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Product Liability Law Relevant to Plaintiffs in Missouri: Secondary Sources

Avanced Legal Research, Fall 2017

Treatises

American Law of Products Liability 3d

  • This is by far one of the most useful treatises an attorney who is practicing product liability could have. It provides the full scope of products liability law, including substantive, procedural, statutory, and case law. It also includes practice commentary, forms, checklists, jury instructions, pattern discovery materials, and sample pleadings. It even contains a practice aid component and has helpful resources for particular products. It provides a fantastic overview of everything someone needs to know about product liability law. It is also updated every so often, and the most recent update is August 2017. It does not provide extremely current information, but it is updated.
  • Unfortunately, this is a very expensive treatise to buy on its own through Thomson Reuters (and you will not get the updates sent to you if you purchase the physical copy of the treatise). However, you can purchase a Westlaw subscription and access it that way, and it might be more practical to do that if you plan on using it often and want the updates.
  • Although it is expensive, I would purchase this treatise and consult it often if I were new to product liability law because it provides such a great overview and explains a lot of concepts. If I were more experienced, it may not be as useful because it does not provide extremely current information (it is a few months old currently) and also includes the practice forms, which the attorney may not need and adds to the expense.
  • Click here to access online if you already have a Westlaw subscription that covers this treatise.

American Jurisprudence 2d, Volumes 63, 63A, 63B: Products Liability

  • Another great treatise is American Jurisprudence 2d. This treatise covers many areas of law, not just products liability. However, it does cover product liability law fairly in depth in Volumes 63, 63A, and 63B. However, it is a bit more broad than the American Law of Products Liability 3d Treatise and does not have the practice commentary, forms, checklists, jury instructions, or anything like that. It focuses mostly on the primary law itself (both state and federal level cases included). It is updated quarterly and was last updated in November of 2017.
  • Again, unfortunately, this is not a free resource. You can buy the book individually from Thomson Reuters, but it is rather expensive and you will not receive the updates. There is an online version on Westlaw and on LexisNexis you can access through a Westlaw or LexisNexis subscription. You will be able to access the updated information that way, and this might be more practical if you plan on using it often.
  • Compared to the American Law of Products Liability treatise, if I were new to the law of products liability, I would not consult this treatise as often because it does not provide those aids to help in practice for attorneys and the American Law of Products Liability covers a lot of similar information covered in this treatise. However, if I was a bit more experienced, I may use this treatise instead of the American Law of Products Liability because I would likely not need the materials that help in practice (like checklists). There is an American Jurisprudence Legal Forms, but it does not provide nearly as much information as the American Law of Products Liability.
  • Click here to access on Westlaw if you already have a subscription that covers this treatise. I prefer the navigability of Westlaw a little more because it keeps the table of contents on the left of the screen and you can click through that way, instead of having to go back every time you want to go to a different part of the Products Liability Volumes.
  • Alternatively, click here to access on LexisNexis if you already have a subscription that covers this treatise.

Practice Aids & Law Journals

Practice Aids

American Law of Products Liability 3d

  • See the "Treatises" section for a description of the practice aid components the American Products of Liability 3d offers.

Missouri Practice Series - Personal Injury and Torts Handbook

  • Chapter 38 is the one for product liability (but there are other chapters you can utilize when you research product liability law), and I would argue this is a necessary source for practicing in Missouri. It is written by expert judges and practitioners focusing on the practice of law in Missouri and is a great source for finding primary Missouri law on product liability issues. The treatises described provide a great overview, but none of them focus on Missouri. It provides a lot of great information, like the elements of the action for a product liability claim, recognized defenses, pleading requirements, evidence, damages that can be sued for, and much more. It also provides a form for filing for damages for asbestos exposure.
  • The information is rather current; it was most recently updated in August of 2017. It is also very navigable and easy to use and search to find exactly what you are looking for.
  • Unfortunately, it is only available through Westlaw. If you are going to practice product liability law in Missouri, the Missouri Practice Series is worth the money because it contains a lot of great Missouri-specific primary authority and will save you a lot of time in your research.
  • If you already have a Westlaw subscription that covers the Missouri Practice Series, click here to access Chapter 38 of the Missouri Practice Series.

Mo Bar CLE - Missouri Tort Law

  • Chapter 15 is the Products Liability chapter. Similar to the Missouri Practice Series, it provides a great overview of Missouri-specific product liability law and provides a vast amount of primary resources. It includes topics such as elements of a claim for product liability, defenses, who can sue, who can be sued, and a lot of other useful information. It is not as user-friendly to click through as the Missouri Practice Series is, and does not provide the practice forms like the Missouri Practice Series does. I would recommend, out of the Mo Bar CLEs and the Missouri Practice Series, to stick with the Missouri Practice Series for its navigability and practice forms. I prefer the navigability of Westlaw a little more because it keeps the table of contents on the left of the screen and you can click through that way, instead of having to go back every time you want to go to a different part of the Products Liability chapter.
  • It seems to be current; coverage is from 2016 to current (4th Edition; 2016). It is not very user-friendly, and requires a bit more clicking around, but still has great information.
  • It is only available on LexisNexis. I am not entirely sure of the cost comparison between LexisNexis and Westlaw. However, if you think a Westlaw subscription is too expensive or your firm already has LexisNexis, this is a great option to find Missouri-specific law.
  • If you already have a LexisNexis subscription, click here to access the Mo Bar CLE - Missouri Tort Law.

Law Journals

Food and Drug Law Journal

  • This is a peer-reviewed journal, published quarterly (so it is rather current), that is devoted to the scholarly analysis of legislation, regulations, court decisions, and public policies affecting the development, manufacture, marketing, and use of foods, drugs, biologics, cosmetics, medical devices, and tobacco.
  • This is a great journal to look at if you are working on a case that deals with drugs, medical devices, or tobacco (or if you work at a firm that specializes in these areas).
  • It is available on Westlaw and LexisNexis, but you can also subscribe to it individually if you do not want to subscribe to either source.
  • If you already have a Westlaw subscription that covers this Food and Drug Law Journal, click here to access.
  • Alternatively, if you have a LexisNexis subscription that covers this journal, click here.
  • If you do not have a subscription to either one of these sites, but want to subscribe to the Food and Drug Law Journal, click here.

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