Mike Pietrykowski, a partner and chair of the Gordon & Rees Environmental and Toxic Tort Practice Group, was elected to be a member of the committee to review and revise the San Francisco Asbestos General Orders (SFGOs).
On October 7, 2011, the Honorable Harold E. Kahn Judge Kahn wrote a letter to all asbestos counsel advising that the San Francisco Superior Court wanted to rescind the SFGOs. However, Judge Kahn permitted the parties' counsel to submit briefs and a hearing was held regarding this topic on November 30, 2011.
Following the hearing, Judge Teri L. Jackson Judge Jackson wrote a letter to all asbestos counsel telling them the San Francisco Superior Court would refrain from rescinding the SFGOs, if counsel for plaintiffs and defendants each selected six members to a committee to discuss which SFGOs: 1) were obsolete or unnecessary in view of current law; 2) should remain in force or need to be altered to ensure efficiency and fair case management; and 3) were in dispute and why the committee failed to reach an agreement on those SFGOs. Strict timetables were set by Judge Jackson for completion of each of these tasks.
Approximately 25 defense attorneys volunteered to be members of the defense committee. After lengthy discussions amongst defense counsel, Mike was elected to be one of the six defense counsel representing defendants on this committee.
Over the course of the next several months, Mike will meet with the defense committee and non-committee members interested in this process, the plaintiffs' committee members, and Judge Jackson in an effort to comply with Judge Jackson's above-mentioned mandates and strict timetable.