HOME 2018-05-18T19:39:56+00:00

The Vision – Lifting Humanity And Enriching Lives

Manufacturers of technologically advanced products, including artificial intelligence and other autonomous products, envision a safer, healthier, more prosperous, more productive, and more enjoyable future for all of us accomplished through the development and use of such products.

The Impending Attacks On The Vision

The new world of products liability involving advanced products, including artificial intelligence and other autonomous products, will include many of the elements of the old world — mass case filings, adverse media publicity, government inquiries, possible recalls, enormous legal fees and expenses, and potentially grave financial consequences for the company and its personnel.

But, this new world will focus on a different landscape of legal and technical issues and on new attacks by plaintiffs’ trial lawyers.

Plaintiffs’ trial lawyers are preparing to unleash unjustified attacks on the designers and manufacturers of technologically advanced products, including autonomous products such as driverless vehicles, pilotless aircraft, robots, other products that utilize artificial intelligence, nano-medical devices, and genetically modified products. The attacks will play out in courts nationwide, and they will be focused and relentless. Companies that design or manufacture such technologically advanced products, systems, or components, must begin preparing for these attacks now. Winning the battles ahead will hinge on the legal and technical responses of in-house counsel (with guidance and assistance from outside product liability counsel) to attacks directed toward a handful of very specific design and marketing decisions made by product designers and manufacturers.

In House Counsel Objectives

In house product liability counsel are charged with the heroic task of directing the defense of and resolving matters that have the potential to financially cripple their company. They must do so within a management set budget, and they must do so in a manner designed to stem the tide of further case filings. They are looking for outside legal counsel who can provide them and their company with a sense of calm and confidence in the new product liability world, amid a litigation storm – outside legal counsel who will listen to and strive to fully understand in house counsel’s objectives and their company’s overall goals and who possess the experience and skills necessary to help them achieve those goals.


Markland Hanley Will Defend The Manufacturers’ Vision
Of The Future And Assist In-House Counsel In Meeting Their Objectives
















This Website Informs Product Manufacturers Of:

  • The types of manufacturers and products that are most likely to be unjustifiably attacked
  • The design and marketing decisions that plaintiffs’ trial lawyers will most likely attack
  • The appropriate defensive responses to such attacks
  • Markland Hanley’s ability to defend manufacturers of technologically advanced products against such attacks

The Technologically Advanced Products And The Manufacturers Of Such Products That Will Likely Be The Principal Targets Of Plaintiffs’ Trial Lawyers’ Unjustified Attacks

We use the term “autonomous products” to describe all products that are designed to take actions in response to a set of conditions without direct human initiation. Such products can include products whose actions are initiated by algorithmic coding or other programmed decision-making frameworks, by self-initiated artificial intelligence such as GPU based deep learning processes, including processes relying on observation and replication of actions, rather than on human-coded decision instructions, by processes relying on replication or simulation of human physiologic neuronal and brain activity, or by self-initiated genetic coding.

Autonomous products that will likely be attacked include:

  • “Driverless vehicles,” i.e. ground vehicles, including cars and trucks, operating with autonomous systems;
  • “Pilotless aircraft,” i.e. air vehicles, including drones and commuter hovercraft, operating with autonomous systems;
  • “Robots,” including industrial robots and consumer robots such as elderly care robots or housecleaning robots, operating with autonomous systems;
  • “Nano-medical devices,” i.e. certain miniaturized medical devices operating with autonomous systems;
  • “Artificial intelligence,” i.e. true creative thinking, non-human entities or hard artificial intelligence beings;
  • “Genetically modified products,” i.e. products whose actions in response to given conditions are dictated by genetic coding.

These are the generic types of autonomous products Plaintiffs’ trial lawyers are most likely to unjustifiably attack most often. Of course, plaintiffs’ trial lawyers will also continue their decades long attack on pharmaceutical products. The targeted defendants in these product liability cases will most likely be the designers and manufacturers of these types of autonomous products and their systems and components, including particularly the designers and manufacturers who are responsible for the design of perception system radiuses and capabilities in those products, and their decision-making controller systems.

Markland Hanley is dedicated to defending designers and manufacturers of technologically advanced products, including those types of autonomous products, systems and components listed above, and advanced pharmaceutical products. Markland Hanley lawyers are devoted to defending the vision of a better future for humanity that designers and manufacturers of these technologically advanced products are making possible.

