning anti-immigrant legislation, or the break-up of Jim Crow laws, the changes in our society from the 17th to the 21st Centuries have been profound.

The improved rights of the LGBTQ community would have to be considered one of those successes, despite the near-daily-deluge of tweets about gender-neutral bathrooms.

Just now, the morning after watching the finale of “Grace and Frankie,” Season 3 on Netflix, I learned that Lily Tomlin, who married her partner in 2013, said that she had to wait until after her mother died to come out of the closet.

At 76!

She said if she’d told her mother while she was alive, it would have killed her.

Ms. Tomlin is one of the titular stars of the show, but oddly, she plays a straight woman who was married to a man, (played by Sam Waterston,) who left her because he was gay. And then, during the show’s run, he married his law-partner, played by Martin Sheen.

Sheen and Waterston are straight, playing gay. Tomlin is gay, playing straight. Jane Fonda, easily the best actor of the bunch, has no such sexual identity confusion. And somehow, it all holds together.

To say popular culture has come a long way from Will & Grace, at the beginning of the Millennium, is an understatement. Think about it: back in 2000, if you said the word trans, by itself, people would assume you forgot to include the last two syllables.

Trans-mission.
Trans-ition.
Trans-action.

You get the point.

These days, now that LGBTQ issues are again symbolic of America’s endless culture wars, it seems more important than ever to depict members of that community three dimensional.

It’s vital that people can see flesh and blood human beings, not stereotypical Gay bff’s who never wear pants. (Now that “Girls” is over, maybe Andrew Rannells will find some roles that are less-obvious in how they objectify his body?)

Thankfully, I’ve just put down “Kings & Queens In Their Castles,” a new book by Tom Atwood, published by Damiani. Now that I only review books by submission, Mr. Atwood was determined to get my attention, as he emailed several times, and then hit me up on Twitter.

He seemed to think I’d be a good person to look at this book, and frankly, he had excellent instincts. This one is almost-tailor-made for a jblau review. (Thanks, Tom.)

The premise here is not difficult to discern, as Mr. Atwood spent years building relationships, and meeting fellow members of the LGBTQ community. He was allowed into people’s homes, into the heart of their lives, and made pictures across a very wide spectrum of contemporary LGBTQ culture.

Before I say anything else, I’ll admit there are a lot of celebrities in this book. (Some are totally expected, like George Takei, John Waters, and of course Alan Cumming.) The artist, in his opening statement, admits that people like to look at pictures of famous people.

No surprise there.

But it works well in this project, as it mashes up the concept of “celebrities, they’re just like us,” which comes from the world of US Weekly, with the promise of outing a few people you didn’t know were queer. (There weren’t many, for me, but I didn’t know Heather Matarazzo was gay.)

Beyond the thrill of seeing what Steve Kmetko’s home office looks like, (I jest,) what works best about this book is that it studiously avoids over-worked production values. (This is not a book suffused with Liberace’s ghost.)

Rather, we see a multi-racial group of “regular” seeming people. They have jobs, and kitchens. They shop at Trader Joe’s, and live in trailers.

They’re doctors, and social workers, and yes, they work in theater.

Ironically, one of the funniest bits of “Grace and Frankie,” this season, was a recurring plot in which some homophobic protestors disrupt a San Diego community theater play. As they walk around with placards, they chant about wanting theater to be reserved for straight people again.

It’s a great joke, and in his statement, Mr. Atwood does make mention of the high proportion of gay Americans in the arts.

(Again, no surprise.)

In the past, I’ve addressed the fact that you guys, our audience, are almost entirely composed of Blue-State-Liberal-Artsy-types. This column, therefore, is often the epitome of preaching to the choir.

But I recently got an email from a regular, Republican reader who assured me you’re not all so consistent in your beliefs. It was a polite note, I must admit, and lacked any name-calling or inappropriate vitriol.

Basically, we engaged in a bit of cross-party communication, which is pretty rare these days.
As such, I’ll try to assume, from now on, that you’re a more heterogenous mix.

But people keep coming back here, each week, because I spout off a bunch of words, and show a really cool book too. This one qualifies, as its insider access gives us glimpses into normal lives.

Regular places.
Regular people.

Like the gay bartender, from Utah, hanging out shirtless in his trailer. He’s not glamorous, and in another photo book, in a different context, we might think he was embroiled in the Opioid epidemic.

