September 25 roundup

  • Picture of farmer with goose appears on greeting card, he wants $7.5 million [Roanoke Times; earlier]

  • More class actions filed over Apple iPhone [Ars Technica on roaming and battery claims, O’Grady’s PowerPage, iPhoneWorld; earlier]

  • L.A. Times quotes attorney Stephen Yagman on prison overcrowding, but forgets to mention that he was lately convicted of thirteen felonies [Patterico]

  • Bad idea watch: compulsory national service [Somin @ Volokh]

  • Doing well representing the little guy: Gerry Spence lists his Wyoming residence for sale at $35 million [WSJ/Chicago Daily Herald]

  • “Appropriate”, not “perfect”, justice needed: “We simply have to stop killing litigants with kindness,” says chief judge of Australia’s largest state [The Australian]

  • Toddler killed after wandering into heavy traffic, trucker should have been more on guard against such a thing happening [Salt Lake Tribune]

  • Pennsylvania pro se litigant sues Google, says it spells his social security number upside down [Ambrogi] More: Coyote says “Up next, the owner of Social Security number 71077345 sues Shell Oil for the same reason.”

  • Once billed as “King of Torts”, Miami asbestos lawyer faces fifteen years behind bars for stealing $13 million from clients [Sun-Sentinel]

  • Groom sues bride, saying she took the ring and presents and never got the wedding paperwork straightened out leaving them legally unmarried [ClickOnDetroit]

  • Surgical resident on the hook for $23 million in Wisconsin case; she was the only one of the docs involved not covered by damage limits [Journal Sentinel via KevinMD]


  • I’m a part-time photographer and the Farmer Goose picture looks posed. Hard to believe that someone would take a posed picture then release it as a stock photo but not bother to get a release.

  • If this National Service ideas is considered forced labor, what about the High Schools and Colleges that have a mandatory Community Service obligation for graduation? At least the National Service idea provides a paycheck.

  • Sounds like the idea of a national service might run up against the 13th amendment. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
    That part about involuntary servitude probably also precludes a military draft.

  • Jim Collins –

    Thats actually a good question. My (quasi-public) high school used to have what they called ‘service learning’… we called it ‘slave labor’. Some of the assignments where menial cleaning tasks around the school and had no purpose other than saving the school money on janitorial staff.

  • DAV: From the article:

    “The portrait was taken at the 1996 State Fair of Virginia by Washington, D.C., photographer John Burwell, who had been hired to take promotional photos for the fair.

    The lawsuit accuses Burwell and his wife of selling Marsinko’s image to Jupitermedia Corp., a stock image provider, without his permission. The image eventually wound up on a card sold by Boulder, Colo., company Leanin’ Tree Inc., according to the suit.”

    The lawsuit doesn’t sound unreasonable on its face.

  • Drew,
    Well, I’m not all that up on the law but most model releases I’ve seen seem to pretty much exclude any rights of the model to the photo. I would think this especially applies to promotional shots. Marsinko’s complaint seems to be HOW it was used rather than it WAS used. Photo releases, particularly for promotions, rarely specify restricted usage. He appears to have found a lawyer willing to argue otherwise.

  • What makes you think he signed a release?

  • The 3d Circuit has held that a high school program that required all students to complete 60 hours of community service in order to graduate did not constitute involuntary servitude or peonage. Steirer v. Bethlehem Area School District, 789 F. Supp. 1337, 1340 (E.D. Pa. 1992), aff’d, 987 F.2d 989 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 114 S. Ct. 85 (1993).

  • DAV: Again, from the article:

    “The central issue revolves around whether Marsinko signed a release allowing his photo to be used for commercial purposes. In the lawsuit, he says he didn’t.”