Some of the unjustified attacks by plaintiffs’ trial lawyers against the various types of autonomous products, systems, and components, and the most appropriate legal and technical defensive approaches to these attacks under Texas product liability law will be touched upon in the pages on this website related to those product types. In general, the most significant information that our firm, Markland Hanley, as Texas product liability lawyers who defend product designers and manufacturers, can provide to the designers and manufacturers of autonomous products is this: there are a handful of design and marketing decisions that you, the designers and manufacturers of autonomous products, systems, and components have made or will make, that will likely be unjustifiably attacked by plaintiffs’ trial lawyers in courts throughout the land. These attacks will likely occur no matter how well the products are designed and marketed. Further, in order to best prepare for these unjustified attacks, now, not later, is the time to do so.

Markland Hanley is here to assist you and your company in identifying the potential unjustified attacks that will likely be made by plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and the appropriate legal and technical responses to such attacks.

Examples of unjustified attacks that will likely be launched by plaintiffs’ trial lawyers are the potential attacks that can be made on the manufacturers’ decisions regarding what sort of decision-making/ moral judgment framework is utilized on the autonomous product. One such decision-making framework is algorithmic coding. The decision to use algorithmic coding for decision-making will be unjustifiably attacked by plaintiffs’ trial lawyers who will argue that such framework relies on the moral judgments of the manufacturers’ coders, rather than on some joint decision-making framework provided by some larger group e.g. a group including government agency “safety experts,” or other bureaucrats, or members of academia. If a larger group’s view is chosen for design of the decision-making framework, the framework will also be attacked by plaintiffs’ trial lawyers alleging that decisions relying on government regulations or industry accepted standards are designs relying on “minimum standards.” Such plaintiffs’ trial lawyers will demand standards different than those set by government agencies or industry organizations, particularly standards which paid plaintiffs’ experts have created and will advocate.

Whichever algorithmic decision-making framework is utilized, plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and their paid experts will criticize it for not being all inclusive and not taking into consideration all possible hypothetical events, circumstances, and conditions in making the decisions. Whichever algorithmic decision-making framework is utilized, including the moral judgment processes, the plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and their paid experts will have criticisms of such coding and will advocate for a system that will provide what they contend would have been a better decision under the specific facts of the incident in question. It will not matter to plaintiffs’ trial lawyers or their paid experts how carefully thought out the algorithmic coding choices are. They will always advocate that a different decision should have been made based on the specific facts and circumstances of the incident in question, one that would have prevented the particular injury or injuries.

If the decision-making framework is based on artificial intelligence frameworks (e.g. deep learning GPU processes based on observation and replication), then plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and their paid experts will attack that decision-making framework, arguing that insufficient observations were provided to the artificial intelligence system and that the observational input was much more limited than actual human experience. With this sort of system in place, those plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and their paid experts will advocate that an algorithmic coding framework, rather than an observation and replication artificial intelligence framework, should have been utilized. As with the coding framework, plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and their paid experts will argue that decisions set to a different moral compass than those provided by the manufacturers’ representatives who set up the observational events would have been better. Plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and their paid experts will always argue that more and more observations should have been conducted before the system was put into use, and that, without observations being provided to the artificial intelligence system that were basically identical to those existing in the accident in question, such decision-making framework is inadequate.

If at a future date sophisticated artificial intelligence systems relying on human neuronal and brain activity replication are available, and if the controller’s decision-making framework makes basically the same types of judgments that would in theory have been made by humans in light of their physiological neuronal and brain set up, then plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and their paid experts will argue that this is a terrible framework for making decisions. They will contend that the very reason for moving away from human decision-making was to rid the system of the unsafe aspects of the human brain’s perception, decision-making, and reaction capabilities. Such plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and their paid experts will totally ignore the fact that an autonomous system based on human neuronal and brain activity replication could have the benefit of much more sophisticated perception devices and capabilities, of much quicker decision-making capabilities, and of much better reaction capabilities than a human being.

These plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and their paid experts will make unjustified attacks upon all of these decision-making systems even though the systems are superior to the present system of decision-making relying on human perception and decision-making under stressful emergency conditions.

As long as there is an accident that took place under one subset of an infinite variety of potential accident scenarios, plaintiffs’ trial lawyers and their paid experts will find criticisms and make attacks on the decision-making framework, and they will always present expert testimony and argument to the effect that the decision- making framework could have been better relative to the accident in question, and could have prevented the injuries in question with an alternate decision-making framework in place.

The same type of unjustified attacks will be made regarding all of the decisions made by the designers and manufacturers of the product, including those that are discussed in this website.


You can achieve a sense of calm and confidence in the product liablility storm if you are prepared for the new and different attacks plaintiffs' trial lawyers are likely to make on your company's products. Don't let the plaintiffs' bar get ahead of your defense.

Our attorneys are ready to visit you at your location or, if you prefer, to connect with you via video/audio VoIP conference call to discuss your company's evolving product liablity legal needs and to help you safeguard your company against the likely impending attacks on its newest innovations.