Instead, we can imagine a bit about his story. Do the guys at the bar know? If so, are the cool with it?

Or rather, does he live in the closet, making off-color jokes about boobs and harlots?

Does he have to pretend, to stay safe?

Without asking further questions, we’ll never know. But good books get conversation started, and this one definitely qualifies.

Bottom Line: A cool, important look at gay Americans in their homes.

To purchase “Kings & Queens In Their Castles,” click here

 

If you’d like to submit a book for review, please contact me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com

 

————————

Visit our sponsor Photo Folio, providing websites to professional photographers for over 9 years. Featuring the only customizable template in the world.

————————

2017 QLED TV design advantages

Samsung QLED TV delivers design advantages : Samsung Electronics has posted another YouTube video demonstrating the design advantages of the 2017 QLED television series. Good design is not just about how a television looks on the surface, but also how it fits into the room. This is exactly why Samsung has focused on the design elements in the 2017 QLED TV lineup. Featuring a clean aesthetic with a slim body and nearly-there bezel. Samsung QLED TV is suitable for open spaces, while its new colors and premium materials blend naturally into the living environment. With a no-gap wall mount, any QLED TV can be easily and neatly installed against the wall. In addition, Samsung tells us why you should buy a QLED TV and explains what makes QLED TV’s better than conventional televisions.

Trends to watch at NAB 2017

Trends to watch at NAB 2017

Next week is the annual National Association of Broadcasters show, or NAB, in Las Vegas, Nevada. NAB is primarily an industry conference, and isn’t generally focused on consumer products, but we go to NAB because it often gives us a window into the future. Tools and technologies created for Hollywood or the broadcast industry have a funny way of tricking down to everyman products over the next few years, and that’s usually a good thing (3D television being a notable exception, in my opinion).

So, let’s take a look at a few of the product categories we’ll be watching at NAB next week that have the potential to impact us not-named-Spielberg types in the coming years.

Tools for Emerging Filmmakers

The filmmaking industry has changed a lot in the past few years: technology has become better, costs have come down, and tools suitable for serious content creation are now accessible to anyone with a dream of producing films and the passion to make it happen. This transformation has ushered in an explosion of what are often referred to as ’emerging filmmakers.’

These are people who often started making films with DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, but have grown their skills or businesses to the point where they need better, dedicated tools. They include independent filmmakers, small businesses working for commercial clients, or any number of other filmmaking roles. Some things they have in common are that they care about creating high quality content, have high expectations for production value, and they don’t have upwards of $20,000 to buy a single cinema lens.

This category has grown large enough that we’re seeing more companies which have historically catered to the high end cinema market now looking to meet emerging filmmakers’ needs. Whether it’s to drive revenue or create brand loyalists, we’re seeing more tools designed and priced for these users. By way of example, in the past year we’ve seen cinema lenses such as Cookes and Fujinons with sub-$5,000 price points. We expect to see even more products aimed at emerging filmmakers at NAB. 

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality is a technology that everyone, from manufacturers to content creators, seems to want to succeed, but which hasn’t quite managed to do so. There’s clearly a lot of unrealized promise, and even Hollywood executives will tell you they’re spending a lot of money trying to figure out how to make it work. Will this be the year VR makes the leap?

NAB will once again feature a dedicated Virtual and Augmented Reality Pavillion where the VR community can show off its latest technology. And there are clearly a lot of businesses betting big money on it, ranging from consumer-focused companies like Yi Technologies, which plans to announce VR capture devices at the show, to the likes of 360 Designs, whose Flying EYE drone system will livestream 360º 6K content from miles away for a cool $75,000. 

The big question is whether any of the VR products or technologies we see at NAB this year will be enough to get significant traction in the market, or collectively move the needle toward wider adoption of VR by consumers, but the industry isn’t giving up on this one yet.

