January 23 roundup

  • Trial lawyers look for Democrats to punish. [Point of Law; Investors’ Business Daily]
  • Point of Law Vioxx trial updates: California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • Men seeking laws freeing them from child support when DNA proves they’re not the father. Earlier: May 10 and Feb. 3, 2004. [Time]
  • Latest creative defense to a murder charge: Asperger’s syndrome. [Boston Globe]
  • A complicated medmal case is trumped by the sympathy factor [Cortlandt Forum via Kevin MD]
  • Cost of EMTALA (Sep. 2, 2005) in LA County alone: $1.6 billion. LA Times doesn’t mention the law by name or consider the obvious conclusion. [LA Times]
  • Why the painfully obvious explanations on painfully obvious objects? [comments at Obscure Store; New York Sun; new Mike Judge movie Idiocracy]
  • Lessig: stop me before I regulate again! [Hit & Run]
  • Right-wingers take on Dinesh D’Souza [roundup of links at Postrel]
  • The meaningless and counterproductive Democratic House bill on student loans. [Novak @ WaPo]
  • Do big law firms really care about attrition? One theory. [Ivey Files]
  • My girlfriend thinks I spend too much time arguing with idiots. Relatedly, Eugene Volokh responds to Anisa Abd el Fattah about the First Amendment and Jews. [Volokh]


  • Bless your heart, Mr. Frank, but your girlfriend is right. You are spending too much time arguing with idiots, and not enough time researching your subjects. The EMTALA wrap-up above is just incorrect: the law is not only mentioned, but spelled out (page 2, para 2), and the article goes on not only to explore the consequences of the law, but relate one solution that is actually working. The Lessig summary gives Radko’s take on the article, but misses that the bulk of the comments disagree with HIS summary; the article itself does not agree with the two cherry-picked paragraphs presented.

    Readers of Overlawyered, or the linked-to blogs, are not usually members of the plaintiff’s right’s crowd. We don’t need to be pounded with distortions and rhetoric to bring us around to your side; believe me, you’re singing to the choir! But we’re (I’m) relying on Overlawyered to bring us a reasoned wrap-up, and summaries of events which we can use to poke at our less enlightened friends, as we scramble around in the real world trying not to get sued ourselves, trying not to end up as subjects in your blog.

    It’s your blog, and I can’t imagine stopping reading it, for reasons other than time crunch. But you’re hurting credibility when you let your intent get in the way of your facts or commentary. It’s not like we don’t have enough craziness out here, just dealing with the legal insanity that already exists.


  • Thanks for the comment and correction, Glenn.

    The roundup blog posts are assembled over several days (or weeks, even), as I bookmark webpages I want to follow up on. If the bookmark queue gets too large or too old, I empty it into a roundup post. I misremembered the LA Times article when summarizing it. I regret the error, though continue to note that the article doesn’t consider whether EMTALA was a mistake to begin with. The article’s proposed solution is to take the people who abuse EMTALA the most, and reward them with elaborately personalized care from a “health coach.” That’s only going to make the problem worse.

    I don’t find Balko’s analysis problematic. You’re free to disagree with it. I freely admit that I usually ignore comments sections in all but a handful of blogs, and I did so in Balko’s post. But reviewing it now, I don’t see anything in those comments that makes me regret having linked to the Balko post.

  • Regarding the ER: well, since LA specifically won’t comply with fderal law (regarding illegal immigrants), let them bear the cost of it (treating many more illegal immigrants, usually in the ER). Pretty simple, really.

  • On reflection, I don’t think there is much wrong with Balko’s analysis myself. It’s the snarky “Stop me, before I regulate again” comment on Mr. Lessig’s rather serious analysis of the telco problem. [It did get me to read the article, though.]

    My deeper aggravation is the issue, not anyone’s summary of it: You and Mr. Lessig largely agree that free market alternatives will lead to better results on than regulation. It’s a nice theory. The reality here on the ground, in rural northwest florida, is that AT&T+SBC+BellSouth is buying up and driving out all competition, using existing regulation. We can wait for free market theory, but we’ll be thousands of dollars poorer … we need the regulation in-place to be made fair, now.

    Paying obnoxious amounts for passable internet, from the only provider,