July 27 roundup

  • Grand jury declines to indict Dr. Anna Pou in Katrina hospital deaths, despite heavy breathing from Louisiana AG Charles Foti and TV’s Nancy Grace [Times-Picayune, more; 2005 CNN transcript; Health Care Blog, GruntDoc, Vatul.net]

  • Protection from lawsuits for “John Doe” security informants is back in anti-terror legislation moving through Congress, despite back-door effort to eliminate it earlier [Fox News, Malkin; earlier] Addendum: but it’s in altered, much-weakened form, says commenter Bob Smith;

  • U.K.: Top law firm Freshfields earns millions advising clients on employment compliance, yet “omitted to check that changes to its own pension scheme were legal” [Times Online]

  • Thinking of doing some guestblogging, for us or another site? Some good advice here [Darren Rowse via Kevin O’Keefe]

  • Even Conrad Black can have trouble affording lawyers, at least with feds freezing his accounts [PoL on Steyn]

  • Shouldn’t have let us become parents again: Florida jury awards $21 million in “wrongful birth” case [Fox News]

  • Possibility of gigantic reparations claims adds intensity to big lobbying fight in Washington over whether Turkey’s slaughter of Armenians in 1915 amounted to genocide [Crowley, New Republic]

  • Updating colorful coverage case (Jun. 22, 2005): dentist wins $750K verdict on insurer’s duty to defend him for taking gag photos of sedated employee with boar tusks in mouth [Seattle Times, more; dissent in PDF; Althouse]

  • Giuliani might use federalism to defuse culture wars [Brownstein, L.A. Times; disclaimer]

  • Virginia’s enactment of harsh traffic fines (Jul. 6) follows tryouts of the idea in Michigan and New Jersey, where effects included rise in unlicensed driving [Washington Post]


  • I wouldn’t be happy the “John Doe” amendment was reinstated. The reinstatement is a smokescreen, its language was changed. A new requirement was added: the informant’s basis for making their claim must be “objectively reasonable”. That is a loophole any competent plaintiff’s attorney can drive an army division through.

  • Virginia ought to put a windfall profits tax on all lawyers specializing in traffic offenses. Do you think it to be a coincidence that the main sponsor of the bill is Dave Albo, who is (imagine the odds) a lawyer who specializes in traffic offenses.

    The online petition to repeal this travesty has over 163,000 signatures – http://new.petitiononline.com/va3202/petition.html

  • I drive I-81 between Christiansburg and Roanoke several times a week. What has happened is that Virginians have slowed down to avoid the fees, and out of state drivers haven’t. As a result there are now what I refer to as rolling traffic jams. I-81 is already extremely busy, and now add the congestion created by slower drivers who no longer match traffic flow, and there is a major accident waiting to happen.

    The first day after the law went into effect, in the 28 miles I drive, there were 5 State Troopers out there, all had cars pulled over, all were Virginia Drivers.