8K Technology

We actually saw 8K display technology for the first time at NAB a couple years ago. And yes, it’s good bleeping amazing. Last year, Canon had an 8K reference display in its booth with a magnifying glass next to it, teasing you to try to see the pixels. After all, with 8K you’re collecting about the same number of pixels as a Nikon D810. In bursts of 24 or 30 frames. Every second. Think of the memory cards you’re going to need… but I digress…

What does 8K mean for photographers, videographers, and emerging filmmakers? Right now, not a lot. In fact, it’s unlikely we’ll even see 8K TVs being widely marketed to consumers for a number of years. But on the content creation side, there’s a lot to be said for 8K. With 4K quickly moving in the direction of becoming a standard for viewing content, 8K will give content creators the same advantages that 4K acquisition has for creating 1080p content. Right now we’re still talking about very expensive, high end pro cinema and broadcast equipment, but what we see at NAB is often a preview to what we’ll see in less expensive gear a few years down the road.

And 8K technology may come faster than we expect. We’ve seen 4K gain fairly wide adoption very quickly, and most of the industry seems hell-bent on a collision course between full 8K broadcast and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (having already demonstrated it at London 2012 and run test broadcasts from Rio 2016). Some of this 8K goodness (or massive data storage overhead, if you’re the glass-half-empty type) may start filtering its way into our cameras in the next few years.

HDR Video

HDR video is pretty much what it sounds like: high dynamic range video that lets us see brighter brights, darker darks, and more shades in between. It’s like HDR photos, but with motion, and done well it can look pretty amazing. From a consumer perspective, most talk about HDR video these days relates to TVs, but the market is still sorting itself out. As the old adage goes, ‘The great thing about standards is that we have so many to choose from.’ Between HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log-Gamma, there’s plenty of room for the marketers to fight it out and educate consumers on the jargon.

But what we’re most interested in is content creation, or HDR video capture. Admittedly, there’s not a lot here for the enthusiast or prosumer at the moment. But… (and you know there’s always a ‘but’) Panasonic has already told us to expect Hybrid Log-Gamma to be included in the mother of all firmware updates – or, as we affectionately know it, MOAFU (really rolls off your tongue, doesn’t it) – that’s coming for the Panasonic GH5 in summer 2017. We look forward to testing it. Once we figure out how to test it.

Drones

Love ’em or hate ’em, people are going to use drones for all kinds of things. (At least until Skynet, and we all know how that ends.) Of course, what we care about at DPReview is aerial imaging, whether it’s still photography or video. The drone industry has exploded in the past few years, with tools ranging from octocopters that nonchalantly ferry around RED and Arri cameras to consumer products you can buy off the shelf and use to make your own movies.

As with other video categories, what started out as technology available only to well-funded production studios has quickly started to filter down to the emerging filmmaker or prosumer level. In fact, less than six months ago DJI introduced the Inspire 2 drone and Zenmuse X5S camera. That combo uses a Micro Four Thirds camera to shoot 5.2K CinemaDNG Raw video with a bit rate of 4.2Gbps. All for the price of a Canon 1D X II. This is Hollywood-level stuff. They even got cinematographer Claudio Miranda, ASC (Life of Pi) to make a film with it, though he had to carry it around in his hands for some shots.

Why do I bring up a product that was announced a few months ago? First, because it’s an indication of where the technology is going, and competitors will need to find a way to respond. We’ll be watching to see if that happens at NAB. And second, because for the love of God, DJI, can you please put this combination of tech into a regular camera? I don’t care if it’s a Micro Four Thirds camera the size of a Canon 1D X II, I will write you a check tomorrow.

Such is my plea.

Live Streaming

It used to be that we recorded home movies which we then forced our friends and family to watch over Thanksgiving. Later came the internet, so we could just send aunt Mabel a Vimeo link, or start a YouTube channel about cats with millions of followers.

Today that’s no longer adequate. Things must be on the internet, and they must be on now! Whether it’s Vloggers broadcasting live from a tradeshow floor using their iPhones, or sites like DPReview doing live webcasts from a studio, live streaming has gained a lot of momentum, and viewers are demanding higher quality live streams as time goes on.

We’ve already seen products to meet this need at a consumer level, whether it’s a DJI Osmo that uses your phone to broadcast on Facebook Live, or the Blackmagic Web Presenter, which allows you to turn virtually any high quality camera into a streaming broadcast camera. We’ll be on the watch for other products and technologies that will fuel our live streaming future. Though we can’t promise to stream them to you live.

