Open thread

We haven’t tried this in a while, so here goes: a thread in which you can nominate news stories, bring up ideas that don’t fit in as reactions to posts, and otherwise talk among yourselves.


  • The legal profession: What is to be done?

    Two suggestions:

    1. Eliminate the nonsensical requirement that those wishing to enter law school first obtain an undergraduate degree. This requirement exists simply to limit entry to the profession to those with the time and money to spend four years at college obtaining a degree typically unrelated to the practice of law. Of course, the same should apply to the medical profession. In other countries it is possible to go straight from high school to college to study medicine or law. The same should apply in America.

    2. Break up the law profession by permitting people to study, obtain credentials in, and practice as specialists in particular fields of law. For example, those wishing to practice real estate law would be provided with an abbreviated legal education covering only those topics relevant to real estate; family lawyers would study only family law, etc. Why pay for a high-priced education in fifty different irrelevant subjects when all you need is someone to write you a will?


    The legal profession is of course self-governing (no matter how badly) and should remain so, but if a state were to recognize by statute the existence of the new position of, say, real estate legal specialist and permit such specialists to practice, who knows what new educational and business opportunities might evolve.

  • I recently received a letter informing me that I’m part of a class of plaintiffs and that a tentative settlement has been reached. The case has something to do with Volkswagen keys, and the suit’s somewhere in CA, but the letter didn’t say anything about what VW supposedly did wrong, what injury I supposedly suffered, what relief I’m getting, and what law is driving the lawsuit. As far as I can tell, a bunch of lawyers figured out a way to extort money from VW. The notice didn’t say anything about the fee arrangement.

    The letter says that I should contact the plaintiffs’ lawyers for more information. Needless to say, I’m skeptical.

    I’m inspired by Ted’s GTA story and I’d like to object or do something to derail this nonsense. Is anyone familiar with this case and does anyone have any ideas?

  • Most likely, its this one:

    Which can be read about on this site. For my own part, I’d love to see more comments/topics on some of the outrageous practices of certain “Lemon Law” Attorneys, but I doubt most of the readers here share my somewhat esoteric interests.

    (as a disclaimer, I work for a major auto manufacturer, so I may have some bias on the subject, as well)

  • I nominate this story:,8599,1829725,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

    Beginning next month, anyone with access to the Internet should be able to log onto The new website plans to help consumers determine whether they actually have a case and help them find an attorney from a list of lawyers who advertise their expertise on the website. The attorneys will pay an annual fee of $1,000 to appear on the site, plus an additional amount of their own choosing that will determine how prominently they appear in the listings on the site. The website will vet the attorneys to make sure they are in good standing with their state bar associations.

  • We posted about the Volkswagen key class action settlement in July. Stay tuned–if I can clear my schedule, and I’m still a member of the bar of the Central District of California, I may check in with you to see if you’re serious about objecting. But please feel free to call the plaintiffs’ lawyers for more information and get their side of the story.

  • How about following the Terry Childs debacle over in SF. He’s the network admin who’s been jailed and accused of numerous crimes for doing things that his job required him to do?

  • Thanks Ted and CarLitGuy. I’ll take another look at the papers this week.

  • Erik: see new post just up on the WhoCanISue site. Thanks!

  • from post #1:
    “Of course, the same should apply to the medical profession. In other countries it is possible to go straight from high school to college to study medicine or law. The same should apply in America.”
    It is not required to have an undergraduate degree to matriculate in medical school according to the ACGME. Some schools do individually have the requirement for completion of an undergraduate degree prior to entry, but that is not a systematic requirement of the whole educational system. Other schools require that your med-school course work along with some undergraduate work allow completion of a bachelors degree.
    My college room-mate left Notre Damel at the end of our junior year to enter law school, so I’m certain that at least at Harvard Law school a bachelors degree is not a requirement. At the same time Washington University Med school took me having completed only my junior year also.