Friday morning docket: Boo!

As you stock up on candy are prepare to dress your little ghouls for tricks or treats tonight, here’s a look at the legal news:

W’s preemption priorities: Just days before the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a highly-anticipated case on FDA- preemption of state court actions, a congressional report shows that scientists and career staffers at the agency objected to the preemption policies implemented under President George W. Bush. More here from Lawyers USA.

What timing: But a former FDA chief counsel is criticizing the timing of the report, saying it was purposely released now “to sway the Court in Wyeth v. Levine.” On Monday the Court hears oral arguments in the Wyeth case.  More here from The American Lawyer.

Oh, #@&%! On Tuesday, will the language during oral arguments at the Court include enough swear words to make a middle-schooler giggle? And will those words be included in a audio recording made available to the media? The Chief Justice will decide. More here from SCOTUSBlog.

What a concept: In a decision that could reshape the way banks and high-tech firms protect their intellectual property, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that a man’s business concept was too vague for patent protection. More here from AP via The New York Times.

Last one out, turn off the regulations: The White House is working on a host of deregulation plans before President Bush leaves office. The rules weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, and would be hard for his predecessor to undo. More here from The Washington Post.

Painful tendon-cies: So far, more than 40 suits have been filed nationwide against Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, blaming their popular antibiotic Levaquin for tendon ruptures. The suits are the first of what plaintiffs’ lawyers in court documents say could be between 200 to 500 tendon rupture cases. More here from Lawyers USA.


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