Considerations for PI Firms Moving Into Mass Torts

Considerations for PI Firms Moving Into Mass TortsIs your law firm considering moving into mass torts? If so, I would first recommend you attend the upcoming Mass Torts Made Perfect conference in Las Vegas on April 26-28 at the Wynn Hotel. It’s not too late to register and I hope to see you there — I’ll be making a presentation on Wednesday, April 26 at 2 p.m. on the Top 10 Tools to Train Your Intake Team and Double Your Lead Conversion Rate.

Some time ago, Larry Bodine, former editor and publisher of The National Trial Lawyers and current senior legal marketing strategist at LawLytics, contributed this write-up for The Rainmaker Blog on how personal injury attorneys should approach launching a mass torts practice. It’s still good reading, so I’m reprinting it here today:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The best strategy is to find a mass torts case with strong liability, many plaintiffs, a financially viable defendant, high settlement values and a reasonable cost to acquire a client. Here are five tips:

Timing.

There are several optimal moments to seek mass tort clients:

  • In the emerging phase, when many attorneys are advertising about a particular mass tort. Most patients do not connect their prescription with an adverse event. The highest consumer awareness exists when advertising is at its peak. Currently this includes IVC Filters, Bair Hugger blankets, Invokana, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Transvaginal Mesh, Morcellator, talcum powder, Zofran and Metal-on-metal hips, according to Steve Nober, CEO of the Consumer Attorney Marketing Group.
  • In the MDL phase. When the federal courts create a multi-district litigation docket (MDL) for the mass tort. There are 300 federal MDLs, which organize hundreds of cases and promote settlements with trials of bellwether cases. Courts will create a form complaint and plaintiff’s fact sheet. The MDL plaintiffs committee works on all the scheduling, motions and trials.
  • In the settlement phase, when the defendant announces to its stockholders that it has set aside a settlement fund. At this point, attorneys are signing clients to settle their cases.

Marketing.

The goal of any form or marketing must be to educate clients about the side effects of the product they used. Lawyers should use clear, concise language that the general public will understand. Your marketing should be about the client — not about the firm. Don’t’ forget to state that clients do not pay legal fees unless you win the case.

Marketing tactics that work include:

  • Pay for Performance Advertising. The attorney pays for a call and is not buying leads. The charge depends on how long the phone call lasts.
  • Strong Organic Web Presence. More people are filling out forms on lawyer websites, and the firm should have trained intake personnel to contact the person within minutes.
  • Standard Television Advertising. Bear in mind that a consumer will watch an ad 12 times before acting. TV ads will create the lexicon that people use to search for lawyers online. Smart lawyers will incorporate the exact wording of TV ads into their website.
  • Buying Leads (Caveat Emptor). Be suspicious of lead generation companies, because there are many disreputable companies that will sell a single lead to five or six different law firms.

Partnering with a law firm.

Many of the leading mass tort law firms will accept referrals in a co-counsel agreement. In this arrangement, a lawyer agrees to accept a fraction of the recovery in exchange for the other firm prosecuting the case.

A better approach is to create a co-counsel consortium, akin to entering a partnership where two firms agree to represent a client. It can be argued that no referral occurred and the word “referral” never appears in the agreement. Both firms are equally responsible and the originating attorney can claim a larger percentage. The client is getting more lawyers on his team — a dream team — but is not paying any additional legal fee.

Beware of common legal risks in drug or medical device cases.

  • The Mensing Factor. The Supreme Court decided Pliva, Inc. v. Mensing in 2011, holding that failure-to-warn claims brought against manufacturers of generic medications under state law are pre-empted by federal law.
  • PMA Preemption Potential. Makers of Class III Medical Devices that undertake the FDA’s stringent premarket approval process can be exempt from certain product liability claims. See Riegel v. Medtronic, decided by the US Supreme Court, 128 S.Ct. 999 (2008).
  • Statute of Repose Issues.

Evaluating your firm.

Evaluating the resources of your firm is good place to start, before delving into other considerations necessary to develop your firm’s road map to mass tort success. See which Navy ship matches your firm:

Is your firm a super carrier?

A Super Carrier is a well-established firm with a large number of lawyers and support staff and extensive in-house logistical capabilities. It has the financial reserves needed to take on all necessary tasks of mass tort litigation, without the need for outside funding or outsourcing of services.

Is your firm a destroyer?

A Destroyer is a well-armed firm loaded with weapons (human resources and an abundance of cash.) These firms move fast to develop and deploy an attack plan, for any given mass tort case. A Destroyer may still need to seek outside funding or outsource certain services, if it wishes to take on a large number of clients in a mass tort case.

