January 15 roundup

  • Client’s suit against Houston tort lawyer George Fleming alleges that cost of echocardiograms done on other prospective clients was deducted as expenses from her fen-phen settlement [Texas Lawyer]
  • Preparing to administer bar exam, New York Board of Law Examiners isn’t taking any chances, will require hopefuls to sign liability waivers [ABA Journal]
  • Thanks to Steven Erickson for guestblogging last week, check out his blogging elsewhere [Crime & Consequences, e.g.]
  • “Freedom of speech” regarded as Yankee concept at Canadian tribunal? [Steyn @ NRO Corner; reactions]
  • Court rules Dan Rather suit against CBS can go to discovery [NYMag; earlier here, here]
  • Served seventeen years in prison on conviction for murdering his parents, till doubts on his guilt grew too loud to ignore [Martin Tankleff case]
  • Orin Kerr and commenters discuss Gomez v. Pueblo County, the recent case where inmate sued jail for (among other things) making it too easy for him to escape [Volokh]
  • New at Point of Law: Cleveland’s suit against subprime lending is even worse than Baltimore’s; Massachusetts takes our advice and adopts payee notification; law firm websites often promote medical misinformation; lawyer for skier suing 8-year-old boy wants court to stop family from talking to the press; Ted rounds up developments in Vioxx litigation once and then again; guess where you’ll find a handsome statue of Adam Smith; and much more;
  • Good news for “resourceful cuckolds” as courts let stand $750,000 alienation of affection award to wronged Mississippi husband [The Line Is Here; ABCNews.com]
  • Kimball County, Nebraska cops don’t know whether that $69,040 in cash they seized from a car is going to be traceable to drug traffickers, but plan to keep it in any case [Omaha World-Herald via The Line Is Here]
  • Hunter falls out of tree, and Geoffrey Fieger finds someone for him to sue [seven years ago on Overlawyered]


  • Regarding the cash seizure: that is the law of the land. Basically, if you have cash over a certain amount, the government assumes it is for an illicit purpose and takes it. How this withstands the slightest scrutiny from the courts is beyond me, save that the courts are simply corrupt.

  • These seizures of “suspected drug money” I find completely offensive. Often, the public reason given for keeping someone’s cash is the discovery trace amounts of drug residue on the bills. Not mentioning that testing would reveal trace amounts of drug residue on about 1/2 of all U.S. currency in circulation.

    Several years ago, at a press conference touting the technology the enabled the “drug testing” of cash, a random $20 bill from the local county attorney’s pocket tested positive on live TV. Oddly, neither the County Attorney, nor the Sherriff (standing next to him) found this to be a problem.

  • “Often, the public reason given for keeping someone’s cash is the discovery trace amounts of drug residue on the bills.”

    This is completely unrequired. If you have over X in cash on your person, and you don’t have a very specific reason (armored vehicle for banks, basically), the government can simply confiscate it, no matter what your claimed intentions. No reason on the government’s part is required.

    You thn have the privilege of attempting to prove to the government’s satisfaction that you had that money for legitimate purpose. Good luck with that.