Daily Roundup 2008-12-29

Soon, baby soon.  Walter Olson’s new year’s resolution is to return to blogging at Overlawyered.

  • International adoption is always a risky business, fraught with uncertainty: now aspriring parents, burned by changes in Guatemalan law, are suing adoption agencies alleging civil RICO liability;
  • Some tasks can’t be delegated.  New Jersey attorney sanctioned for sending paralegal to domestic court, where she appeared as “counsel” and advocated on behalf of the client;
  • Some tasks can’t be delegated, part II: Las Vegas personal injury lawyer Glen “The Heavy Hitter” Lerner complains that he can’t understand rules prohibiting Nevada lawyers from allowing attorneys not licensed in Nevada to sign up Nevada clients, prepare demands, negotiate claims, and serve as the clients’ sole contact within the firm.  The Nevada Supreme Court disciplines Lerner anyway, figuring that after multiple past reprimands Lerner could take a hint;
  • Some tasks shouldn’t be delegated:  Arkansas authorities investigating attorney Terry Lynn Smith, who “invested” a client’s substantial personal injury settlement, then admitted that “all of her money was gone.”
  • And then some tasks should definitely be delegated: Top Obama aides are “lawyering up” in response to the Blagojevich probe;
  • The fall of Dickie Scruggs has been named as the top story of the year in Mississippi, by the Associated Press;
  • God told me to beat you up.  Texas church claims first amendment immunity from tort liability arising from an exorcism gone horribly awry (via WSJ Law Blog);
  • Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul believes that the recessed economy is a blessing in disguise.  Meanwhile, Paul continues to accept the franking privilege and his salary from taxpayers.

What are you resolving to accomplish in the new year?


  • As to the adoption RICO case item: the agency may or may not have misled the plaintiffs; I have no way of knowing. But it was already evident by 2006 — when the article says they started their process — that there were grave problems with the Guatemalan institutions involved in international adoption, and reasons to have serious doubts about whether any particular adoptee was actually an orphan or otherwise properly placed for adoption. International adoption is not for anyone who wants to pick an agency out of the phone book and do whatever they say; it requires independent research and due diligence.

  • Thanks for the insight Ken.

    On an unrelated, but topical note, readers in Las Vegas, or readers with an interest in intellectual property, may find the story of Glen Lerner’s battle to establish a trademark over the term “The Heavy Hitter” to be of of interest.