Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo’

Police and community roundup

  • Oh, no: “Ferguson to Increase Police Ticketing to Close City’s Budget Gap,” because three arrest warrants per household is still too low [Bloomberg News via Zach Weissmuller (& thanks for quote), earlier]
  • In years 2011/12 alone, one Buffalo officer “killed as many dogs in the line of duty as the entire NYPD.” [WGRZ]
  • “He believed the poor had the right to buy and sell.” Tunisia yes, Staten Island too? [David Boaz, USA Today]
  • “The language of protest: Race, rioting, and the memory of Ferguson” [Abigail Perkiss, NCC/Yahoo, mentions me]
  • “Red light cameras to go dark in New Jersey” [Josh Kaib, Watchdog Wire] “Public opinion swings hard against traffic cameras” [AutoBlog]
  • On interpreting statistics on race and policing, point counter-point [Scott Alexander, Ezra Klein, Alexander] Reminder: increasing ranks of black officers does not necessarily lead to fewer shootings of black civilians [Jamelle Bouie, Slate]
  • “Sex, Spice, and Small-Town Texas Justice: The Purple Zone Raid” [ video]

Buffalo Bills to pay nominal $3 million for sending text messages

“The Buffalo Bills have agreed to pay up to $3 million – largely in the form of debit cards redeemable only at the team store – to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the team of sending too many alerts to fans who signed up for a text-messaging service.” Plaintiff Jerry Wojcik contended “that the team violated the terms of its text service by sending him 13 messages over two weeks when it promised to send no more than five per week. … He claimed in his suit that the extra texts violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and he sought statutory damages of $500 per excessive message for negligent violations and up to $1,500 per message for willful violations.” His lawyers will pocket $562,500. [Buffalo News]

Labor and employment roundup

  • Labor Department wants to shut down consignors-as-volunteers consignment-sale business plan [Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Sean Higgins/Examiner]
  • Operating Engineers Local 17: “Legality of union violence at heart of court case” [Buffalo News]
  • Alternative to “Ban the Box”: revisit extent to which old convictions stay on the books [Eli Lehrer; Baltimore Sun on municipal proposal]
  • Human capital investment by women has narrowed gender pay gap, desire for time flexibility crucial in explaining what remains [Tyler Cowen on Claudia Goldin paper]
  • Carl Horowitz on UAW push to organize VW in Chattanooga [Capital Research Center]
  • Seyfarth Shaw’s 10th annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report [Seyfarth, Daniel Fisher]
  • Sixth Circuit: transfer can count as adverse action even when employee had previously requested it [Jon Hyman]

At Canisius College October 30

I’m honored to announce that I’ll be giving a talk in the Frank G. Raichle Lecture Series, part of the pre-law program at Canisius College in western New York. Details here in a press release from the college. Previous speakers in this lecture series include an extraordinary list of legal notables including Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justices O’Connor, Scalia, Ginsburg, and White, among many others such as Alex Kozinski, Harry Edwards, John Langbein, and Randall Kennedy.

Earlier on the same day (October 30) I’ll be addressing the Buffalo Lawyers’ Chapter of the Federalist Society.

January 16 roundup

  • Woman embroiled in neighbor dispute claims disability bias based on depression, but now faces $107,000 award of legal fees [Buffalo News]
  • B.C., Canada: “Law Firm Unsuccessfully Seeks Fees From Their Own Insurer’s Negligence Payout” [Erik Magraken]
  • “Worst case a client has ever asked you to take” meme reaches ABA Journal [earlier]
  • Hans Bader on re-election of “legally insane” Chicago judge [CEI “Open Market”, earlier]
  • Far-fetched theories of constitutional tax immunity claim more victims, this time in Canada [National Post]
  • Law geek alert: Prof. Green will be blogging key federal courts decision Erie RR v. Tompkins (1938) daily through the month [Prawfs]
  • Appreciations of the late political economist James Buchanan [David Boaz, Alex Tabarrok, Tyler Cowen and more, Arnold Kling, Radley Balko]

Buffalo lawmakers irate at law firm ad set in council chambers

“What’s next? A dog food commercial?” fumed Council President David A. Franczyk, who says, as do colleagues, that they were never informed that a prominent local injury-law practice was filming a TV ad in its historic chambers [Buffalo News via WSJ]. The firm of Cellino & Barnes, which we’ve met previously on this site, says it has no plans to discontinue showing the ad despite the lawmakers’ displeasure.

