January 24 roundup

  • Longtime Overlawyered favorite Judy Cates, of columnist-suing fame, is using large sums of her own money to outspend incumbent James Wexstten in hard-fought race for Illinois state judgeship; Democratic primary is Feb. 5 [Belleville News-Democrat, Southern Illinoisan]
  • City council told: we’ll cancel your liability coverage if you throw all meetings and city records open to public [Seattle Times]
  • Attorney member of Canadian Senate in spot of bother after revelation that she billed client for 30 hours in one day [Vancouver Province, edit]
  • A public wiki just for Scruggsiana? After Keker’s minions swoop in to do their edits, the Mississippi attorney may wind up portrayed as the next Mother Teresa, and not the Hitchens version either [WikiScruggs]
  • Same general category of point, my Wikipedia entry now suddenly describes me as “controversial”, when but a month ago I wasn’t;
  • $28 to $52 million in 18 months for serving as a DoJ “corporate monitor” sounds like nice work if you can get it, and former AG Ashcroft got it without competitive bidding [Lattman, St. Pete Times edit, PolitickerNJ, NJLJ]
  • The Amiable Nancy (1818), admiralty case that could prove crucial precedent in Exxon Valdez punitive appeal, has nothing to do with The Charming Betsey (1804), key precedent on international law [Anchorage Daily News; Tom Goldstein/Legal Times]
  • “First do no harm… to your attorney’s case” [Cole/Dallas Morning News via KevinMD]
  • Probers haven’t come up with evidence of more than middling tiger-taunting, and attorney Geragos says he’ll sue zoo’s p.r. firm for defaming his clients [KCBS; SF Chronicle; AP/USA Today]
  • UK’s latest “metric martyr” is Janet Devens, facing charges for selling vegetables in pounds and ounces at London’s Ridley Road market [WSJ; earlier]
  • Lawyer can maintain defamation suit over being called “ambulance chaser” interested only in “slam dunk” cases, rules Second Circuit panel [eight years ago on Overlawyered]


  • Seems silly of the Brits to harp at their own citizens about the use of metric measures when it’s all pretty superficial anyway. Canada thinks it’s all smugly metrified but at the core it ain’t so. Their 2 by 4 boards are still in inches, so to plywood, most nuts and bolts in their hardware stores, and the operations of their chemical plants as some examples I’ve seen throughout my career in engineering.
    If the Brits want really to enjoy the benefits of trade in similar units of measure they will have to give up their pounds sterling too and switch to ‘metric’ money, the euro.

  • The British pound is ‘metric’, at least it’s decimalized, with 100 pence to the pound. No more shillings to muck about with.

  • If going metric then go all the way. Convert time, too. 10 “hours” in a day (1 deciday ~ 2 hr 24 min),
    10 “minutes” in an hour (centiday ~ 14.5 min),
    10 “seconds” in a minute (1 milliday ~1.5 min),
    and for short measurements the microday (~0.9 sec.)

    Although I would expect there to be vigorous debate from those who would prefer to start with the existing second and build up to hectosecond (~1 min 40 sec),
    kilosecond (~16 min 40 sec),
    and megaseconds (~11.5 days)

  • I intend to do my utmost to be sure the information put up on http://www.wikiscruggs.com is factual. My hope for the site is that it will serve as a resource for those who wish to understand the US v. Scruggs litigation and related matters and also explore concerns about the Mississippi judicial system and legal environment.

    Steve Eugster

  • Doesn’t it defeat the whole purpose of a wiki for one person to write it and lock up the content? I thought the idea was to draw on contributions from “the crowd.” Walter may be correct that one side might swoop down and “edit” to death (although my experience elsewhere has been that this really hasn’t been happening much), but that just suggests the Wiki model might not work here. Limiting it to one contributor seems no better than shutting it down to me.