Monday Morning Message 10.21.19 The Eyes of the Nation are on a Courtroom in Cleveland

Posted 2019-10-21 9:04am

 “Addiction is the only prison where the locks are on the inside.” - Anonymous

UPDATE: Just minutes after I sent this morning’s Monday Morning Message (below), I learned that Judge Polster’s efforts to mediate and resolve the federal opioid litigation has resulted in agreements in principle with Cuyahoga and Summit Counties and defendants Teva, Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen.

While this morning's trial will not begin as scheduled, the federal opioid MDL continues to move forward, as thousands of American communities still have claims against opioid industry defendants. This settlement pertains only to the first federal track one bellwether trial of the National Prescription Opiate Litigation (NPOL), MDL2804 (master docket number: 1:17-MD-2804), before Judge Polster in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland involving plaintiff counties, Summit and Cuyahoga of Ohio, against several opioid company defendants. 

The next Case Track is taking place in Huntington and Cabell County, West Virginia. The full MDL moves forward with more than over 2,700 other communities.


This morning the eyes of the nation are on a federal courtroom in Cleveland. Judge Dan Polster, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, a Cleveland-Marshall Adjunct Professor and a member of our Hall of Fame, is presiding over the first landmark federal opioid jury trial in the nation.

The trial begins at 9am this morning.  

The national federal opioid litigation has been described as the most complex litigation in American legal history. See Landmark Opioid Trial Begins Today

 The case is going through a federal process called “Multidistrict Litigation (MDL),” which is designed to combine hundreds of similar claims from across the country into one collective action. (National Prescription Opiate Litigation (NPOL), MDL2804 (master docket number: 1:17-MD-2804)

 Because of the major role that Judge PolsterProfessor Michael Borden, and some other alumni such as Frank Gallucci 00, are playing in the national opioid litigation, I have followed the case closely. Professor Michael Borden has been performing an essential role for the Court in analyzing the parties' submissions and drafting rulings on pre-trial motions.  

Why is this litigation so important? More than 130 Americans die each day related to the opioid epidemic. More Americans died from a drug overdose in 2017 alone than died in the entire Vietnam War.

In 2017, Ohio had the second-highest rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in the country.

The plaintiffs, Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Summit Countiesbrought this litigation against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies for their alleged role in the opioid epidemic through alleged false marketing tactics and conspiracy. This first federal opioid litigation trial and its outcome will be a litmus test or “bellwether” because it will inform the outlook for future federal trials involving the other 2,600 plaintiff counties, towns, and municipalities from across the United States and two dozen opioid company defendants.

Our graduates and faculty are involved in many of the most important issues affecting the future of our country and our world. This Friday evening, we will be celebrating some of our most distinguished graduates who are making a significant difference in people’s lives.

The eyes of the Cleveland-Marshall community are on The October 25, 2019 Hall of Fame Celebration, just 4 days away. This is the only annual fundraising event sponsored by the law school.

The October 25, 2019 Hall of Fame Celebration gives us the opportunity not only to honor our distinguished inductees, but also to raise funds for student scholarships. It is our single best opportunity to raise funds for much-needed student scholarships.

 So I am asking that you help today by contributing to (and attending if you can) our  3rd Annual C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Celebration honoring our 2019 C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Honorees this Friday, October 25, 2019, 5:30-8pm.

Please consider a contribution of any amount - $25, $50, or $75. Believe in C|M|LAW. Please Give Now. If you would like to attend the Hall of Fame event, tickets start at $120. 2019 Hall of Fame Tickets   See below for the different levels of support of the Hall of Fame Celebration.

If you have any questions about the Hall of Fame, please do not hesitate to contact me, Amy Miller ( or 216-687-2537) or Ashley Presutto ( or 216-687-2286).

Our mission is to graduate students who are not only successful professionals, but also leaders, change makers, and advocates of justice…and maybe someday, a legend in our Hall of Fame.

Please see the invitation below.


Dean Lee Fisher and the faculty and staff of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law are pleased to invite you to attend the

2019 C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Induction Celebration.

The C|M|LAW Hall of Fame was established in 2017 to honor the outstanding contributions to the success and prestige of our law school by distinguished alumni, faculty, staff, friends and community leaders.

Friday, October 25, 2019
5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Business casual, hors d'oeuvre reception
Program begins at 6:15 p.m.

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (Atrium Level)
1801 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115
Complimentary valet parking available

Full details, tickets, and sponsorship information 


This week’s Monday Moment:   Cleveland-Marshall College of Law 2018 Hall of Fame Video

Have a great day. Have a great week.

For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

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 My views in all my Monday Morning Messages are my personal views alone and do not reflect the views of our law school or our university.

My best,


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