October 14 roundup

  • Uh-huh: new report from federal Legal Services program calls for gigantic new allocation of tax money to, well, legal services programs [ABA Journal]
  • “Judge: Man’s a ‘vexatious litigator'” [Cincinnati.com]
  • Wisconsin governor signs bill requiring prescription to buy mercury thermometer [Popehat]
  • “Injured by art?” Woman sues Museum of Fine Arts Houston after fall in artist-designed light tunnel [Mary Flood, Houston Chronicle “Legal Trade”]
  • On Carol Browner and the cry of “environmental racism” (a/k/a “green redlining”) [Coyote]
  • New York: “Lawyers implicated in $9 million mortgage fraud” [Business Insider]
  • In Canada, as in the U.S., medical privacy rules hamper police investigations [Calgary Herald]
  • Stalin’s grandson loses lawsuit in Russia against newspaper that supposedly defamed the dictator [WSJ Law Blog, Lowering the Bar, Volokh]


  • I’m not sure that the restriction on mercury thermometers is that unreasonable. For one thing, there is very little reason for people to buy a thermometer containing mercury. For medical purposes, digital thermometers are easier to read and less fragile. For measuring air temperature, most household thermometers contain alcohol with red dye. If you need greater accuracy, go digital. The mercury thermometer is pretty much an antique.

  • Bill, I had that impression at first, too. But then I read the comments at Popehat, which pointed out:

    1. Very few places sell them anymore;
    2. Why would a doctor prescribe one, given the arguably safer and more widely available alternatives? What if it broke and he got sued for malpractice?
    3. He was thinking of the children, who obviously need to be protected from the evil scourge of virtually non-existent mercury thermometers. In so doing, might he prevent people with a genuine need for a mercury thermometer from getting one? I don’t know who this class of people might be, but perhaps students or researchers who require greater accuracy and precision than alcohol and digital thermometers will no longer be able to get them.

  • I already commented at Popehat about this and other stupid pieces of legislation my adopted state enacts. Honestly, considering my rant about the DWI laws and other pieces of legislation, its a wonder Ken lets me post to his blog postings.

  • I hear ya, Doug, about our state’s idiotic legislation! I can’t wait until Doyle leaves office. 🙁

  • W/r/t “Judge: Man’s a ‘vexatious litigator’”

    I have known some vexatious litigators, but most of them have bar cards. I believe the term the Court meant to use was “vexatious litigant.”

    However, I ind of love this quote regarding his intermittent internet service: “Some days it was out for weeks at a time.” Yogi Berra is alive and well.