November 13 roundup

  • Ethical questions for Vioxx lawyers [WSJ law blog] And who’s going to make what? [same; more from Ted at PoL]
  • American lawyers shouldn’t get all self-congratulatory about the courage shown by their Pakistani counterparts [Giacalone; more]
  • Just another of those harmless questionnaires from school, this time about kindergartners’ at-home computer use. Or maybe there’s more to it [Nicole Black]
  • Probe of personal injury “runners” bribing Gotham hospital staff to chase business nets another conviction, this one of a lawyer who stole $148,000 from clients [NYLJ; earlier]
  • Facebook sometimes sends text messages to obsolete cellphone numbers relinquished by its users, so let’s sue it [IndyStar]
  • Series on defensive medicine at docblog White Coat Rants [first, second, third]
  • Arm broken by bully, student wins $4 million verdict against Tampa private school; bully himself not sued [St. Petersburg Times]
  • Washington, D.C. reportedly doing away with right to contest a traffic parking ticket in person [The Newspaper, on “the politics of driving”]
  • “Walking headline factory” Scruggs to be arraigned November 20 [Rossmiller]
  • More on whether government’s refusal to alter paper currency discriminates against the blind [Waldeck, ConcurOp via Bader; earlier]
  • Eric Turkewitz hosts a truly marathon Blawg Review #134 [NY Pers Inj Law Blog]


  • The article labeled as being about traffic tickets is actually about parking tickets. Perhaps the choicest line is this:

    In Boston and other cities in Massachusetts, motorists cannot challenge a $100 parking ticket in court without first paying a $275 court fee. If found innocent, the motorist does not receive a refund of the $275.

    This is one reason I don’t own a car. Combine the city’s authority to seize your car and charge outrageous “storage fees”, which dwarf downtown parking rates, for parking in a disputed area; the steep rise in traffic violations cited, generally due to computerized solutions that have proven to be quite fallible; the even steeper rise in the fines for each violation (and even if there is physical evidence that clears you, as is true with some red-light tickets, they are sometimes uncontestable, either by practice or by economic factors); the “tax” on bad drivers that was proposed in the DC area (even if it was defeated, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before it becomes the status quo)…the risk is just not worth it for me.

  • Thanks for the correction about parking/traffic. Fixed now.

  • “In Boston and other cities in Massachusetts, motorists cannot challenge a $100 parking ticket in court without first paying a $275 court fee. If found innocent, the motorist does not receive a refund of the $275.”

    I simply don’t understand how this can withstand Constitutional scrutiny: the governmnt can simply take as much money as it wants from people with cars without calling it a “tax”. That is, “Hmm, we need more money in the coffers… Hey, Officer Bob, go give parking tickets to the first 5,000 parked cars you find. No, it doesn’t matter if they are actually parked illegally or not. Ah, financial problem solved!”


  • I would’ve loved to see the jury selection questions for the bullying case.

    Honestly, my personal opinion is probably coloured by experence, but I think many schools either don’t do enough about bullying, or ‘blame the victim’ because its easier than trying to control a bully.

  • In the White Coat Rants article about defensive medicine are references to cases where procedure A was found to be malpractice and other cases where NOT A is also malpractice. Obviously plaintiffs are seeking compensation for adverse outcomes.

    Clearly the Vioxx settlement is simple extortion.

    We have judicial conferences where anti- social litigations could be addressed. A committee could be set up about Vioxx, for example, that would find, if honest, that no heart attack in itself could be proved to be due to Vioxx, and any litigation would be wrong. (The withdrawal of Vioxx was based on an insignificant factor.) The judges can and should stop most of these litigation embarrassments.

  • She said the lawsuit was about “accountability and moral justice,” not money.

    “So much of this is letting him know that there is justice,” she said. “This has been so incredibly emotionally painful for my husband and myself and for my son.”

    Of the $4-million verdict, the jury awarded $2.8-million to Danny for past and future pain and suffering. He also got $30,000 for medical expenses, Tirella said.

    Wow. Not about the money, yet neither the bully nor the bully’s parents were sued.

    What a fine lesson to teach your child. I’m sure they’ll be donating that $4 MILLION (only $30,000 of which was for medical expenses) to charity.