Is your firm a patrol ship?

Being a Patrol Ship has more to do with strategy than any other factor. Some firms take a conservative approach to mass torts. They stay on constant patrol and only make a move when a mass tort case arises and reaches a point that allows taking clients for the case, within the risk tolerance limits of the firm.

Are you one person in a row boat?

If you are a solo practitioner, with little to no staff and want to enter the mass tort space, you can, but your approach has to be realistic and you must have a relevant starting point.  Many solo practitioners sit on the sidelines, believing that they are not ready for the leap into mass torts. Others jump in and reap the benefits of participation.  If your practice has a docket of general PI cases or other assets, in most situations, you can obtain the funding to make the leap. The proceeds from your limited entry into mass torts can be used to finance future expansion of both your PI practice and additional mass tort cases.

rr atlanta

Considerations for PI Firms Moving Into Mass Torts

Considerations for PI Firms Moving Into Mass TortsIs your law firm considering moving into mass torts? If so, I would first recommend you attend the upcoming Mass Torts Made Perfect conference in Las Vegas on April 26-28 at the Wynn Hotel. It’s not too late to register and I hope to see you there — I’ll be making a presentation on Wednesday, April 26 at 2 p.m. on the Top 10 Tools to Train Your Intake Team and Double Your Lead Conversion Rate.

Some time ago, Larry Bodine, former editor and publisher of The National Trial Lawyers and current senior legal marketing strategist at LawLytics, contributed this write-up for The Rainmaker Blog on how personal injury attorneys should approach launching a mass torts practice. It’s still good reading, so I’m reprinting it here today:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The best strategy is to find a mass torts case with strong liability, many plaintiffs, a financially viable defendant, high settlement values and a reasonable cost to acquire a client. Here are five tips:

Timing.

There are several optimal moments to seek mass tort clients:

  • In the emerging phase, when many attorneys are advertising about a particular mass tort. Most patients do not connect their prescription with an adverse event. The highest consumer awareness exists when advertising is at its peak. Currently this includes IVC Filters, Bair Hugger blankets, Invokana, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Transvaginal Mesh, Morcellator, talcum powder, Zofran and Metal-on-metal hips, according to Steve Nober, CEO of the Consumer Attorney Marketing Group.
  • In the MDL phase. When the federal courts create a multi-district litigation docket (MDL) for the mass tort. There are 300 federal MDLs, which organize hundreds of cases and promote settlements with trials of bellwether cases. Courts will create a form complaint and plaintiff’s fact sheet. The MDL plaintiffs committee works on all the scheduling, motions and trials.
  • In the settlement phase, when the defendant announces to its stockholders that it has set aside a settlement fund. At this point, attorneys are signing clients to settle their cases.

Marketing.

The goal of any form or marketing must be to educate clients about the side effects of the product they used. Lawyers should use clear, concise language that the general public will understand. Your marketing should be about the client — not about the firm. Don’t’ forget to state that clients do not pay legal fees unless you win the case.

Marketing tactics that work include:

  • Pay for Performance Advertising. The attorney pays for a call and is not buying leads. The charge depends on how long the phone call lasts.
  • Strong Organic Web Presence. More people are filling out forms on lawyer websites, and the firm should have trained intake personnel to contact the person within minutes.
  • Standard Television Advertising. Bear in mind that a consumer will watch an ad 12 times before acting. TV ads will create the lexicon that people use to search for lawyers online. Smart lawyers will incorporate the exact wording of TV ads into their website.
  • Buying Leads (Caveat Emptor). Be suspicious of lead generation companies, because there are many disreputable companies that will sell a single lead to five or six different law firms.

Partnering with a law firm.

Many of the leading mass tort law firms will accept referrals in a co-counsel agreement. In this arrangement, a lawyer agrees to accept a fraction of the recovery in exchange for the other firm prosecuting the case.

A better approach is to create a co-counsel consortium, akin to entering a partnership where two firms agree to represent a client. It can be argued that no referral occurred and the word “referral” never appears in the agreement. Both firms are equally responsible and the originating attorney can claim a larger percentage. The client is getting more lawyers on his team — a dream team — but is not paying any additional legal fee.

Beware of common legal risks in drug or medical device cases.

