June 8 roundup

  • Litigation as foreign policy? Bill authorizing U.S. government to sue OPEC passes House, and is already contributing to friction with Russia [AP; Reuters; Steffy, Houston Chronicle; earlier here, here, and here]

  • Albany prosecutors charge boxing champion’s family with staging 23 car crashes, but a jury acquits [Obscure Store; Times-Union; North Country Gazette]

  • New at Point of Law: Bill Lerach may retire; Abe Lincoln’s legal practice; Philip Howard on getting weak cases thrown out; “Year of the Trial Lawyer” in Colorado; and much more;

  • Multiple partygoers bouncing on a trampoline not an “open and obvious” risk, says Ohio appeals court approving suit [Wilmington News-Journal]

  • Skadden and its allies were said to be representing Chinatown restaurant workers pro bono — then came the successful $1 million fee request, bigger than the damages themselves [NYLJ]

  • Who will cure the epidemic of public health meddling? [Sullum, Reason]

  • Turn those credit slips into gold, cont’d: lawsuits burgeon over retail receipts that print out too much data [NJLJ; earlier]

  • Lawprof Howard Wasserman has further discussion of the Josh Hancock case (Cardinals baseball player crashes while speeding, drunk and using cellphone) [Sports Law Blog; earlier]

  • “Women prisoners in a Swedish jail are demanding the ‘human right’ to wear bikinis so they can get a decent tan.” [Telegraph, U.K.]

  • Disbarred Miami lawyer Louis Robles, who prosecutors say stole at least $13 million from clients, detained as flight risk after mysterious “Ms. Wiki” informs [DBR; earlier at PoL]

  • Indiana courts reject motorist’s claim that Cingular should pay for crash because its customer was talking on cellphone while driving [three years ago on Overlawyered]


  • I think it needs to be said that I fully support the right of Swedish women, prisoners or not, to wear bikinis.

  • On the bikini lawsuit – I live in Europe and understand that countries like Sweden don’t get that many sunny days in a year. So that’s why it may seem more precious to them. Still, I am puzzled by the article when it says: “The women argued that unlike male prisoners they can not just take off their tops in the sun and are insisting on the same right to a good tan as free Swedes”
    In Sweden, like most of Europe, women can sunbathe topless anywhere, and very many do so. It’s not even controversial. I wonder if they are saying the prison has some policy against it; if so then just change that policy, and problem solved.



  • The White House opposes lawsuits against sovereign nations.

    They work to deter. For example, North Korea began to bargain in good faith, after only $25 million of its assets were seized.

    The Executive fears that a Somali local civil court may be able to seize the assets of the US government in settlement of some verdict. They oppose applying torts law to sovereign entities, however just or effective.

    This is a deep, complex question. It should not be resolved by a mere emotional reaction of politicians to high gasoline prices.

  • JR, I bet DN would support that sort of tanning even more. And what if they all jumped on a trampoline while they tanned?

    Seriously, this was a big sticking point with me when I was a kid. Not the sunbathing ladies on trampolines, but the fact that my dad wouldn’t let me jump at the same time as other people, like all the other kids were allowed to. To my 10-year-old self, it wasn’t nearly as open and obvious a risk as the social ostracization to which I was subjected. Sniffle.

  • Am I the only one that doesn’t think that an award of attorneys’ fees for a pro bono case is so horrible or outrageous. If anything, I would say that as a society we should be encouraging firms like Skadden to take on cases like the one in the article.

  • Two points: First, I think the proper thing to do would be for Skadden to donate the fees to some worthy cause – perhaps an “access to justice” type fund.

    Second, this post made me wonder about what ever happened to the famed Swedish Bikini Team from the 90’s. I sure hope they’re not all in prison… although that could make a good Cinemax film.