Who’s linking to us this week?

If you’re reading our blog, you might be interested in some of the blogs that link to us, which include the ones in our sidebar to the right, Judgepedia, Right Thinking, Adam Smith Institute, Patterico, The Objective Eye, Locomotive Breath 1901, Lumpen, Rougblog, New Age, A Brief History, Tai-Chi Policy, Moorewatch, DBKP, Jane Genova, BuffaloG, Not Frequently Updated, Not PC, Nobrainer, and Walker.

Congress: let’s sue OPEC

This wretched proposal to pursue sensitive foreign policy goals by way of treble-damage antitrust suits against sovereign nations is met by a hail of dead cats from Below the Beltway, Gateway Pundit, Liberty Reborn, Buffalog, Coalition of the Swilling, Sense of Events, Q and O, Coyote, Politics in the Zeros, Socrates’ Academy, It’s a Funny Thing, Bronze Blog, Discerning Texan, Blog About Nothing, It Looks Obvious, NoBrainer’s, Wheeling Intelligencer, and Collideoscope, among others. Earlier here.

And yet more: Perry de Havilland, Samizdata (“a derangement of legislators”)(via ASI).

“Innovative” city suits against foreclosing lenders

City governments, sometimes in league with private counsel working on contingency fee, “have started suing banks and mortgage companies to recoup their costs” on such services as “fire departments, police, code enforcement or even demolition” in blighted neighborhoods. “The lawsuits were filed in recent months under different theories, in state and federal court. Cleveland and Buffalo filed suits under public nuisance laws. Minneapolis’ suit was brought on consumer fraud grounds, while Baltimore took the unusual approach of filing suit in federal court under alleged Fair Housing Act violations.” Bank of New York says it was included in Buffalo’s suit against 39 lenders even though it neither originated nor purchased loans, but merely acted as trustee. (Julie Kay, “Empty Homes Spur Cities’ Suits”, National Law Journal, May 9).

Inside one TV-ad law firm

William K. Mattar, 43, of Buffalo “has built a substantial auto-injury practice through the estimated $2 million he spends each year on ads produced by CJ Advertising in Nashville, Tenn.” Now three lawyers who worked for Mattar have quit in acrimonious circumstances, providing a look inside the firm’s workings. Joseph Bergen said Mattar had admitted never having tried a case and had never taken a client deposition in the nine years Bergen had worked with the firm. As business poured in from TV viewers, the lawyers say, Mattar stopped using his staff lawyers to screen the cases for likely merit, instead devolving that task on a call center in Tennessee. Meanwhile, the staff lawyers’ caseloads swelled to more than 200 cases apiece, along with which came “increased pressure from Mattar to settle a minimum of two to three cases a week each,” whether or not the lawyers felt the cases were in an appropriate posture to settle. The three are setting up their own personal-injury firm, and Mattar depicts them as disgruntled employees who are misleading clients in hopes of taking away business from him. (Michael Beebe, “Mattar’s 3 trial lawyers quit”, Buffalo News, Oct. 25; “Mattar says lawyers conspired to steal clients”, Nov. 1; Martha Neil, “Former PI Colleagues Now Battling in Buffalo”, ABA Journal, Nov. 1). For some reason the Buffalo-Rochester area has generated a steady stream of colorful stories about law firms with saturation TV-ad budgets, sometimes coupled with factory-line methods; see our earlier coverage of Cellino & Barnes/The Barnes Firm and the now-retired Jim (“The Hammer”) Shapiro, of “hand you their severed heads” fame, who conceded in a deposition that he had never tried a case.