Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mass action

Big Oga is in today and the meeting is more ‘interactive’ (read: looong).

We love him but sometimes, life’s like getting a cake- no one really wants to discuss the kneading the flour and the whole backing process. Just get us the cake!
I am still mind rambling when Muktar mentions the TM case.
Our client, TM (Tobacco Manufacturing) is facing civil suit by a group of smokers who allege that their thirty year smoking habits guarantees some retirement bonus. It sounds like the typical American mass tort case and I am surprised that the litigants are so organised in the first place. TM wants to settle and avoid negative publicity but it seems the Smokers’ lawyers want all the daytime TV drama and press coverage.
Muktar mentions that he’s selling the idea of an arbitral panel to the Smokers’ and is scheduled to meet with their lawyer the following week.
He’s half-way done when I know I want in. Even if the case doesn’t make it to trial, it was a big opportunity to learn how to handle these mass-tort actions. I think the Nigeria’s legal system is fast developing and soon, we’ll be having proper mass tort actions, and whose back is best to ride but a multi-billion naira tobacco company? I am thinking of those Enron’s lawyers and their indecently fat juicy pay checks?
So what if our side’s reverse David-Goliath? I throw a smile coquettishly and move my chair closer to Muktar’s.

Yes, I am shameless.

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