May 1 roundup

  • Jack Thompson, call your office: FBI search turns up no evidence Virginia Tech killer owned or played videogames [Monsters and Critics]

  • How many zeroes was that? Bank of America threatens ABN Amro with $220 billion suit if it reneges on deal to sell Chicago’s LaSalle Bank [Times (U.K.), Consumerist]

  • Chuck Colson will be disappointed, but the rule of law wins: Supreme Court declines to intervene in Miller-Jenkins (Vermont-Virginia lesbian custody) dispute [AP; see Mar. 2 and many earlier posts]

  • Oklahoma legislature passes, but governor vetoes, comprehensive liability-reform bill [Point of Law first, second, third posts]

  • Good primer on California’s much-abused Prop 65 right-to-know toxics law [CalBizLit via Ted @ PoL]

  • “Defensive psychiatry” and the pressure to hospitalize persons who talk of suicide [Intueri]

  • Among the many other reasons not to admire RFK Jr., there’s his wind-farm hypocrisy [Mac Johnson, Energy Tribune]

  • “Screed-O-Matic” simulates nastygrams dashed off by busy Hollywood lawyer Martin Singer [Portfolio]

  • “Liability, health issues” cited as Carmel, Ind. officials plan to eject companion dogs from special-needs program, though no parents have complained [Indpls. Star; similar 1999 story from Ohio]

  • First glimmerings of Sen. John Edwards’s national ambitions [five years ago on Overlawyered]
(Edited Tues. a.m. to cut an entry which was inadvertently repeated after appearing in an earlier roundup)

One Comment

  • The sole proven method of decreasing the suicide rate is enforced, long term treatment of the disorders that cause it. A number of naturalistic experiments support that idea. Short term hospitalizaton has no impact on the suicide rate.

    The Air Force suicide program has held up well, and represents a model for corporate America. Employees and members of the military might be ordered into long term treatment to keep their jobs.

    Aggressive case management in Scandinavia reduced the rate, in the face of rapid psychiatric hospital closures. Scandinavia has fewer legal impediments than the US to care for those who need it.

    Strategies are reviewed in this article requiring a subscription.

    In the US, the FDA included a totally irresponsible black box warning about anti-depressants causing suicidal ideation in young people. The warning deterred the prescribing of anti-depressants to young people by non-psychiatrists. The increase in the suicide rate killed 100’s of excess suicide victims by decreasing the number in long term treatment of depression.

    Not likely a coincidence, but verified by a study of prescription patterns before and after the irresponsible FDA warning.

    I have called for the resignation of the members of the review committee that favored this warning, the FDA Commissioner, and the secretary, Secretary Mike Leavitt. If I made a decision at work that assassinated hundreds of innocent people each year, I would resign.

    An expert testifying that failure to hospitalize caused a suicide testifies falsely. False testimony is unprofessional conduct. All doctors have an obligation to report false testimony to licensing authorities. Unfortunately, false expert testimony has total immunity from civil liability, at the Supreme Court level. The expert cannot be sued for civil damages. Only a federal statute may reverse this decision.