Preemption Law | The American Association For Justice

Preemption Law


Although despite efforts, the current federal government has been largely unable to advance legislation enacting federal preemption in the United States Congress, some in the government remain committed to advancing preemption at the expense of the constitutional rights of all Americans to a jury trial. Increasingly, regulators have proposed and instituted measures that seek to preempt state laws and eliminate the rights of people regularly represented by AAJ members. For example, in January 2006, the Food and Drug Administration proposed to preempt all state drug product liability actions. AAJ members currently represent tens of thousands of individuals whose on-going lawsuits could be wiped out by the FDA's action. The regulators are advancing similar "regulatory preemption" measures with respect to automobiles, banking, railroad negligence, medical devices, and countless other consumer products.

In addition to the efforts to enact new preemptive statutes and regulations, old rules are being given broad preemptive effect by activist judges who were recently appointed. AAJ members are fighting these battles in automobile litigation, drug litigation, medical device litigation, and railroad litigation on a regular basis.

The Preemption Law Litigation Group is a multi-disciplinary group designed to educate and assist lawyers, legislators, and regulators on matters concerning federal preemption of historically-protected state and federal causes of action.


Formed in August 2006.

Benefits & Resources:

The Group serves educational and support roles for practitioners, and as a clearinghouse for ideas and information. The Group provides a database of motions, transcripts, orders, and protocols in an easily accessed location thus a document library is being planned. Seminars and discussions conducted are also being planned. This Litigation Group generates additional materials as may be required and strategizes collectively to defeat preemption. This Litigation Group intends to meet regularly to share information, materials, briefs, and strategy for defeating preemption, across various practice areas and to receive model briefs, motions, and materials that will help them to defeat preemption in their individual cases. It intends to liaise between the membership and AAJ officials and employees, and other organizations on preemption issues and strategy. It is planning to educate the membership and the public regarding the threat of preemption and to conduct outreach regarding the threat of preemption to plaintiff attorneys who are not AAJ members.

This Litigation Group has a list server where members exchange ideas on preemption law. In addition, the group provides members a forum within which they can share information about case analysis, experts, and trial technique.


AAJ Annual and Winter Convention and when necessary.

Open to Regular, Sustaining, Life, President's Club, and Leaders Forum members.

Janet Abaray
Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, PC
312 Walnut St., Ste. 2090
Cincinatti, OH 45202-4028
Phone: (513) 852-5600