Takeaways From McPhee V. DePuy's Preemption Pronouncement

October 29, 2013

We think most litigators would agree that doing legal research is sometimes like following Hansel and Gretel’s trail of bread crumbs. You sort of wander around in the darkness for a little while reading cases that Westlaw or Lexis thought you might be looking for — but they turn out to be dead ends.

Then you pick up a faint scent of warm bread and you start to follow it. And in that first crumb of a case you find a cite to another case that sounds even more like what you were looking for. Then from there you pick up a headnote that looks promising. And so on, and so on.

If you aren’t keen on the fairy tale analogy, there’s always that 1980s hit by the The Fixx — “One Thing Leads to Another.” Not sure they were talking about the same thing, but the title sums up the concept nicely.

And that’s just what happened when we picked up the case of McPhee v. DePuy Orthopedics Inc., (W.D. Pa. Sep. 30, 2013) (McPhee II) and it led us to an early decision in the same case — McPhee I, No. 3:11-cv-287, slip op. (W.D. Pa. Sep. 28, 2012).