Posts Tagged ‘Richard Posner’

First Amendment roundup

  • How the courts came to extend First Amendment protection to art, music, movies, and other expression not originally classed as “press” or “speech” [new Mark Tushnet, Alan Chen, and Joseph Blocher book via Ronald Collins]
  • Cato amicus: church enterprises should be eligible for recycling program on same terms as secular businesses [Ilya Shapiro and Jayme Weber]
  • “A Political Attack On Free Speech And Privacy Thwarted — For Now” [George Leef, Forbes on AFP v. Harris, earlier] Bill filed by Rep. Peter Roskam would keep IRS from collecting names of donors to nonprofits [Center for Competitive Politics]
  • Newly enacted Tennessee conscience exemption for psychological counselors and therapists avoids some of the dangers of compelled speech [Scott Shackford, Reason]
  • Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart, benchslapped by Judge Richard Posner after sending credit card companies letters urging them to cut off dealings with, now seeks Supreme Court certiorari review [Ronald Collins, earlier here, here, and here]
  • One problem with that Mississippi law: it gives extra protection to some religious beliefs about sex and marriage but not others [Popehat; my guest appearance on Mike Slater show, San Diego’s KFMB]

Bloomberg profiles Ted Frank

Ted Frank, who directs the Center for Class Action Fairness and was long a co-blogger here at Overlawyered, is the subject of this Bloomberg/BNA profile from Steven Sellers of Class Action Litigation Report. A master key to Ted’s analysis of class action settlement incentives? “The Posner and Easterbrook decisions on class actions… pervade everything I do,” he says, referring to economically informed Seventh Circuit judges Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook, both also associated with the University of Chicago law school, where Ted studied. Chicken offsets get a mention, too.

Posner upholds dismissal of online-poker suit

Under an old Illinois law, not only can persons who lose at unlawful gambling sue the winners to claw back their losses, but if they fail to act, literally any other person can sue demanding that money. Citing this law, two women sued online-poker operators seeking to recover gambling losses of men who happened to be their sons (but could as easily under the law have been strangers). A Seventh Circuit panel, Judge Posner writing, has now upheld a lower court’s dismissal of the case (an intended class action) on the grounds that the Illinois law by its terms allows suit only against the other gamblers who won the poker games in question, not the house that collected a fee for presiding. [Courthouse News, Rakebrain; opinion in Sonnenberg v. Amaya Group Holdings via John Ross, Institute for Justice “Short Circuit”]

While on the subject of Judge Posner, Harvard Magazine has a Lincoln Caplan interview with him that is worth a read.

New Richard Posner book on law schools and the judiciary

Paul Horwitz finds Richard Posner’s new book, Divergent Paths: The Academy and the Judiciary, full (inevitably) of provocative ideas and high-quality digressions. About the recommendations, Horwitz is less convinced: the book “wants to turn law schools into a device for the large-scale industrial cloning of Richard Posner himself.”

Plus: Noteworthy interview with Harvard lawprof Duncan Kennedy, of Critical Legal Studies fame [Tor Krever, Carl Lisberger and Max Utzschneider, Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left] And: “Why Are There So Few Conservative/Libertarian Law Profs, Even Though They Are More Productive Than Liberal Law Profs?” [Paul Caron/TaxProf, Jonathan Adler on James Cleith Phillips, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy/SSRN]

Schools roundup

  • “A legal challenge at Scotland’s top civil court failed earlier this year, but the No To Named Persons (NO2NP) campaign group has secured a hearing at the Supreme Court in London in March.” [Scotsman, earlier on named person scheme]
  • “The auditors found students in two schools who carried contraband salt shakers” [WSJ editorial on 4.5% drop in participation in school lunch program]
  • Teachers’ union AFT spends tens of millions a year on politics, policy, influence [RiShawn Biddle]
  • “A Short, Sad History of Zero-Tolerance School Policies” [Nick Gillespie, Reason]
  • Divergent Paths: The Academy and the Judiciary is a new Richard Posner book forthcoming from Harvard University Press [Paul Caron, TaxProf] Shouldn’t the program offerings at the Association of American Law Schools include at least as much range of diversity of thought as, for example, the panels at the Federalist Society convention? [John McGinnis, Liberty and Law] Heterodox Academy is a new website and project with its goal to “increase viewpoint diversity in the academy, with a special focus on the social sciences.” [Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz] More: Jonathan Adler on a widely noted Arthur Brooks op-ed on ideological imbalance in the academy. And don’t forget my book;
  • “Judge Tosses Concussions Lawsuit Against Illinois Prep Group” [Insurance Journal]
  • In case you were wondering, yes, law school trade associations did support that “law school’s a bargain, there’s no real economic crisis for grads” research [Outside the Law School Scam]