  • The Mensing Factor. The Supreme Court decided Pliva, Inc. v. Mensing in 2011, holding that failure-to-warn claims brought against manufacturers of generic medications under state law are pre-empted by federal law.
  • PMA Preemption Potential. Makers of Class III Medical Devices that undertake the FDA’s stringent premarket approval process can be exempt from certain product liability claims. See Riegel v. Medtronic, decided by the US Supreme Court, 128 S.Ct. 999 (2008).
  • Statute of Repose Issues.

Evaluating your firm.

Evaluating the resources of your firm is good place to start, before delving into other considerations necessary to develop your firm’s road map to mass tort success. See which Navy ship matches your firm:

Is your firm a super carrier?

A Super Carrier is a well-established firm with a large number of lawyers and support staff and extensive in-house logistical capabilities. It has the financial reserves needed to take on all necessary tasks of mass tort litigation, without the need for outside funding or outsourcing of services.

Is your firm a destroyer?

A Destroyer is a well-armed firm loaded with weapons (human resources and an abundance of cash.) These firms move fast to develop and deploy an attack plan, for any given mass tort case. A Destroyer may still need to seek outside funding or outsource certain services, if it wishes to take on a large number of clients in a mass tort case.

Is your firm a patrol ship?

Being a Patrol Ship has more to do with strategy than any other factor. Some firms take a conservative approach to mass torts. They stay on constant patrol and only make a move when a mass tort case arises and reaches a point that allows taking clients for the case, within the risk tolerance limits of the firm.

Are you one person in a row boat?

If you are a solo practitioner, with little to no staff and want to enter the mass tort space, you can, but your approach has to be realistic and you must have a relevant starting point.  Many solo practitioners sit on the sidelines, believing that they are not ready for the leap into mass torts. Others jump in and reap the benefits of participation.  If your practice has a docket of general PI cases or other assets, in most situations, you can obtain the funding to make the leap. The proceeds from your limited entry into mass torts can be used to finance future expansion of both your PI practice and additional mass tort cases.

rr atlanta

Considerations for PI Firms Moving Into Mass Torts

Considerations for PI Firms Moving Into Mass TortsIs your law firm considering moving into mass torts? If so, I would first recommend you attend the upcoming Mass Torts Made Perfect conference in Las Vegas on April 26-28 at the Wynn Hotel. It’s not too late to register and I hope to see you there — I’ll be making a presentation on Wednesday, April 26 at 2 p.m. on the Top 10 Tools to Train Your Intake Team and Double Your Lead Conversion Rate.

Some time ago, Larry Bodine, former editor and publisher of The National Trial Lawyers and current senior legal marketing strategist at LawLytics, contributed this write-up for The Rainmaker Blog on how personal injury attorneys should approach launching a mass torts practice. It’s still good reading, so I’m reprinting it here today:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The best strategy is to find a mass torts case with strong liability, many plaintiffs, a financially viable defendant, high settlement values and a reasonable cost to acquire a client. Here are five tips:

Timing.

There are several optimal moments to seek mass tort clients:

  • In the emerging phase, when many attorneys are advertising about a particular mass tort. Most patients do not connect their prescription with an adverse event. The highest consumer awareness exists when advertising is at its peak. Currently this includes IVC Filters, Bair Hugger blankets, Invokana, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Transvaginal Mesh, Morcellator, talcum powder, Zofran and Metal-on-metal hips, according to Steve Nober, CEO of the Consumer Attorney Marketing Group.
  • In the MDL phase. When the federal courts create a multi-district litigation docket (MDL) for the mass tort. There are 300 federal MDLs, which organize hundreds of cases and promote settlements with trials of bellwether cases. Courts will create a form complaint and plaintiff’s fact sheet. The MDL plaintiffs committee works on all the scheduling, motions and trials.
  • In the settlement phase, when the defendant announces to its stockholders that it has set aside a settlement fund. At this point, attorneys are signing clients to settle their cases.

Marketing.

The goal of any form or marketing must be to educate clients about the side effects of the product they used. Lawyers should use clear, concise language that the general public will understand. Your marketing should be about the client — not about the firm. Don’t’ forget to state that clients do not pay legal fees unless you win the case.

