In the S.F. Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders discusses the large settlement paid by Santa Clara County to the family of Andrew Martinez, who suffered from schizophrenia and became famous as Berkeley’s “Naked Guy” before taking his own life in jail. She quotes me on the terrorizing effect of suing public managers individually and on the way outside direction of public agencies by litigators often (as consent decrees, court orders and legal avoidance layer one atop another) can add up to “management by no one at all.” [Debra Saunders, “A naked million”, San Francisco Chronicle, May 24].


  • His story, at least according to Wikipedia, is interesting. Liberal Berkeley couldn’t find a good rationale for outlawing nudity–that is until “feminists” trotted out the sexual-harassment card. Then they outlawed it.

  • This settlement also raises the question of whether large settlements and judgements should be paid to plaintiffs suing public entiies in California given the current economic crisis facing these public entities. State and local agencies in California are now cutting police officers, teachers, fire fighters and other critical public services to balance their budgets. Why not stay all tort litigation againt public entities in California for one year. This would accomplish two goals: 1) help relieve the short term cash crunch facing public entities in California; 2) provide the legislature with time to expand governmental immunity in California so fewer tax dollars are diverted to plaintiffs and their attorneys.