March 25 roundup

  • Yikes: Nevada supreme court is nearly broke because it relies on traffic ticket revenue and cops are writing fewer [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
  • Forced marriage in immigrant communities happening not just in places like English Midlands, but in U.S. as well; those who assist resistant teenage girls risk “aiding delinquent minor” charges [Washington Post]
  • “Posner informs pro se litigant that the queen of England did not absolve him of need to pay taxes” [ABA Journal]
  • Panel at Federalist Society on president’s power not to enforce the law [Randy Barnett, background on panel]
  • Inside grand jury’s investigation of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane [Philadelphia Inquirer] “Referral fees paid to wife of former Pa. Supreme Court justice questioned” [Harrisburg Patriot-News]
  • Have you or a loved one been attacked by a Zebra? [Arkansas Matters] “Louisiana Man on Trial for Murder Says He Thought the Victim Was an Alligator” [People]
  • Sneaky Oregon law will divert unclaimed class action dollars to legal aid and not incidentally boost legal fees [Sen. Betsy Johnson, East Oregonian]

Posner: “selfish deal” by class counsel resulted in “outlandish” fees

“Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has unleashed another zinger at class-action attorneys, trashing a settlement over joint-pain pills that would have paid attorneys $2 million in fees, more than double what their clients got.” [Daniel Fisher, Forbes, whose own writing gets cited; opinion in Pearson v. NBTY] From the ABA Journal:

The opinion was a victory for Ted Frank of the Center for Class Action Fairness, who objected to the settlement as a class member. He told the Am Law Litigation Daily he will be citing the case in new objections to class-action settlements. So far, he says, his group has persuaded courts to wipe out $271 million in attorney fees in the 39 cases in which the center achieved some success.

“This is the best opinion out there” on class settlement issues, Frank told the Litigation Daily. “I think it will have a dramatic effect on class action settlements negotiated.”

October 3 roundup

  • Posner smacks lawyers, vindicates objectors in Radio Shack coupon settlement [CCAF, Fisher, more]
  • “Germany To Consider Ban On Late-Night Work Emails” [Alexander Kaufman, Huffington Post]
  • 7th Circuit overturns Wisconsin John Doe ruling, sends back to state judges [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, ruling; more, Vox] John Doe case prosecutor John Chisholm, via columnist Dan Bice, strikes back against source in office who talked to Stuart Taylor, Jr. [Taylor, Althouse]
  • Trial lawyer/massive Democratic donor Steve Mostyn also dabbles in Texas Republican primaries [Robert T. Garrett, Dallas Morning News; Mostyn’s national spending from Florida and Arizona to New Hampshire and Minnesota]
  • Sad: immigration lawyer known for Iraqi Christian advocacy faces asylum fraud charges [Chicago Tribune]
  • Might have been entertaining had Bruce Braley opponent Joni Ernst in Iowa argued in favor of nullification, but that’s not what evidence shows [Ramesh Ponnuru]
  • California hobbles insurers with diverse-procurement regulations [Ian Adams, Insurance Journal]

Posner tosses “scandalous” settlement: lawyers “sold out” clients

“A federal appeals court has rejected an ‘inequitable — even scandalous’ class-action settlement, removed the lead lawyer and reinstated ‘defrocked’ lead plaintiffs who had objected to the deal.” The ruling, involving a class action against the Pella Corp., window manufacturers, is another triumph for Ted Frank, former contributor to this blog and now a prominent objector through his Center for Class Action Fairness. [ABA Journal, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (“attorneys would receive $11 million in fees while their clients would get, at most, $8.5 million — and likely much less”)]