October 19 roundup

  • SueEasy.com is new website that will take in complaints from potential plaintiffs and relay them (OK, sell them, actually) to lawyers [TechCrunch]
  • 6-year-old girl in Park Slope, Brooklyn, faces $300 fine for drawing pictures with sidewalk chalk [Brooklyn Paper]
  • 30-year-old presents at ER with chest pain. Better order up the works, right? [Shadowfax first and second posts; more on emergency rooms/care here, here, here, etc.]
  • More on donor bundling, lawyers and candidate John Edwards [WSJ sub-only, yesterday; Edwards-critical site]
  • Monsanto, criticized for aggressive lawsuit campaign against farmers over its patented seeds, loses a patent case against four seed companies [BLT; Liptak/NYT 2003; critics of company]
  • A corpse is a corpse, of course, of course/And no one can sue for a corpse, of course: more on that class action that keeps going with dead guy as named client [Madison County Record; earlier]
  • While mom is taking bath in motel room her two young daughters somehow manage to change the channel to pr0n; jury awards mom $85,000 [L.A. Times]
  • Another case history in how you can buy yourself a world of trouble when you try to fire your contingent-fee lawyer [Texas Lawyer (Law Offices of Windle Turley v. Robert L. French et al.)]
  • Hey, you’re pretty good yourself [Marty Schwimmer, Trademark Blog]; just one link can give such a thrill [Cal Blog of Appeal]
  • Tuck it in and turn out the light? Court won’t reopen Pooh heirs’ long-running suit against Disney [Reuters/NYT; earlier]
  • Texas couple ordered to pay $57,000 for campaign ads criticizing judge [eight years ago on Overlawyered]


  • Re the $85,000 awarded for viewing adult movies.

    How in the world could this matter result in $65,000 in medical and legal damages in a little over a year?

  • Gotta love this quote from the fired-the-contingent-fee-lawyer case:

    “It would be a terrible public policy if when anybody filed a lawsuit, the other party … can turn around and sue for the distress the lawsuit has caused,” Turley says. After all, suits always cause distress, he says.


    So if this is a correct quote, it seems to imply that owning private property with graffiti on it the crime. It does not imply that (in this case) there is any crime in applying graffiti to a public space.

  • Actually, it would be great if someone could set up something like SueEasy.com for something other than personal injury and class action. For those types of cases, it’s already easy for clients to find a lawyer and vice versa.

    But there are a lot of people who need economical or contingent-fee representation in cases not normally associated with such fees. I think small business disputes and intellectual property (think small business whose trademark is infringed by a small business across town, e.g.) are two areas where people with valid claims are often priced out of the market. (Even though attorney fee statutes may apply.) Something that linked those people with lawyers willing to take on the engagement with an unconventional fee arrangement might really be worthwhile.

  • Regarding the hotel-channel-changing issue…

    Admittdly, I dislike the lawsuit method of social control, but since it gets used so often (and almost always to societal detriment), I might as well enjoy it when it gets used to an end I like (for a change).

    That is to say, if the method is going to be used (and IT IS, unfortuntately), it might as well be used to get something good rather than something bad.

    But still… $85K? Well, at least it isn’t any bigger…

  • […] Even after discounting anti-corporate rhetoric, there does seem to be a story here about aggressive seed patent litigation tactics used by agri-giant Monsanto, a firm known to our readers [Barlett & Steele, Vanity Fair; earlier] […]

  • […] earlier entry in the legal-matchmaking field, SueEasy.com, has come in for a fair bit of criticism in and out of the profession (”hairball generator“, […]