Marketing tactics that work include:

  • Pay for Performance Advertising. The attorney pays for a call and is not buying leads. The charge depends on how long the phone call lasts.
  • Strong Organic Web Presence. More people are filling out forms on lawyer websites, and the firm should have trained intake personnel to contact the person within minutes.
  • Standard Television Advertising. Bear in mind that a consumer will watch an ad 12 times before acting. TV ads will create the lexicon that people use to search for lawyers online. Smart lawyers will incorporate the exact wording of TV ads into their website.
  • Buying Leads (Caveat Emptor). Be suspicious of lead generation companies, because there are many disreputable companies that will sell a single lead to five or six different law firms.

Partnering with a law firm.

Many of the leading mass tort law firms will accept referrals in a co-counsel agreement. In this arrangement, a lawyer agrees to accept a fraction of the recovery in exchange for the other firm prosecuting the case.

A better approach is to create a co-counsel consortium, akin to entering a partnership where two firms agree to represent a client. It can be argued that no referral occurred and the word “referral” never appears in the agreement. Both firms are equally responsible and the originating attorney can claim a larger percentage. The client is getting more lawyers on his team — a dream team — but is not paying any additional legal fee.

Beware of common legal risks in drug or medical device cases.

  • The Mensing Factor. The Supreme Court decided Pliva, Inc. v. Mensing in 2011, holding that failure-to-warn claims brought against manufacturers of generic medications under state law are pre-empted by federal law.
  • PMA Preemption Potential. Makers of Class III Medical Devices that undertake the FDA’s stringent premarket approval process can be exempt from certain product liability claims. See Riegel v. Medtronic, decided by the US Supreme Court, 128 S.Ct. 999 (2008).
  • Statute of Repose Issues.

Evaluating your firm.

Evaluating the resources of your firm is good place to start, before delving into other considerations necessary to develop your firm’s road map to mass tort success. See which Navy ship matches your firm:

Is your firm a super carrier?

A Super Carrier is a well-established firm with a large number of lawyers and support staff and extensive in-house logistical capabilities. It has the financial reserves needed to take on all necessary tasks of mass tort litigation, without the need for outside funding or outsourcing of services.

Is your firm a destroyer?

A Destroyer is a well-armed firm loaded with weapons (human resources and an abundance of cash.) These firms move fast to develop and deploy an attack plan, for any given mass tort case. A Destroyer may still need to seek outside funding or outsource certain services, if it wishes to take on a large number of clients in a mass tort case.

Is your firm a patrol ship?

Being a Patrol Ship has more to do with strategy than any other factor. Some firms take a conservative approach to mass torts. They stay on constant patrol and only make a move when a mass tort case arises and reaches a point that allows taking clients for the case, within the risk tolerance limits of the firm.

Are you one person in a row boat?

If you are a solo practitioner, with little to no staff and want to enter the mass tort space, you can, but your approach has to be realistic and you must have a relevant starting point.  Many solo practitioners sit on the sidelines, believing that they are not ready for the leap into mass torts. Others jump in and reap the benefits of participation.  If your practice has a docket of general PI cases or other assets, in most situations, you can obtain the funding to make the leap. The proceeds from your limited entry into mass torts can be used to finance future expansion of both your PI practice and additional mass tort cases.

rr atlanta

Considerations for PI Firms Moving Into Mass Torts

Considerations for PI Firms Moving Into Mass TortsIs your law firm considering moving into mass torts? If so, I would first recommend you attend the upcoming Mass Torts Made Perfect conference in Las Vegas on April 26-28 at the Wynn Hotel. It’s not too late to register and I hope to see you there — I’ll be making a presentation on Wednesday, April 26 at 2 p.m. on the Top 10 Tools to Train Your Intake Team and Double Your Lead Conversion Rate.

Some time ago, Larry Bodine, former editor and publisher of The National Trial Lawyers and current senior legal marketing strategist at LawLytics, contributed this write-up for The Rainmaker Blog on how personal injury attorneys should approach launching a mass torts practice. It’s still good reading, so I’m reprinting it here today:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The best strategy is to find a mass torts case with strong liability, many plaintiffs, a financially viable defendant, high settlement values and a reasonable cost to acquire a client. Here are five tips:

Timing.

