Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Herrmann's Farewell Post

There are not many days when I wish I were in Philadelphia.

But today's one of them. I wish I were standing in Bexis's office at Dechert this very minute. I want to see the look on his face:

Hey, Bexis: I'm outta here!

Sorry, guy.

After 20 years at Jones Day, I've been made an offer that I can't refuse: I'm resigning from Jones Day's partnership at the end of December 31 to begin work as Vice President and Chief Counsel -- Litigation at Aon Corporation, the world's largest insurance brokerage, on January 1.

I thought for a while about continuing to host the blog while working at my new position, but that seems too silly for words. Am I really going to think about lawsuits involving insurance brokers by day and then come home to read (and write about) drug and device law by night? I mean, I love this stuff, but I'm not nuts. And the rewards (such as they are) of blogging in this field would be even fewer for an in-house lawyer than they are for an outside one. (And that's slipping beneath a mighty low bar.)

My departure from this blog is instantaneous, as of the moment I hit "publish" on this post: It's all yours, Bexis.

Godspeed, my friend. It's been a blast.

(I must say that it takes a rare combination of (1) concern about the law, (2) intelligence, (3) ability to crank out articles at a ferocious pace, and (4) diligence to have kept up this endeavor for the last three-plus years. You're one of a kind, and it's been a privilege and a pleasure to have done this with you.)

Unlike my departure from the blog, my departure from drug and device law generally will not be instantaneous. Look for "The Meaning of the Parallel Requirements Exception Under Lohr and Riegel" in the next issue of the NYU Annual Survey of American Law. (I know, I know: You can hardly wait.)

And, as you know, the Oxford University Press contacted us (as a result of our blogging) to see if we'd write an academic treatise about drug and device law. You declined, because you'd already written a book on that subject, but I foolishly accepted. Look for a book about defending drug and device cases (we haven't yet settled on the title) by Mark Herrmann and David B. Alden some time in mid-2010. (I won't be competing with you to land cases any more, Bexis, but I can still do battle with you over book sales.)

I'll also be promoting this blog from the grave, so to speak. My article, "Memoirs of a Blogger," will appear in the Winter 2010 issue of the ABA Litigation Section's Litigation journal. That piece shares what little we've learned from this experiment in blogging. (Don't blame me for the miserable timing. I wrote the !!**!! thing in May 2008; the journal accepted it in June 2008; and it will see print only in January 2010. There's yet another reason to prefer blogging to the traditional print media.)

As you might imagine, I've been reflecting on a lot of things as I've made the decision to leave my professional home of the last 20 years and to move on to a new challenge in a new environment and a new area of law.

And the more I think about it, the less upset I am about lawsuits brought against drug and device companies.

But lawsuits brought against insurance brokers -- now that's an outrage!

Stay tuned.


Amy said...

Unbelievable Mark, but congrats! You will certainly be missed, particularly by this law firm consultant who likes to use you as a blogging case study...Long live Jim Beck!

Beck, et al. said...

The blog will continue. After a decent interval to allow the appropriate hosannas for Herrmann, I'll be putting up a post detailing how the more things change the more they stay the same.

John said...

Mark--we wish you the best. Thanks for your years of great work.


Tom Lamb said...


Thanks for the dedication and effort you have put forth here, and good luck with your new position.


I hope you keep this excellent blog going, with or without a collaborator.

Tom Lamb

Eric Turkewitz said...


Wishing you all the best in your new endeavor. The blogosphere will be worse with your absence.

But I think you'll be back, because I think it's in your blood.

I'm going to keep my eyes open for a new blog, possibly anonymous, regarding suits against insurance brokers. If the writing is interesting, it will probably be you.

Daniel said...

Best of luck to you. Have really enjoyed following your work and your sharp writing has inspired me to keep on my toes.

Good luck

Edward M. "Ted" McClure said...

Best of luck in your new role. Please don't be a stranger - if you spot something the legal world needs to know, please find a way to get it to us.

Edward M. "Ted" McClure
Administrative Law Prof Blog

hg said...

Best wishes to the worthiest of ideological opponents.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! The only thing that I ever held against you was that you worked at that completely unethical den of lowlives. Now that you're leaving, I like you 100%

Jeffrey A. Holmstrand said...

Congratulation on your next step. I have read and enjoyed this blog pretty much every day. I will look forward to doing so in the future. Good luck to you both.

Jeff Holmstrand

Nate Cade said...


I could always tell when you wrote and when Bexis wrote. Fortunately, the better writer survives.

Thanks for your Curmudgeonly insights.


Nate Cade

P.S. GO BLUE!!!!!

Ted Frank said...

Congratulations on the new gig and best wishes.

Lance Godard said...

Congrats, Mark, and good luck in the new role! Will miss your perspective and wit--hope you'll rethink your decision to swear off blogging in the not too distant future...