There are several optimal moments to seek mass tort clients:

  • In the emerging phase, when many attorneys are advertising about a particular mass tort. Most patients do not connect their prescription with an adverse event. The highest consumer awareness exists when advertising is at its peak. Currently this includes IVC Filters, Bair Hugger blankets, Invokana, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Transvaginal Mesh, Morcellator, talcum powder, Zofran and Metal-on-metal hips, according to Steve Nober, CEO of the Consumer Attorney Marketing Group.
  • In the MDL phase. When the federal courts create a multi-district litigation docket (MDL) for the mass tort. There are 300 federal MDLs, which organize hundreds of cases and promote settlements with trials of bellwether cases. Courts will create a form complaint and plaintiff’s fact sheet. The MDL plaintiffs committee works on all the scheduling, motions and trials.
  • In the settlement phase, when the defendant announces to its stockholders that it has set aside a settlement fund. At this point, attorneys are signing clients to settle their cases.

Marketing.

The goal of any form or marketing must be to educate clients about the side effects of the product they used. Lawyers should use clear, concise language that the general public will understand. Your marketing should be about the client — not about the firm. Don’t’ forget to state that clients do not pay legal fees unless you win the case.

Marketing tactics that work include:

  • Pay for Performance Advertising. The attorney pays for a call and is not buying leads. The charge depends on how long the phone call lasts.
  • Strong Organic Web Presence. More people are filling out forms on lawyer websites, and the firm should have trained intake personnel to contact the person within minutes.
  • Standard Television Advertising. Bear in mind that a consumer will watch an ad 12 times before acting. TV ads will create the lexicon that people use to search for lawyers online. Smart lawyers will incorporate the exact wording of TV ads into their website.
  • Buying Leads (Caveat Emptor). Be suspicious of lead generation companies, because there are many disreputable companies that will sell a single lead to five or six different law firms.

Partnering with a law firm.

Many of the leading mass tort law firms will accept referrals in a co-counsel agreement. In this arrangement, a lawyer agrees to accept a fraction of the recovery in exchange for the other firm prosecuting the case.

A better approach is to create a co-counsel consortium, akin to entering a partnership where two firms agree to represent a client. It can be argued that no referral occurred and the word “referral” never appears in the agreement. Both firms are equally responsible and the originating attorney can claim a larger percentage. The client is getting more lawyers on his team — a dream team — but is not paying any additional legal fee.

Beware of common legal risks in drug or medical device cases.

  • The Mensing Factor. The Supreme Court decided Pliva, Inc. v. Mensing in 2011, holding that failure-to-warn claims brought against manufacturers of generic medications under state law are pre-empted by federal law.
  • PMA Preemption Potential. Makers of Class III Medical Devices that undertake the FDA’s stringent premarket approval process can be exempt from certain product liability claims. See Riegel v. Medtronic, decided by the US Supreme Court, 128 S.Ct. 999 (2008).
  • Statute of Repose Issues.

Evaluating your firm.

Evaluating the resources of your firm is good place to start, before delving into other considerations necessary to develop your firm’s road map to mass tort success. See which Navy ship matches your firm:

Is your firm a super carrier?

A Super Carrier is a well-established firm with a large number of lawyers and support staff and extensive in-house logistical capabilities. It has the financial reserves needed to take on all necessary tasks of mass tort litigation, without the need for outside funding or outsourcing of services.

Is your firm a destroyer?

A Destroyer is a well-armed firm loaded with weapons (human resources and an abundance of cash.) These firms move fast to develop and deploy an attack plan, for any given mass tort case. A Destroyer may still need to seek outside funding or outsource certain services, if it wishes to take on a large number of clients in a mass tort case.

Is your firm a patrol ship?

Being a Patrol Ship has more to do with strategy than any other factor. Some firms take a conservative approach to mass torts. They stay on constant patrol and only make a move when a mass tort case arises and reaches a point that allows taking clients for the case, within the risk tolerance limits of the firm.

Are you one person in a row boat?

If you are a solo practitioner, with little to no staff and want to enter the mass tort space, you can, but your approach has to be realistic and you must have a relevant starting point.  Many solo practitioners sit on the sidelines, believing that they are not ready for the leap into mass torts. Others jump in and reap the benefits of participation.  If your practice has a docket of general PI cases or other assets, in most situations, you can obtain the funding to make the leap. The proceeds from your limited entry into mass torts can be used to finance future expansion of both your PI practice and additional mass tort cases.

rr atlanta