October 6 roundup

  • Woman who escaped first WTC bombing broke her ankle ten days later. Should New York’s Port Authority pay her $500,000? [Hochfelder]
  • Former New York congressman and Pace Law School dean Richard Ottinger and wife rebuffed in what court deems SLAPP suit against commenter who criticized them on online forum; commenter says legal fees have cost him two years’ income [White Plains Journal-News, Westchester County; earlier] Amici in Massachusetts case endorse anti-SLAPP protection for staff of media and advocacy organizations [Citizen Media Law] “Canadian Court Rejects Defamation Liability for Hyperlinks” [same]
  • “Chuck Yeager Tries Again to Stretch Right of Publicity” [OnPoint News, earlier]
  • And naturally the advocates are demanding more regulation rather than less: “[Restaurant] Calorie Postings Don’t Change Habits, Study Finds” [NYT] More: Ryan Sager, Jacob Sullum.
  • Famed L.A. lawyers Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack might get off with wrist-slaps over Nicaraguan banana suit scandal [The Recorder, Cal Civil Justice, earlier]
  • Ralph Lauren lawyers: don’t you dare reproduce our skinny-model photo in the course of criticizing our use of skinny models [BoingBoing; and welcome Ron Coleman, Popehat readers; more at Citizen Media Law and an update at BoingBoing] Copyright expert/author Bill Patry is guestblogging at Volokh Conspiracy [intro, first post, earlier]
  • Profile of John Edwards aide who played key role in Rielle Hunter affair [Ben Smith, Politico]
  • Blind lawyer’s “call girl bilked my credit card” claim includes ADA claim against credit card company (but judge rejects it) [ABA Journal, Above the Law]


  • Here are a few tidbits that I did not discuss in my post on the ankle fracture 10 days after the WTC bombing case:
    1. The ER hospital record reflects that plaintiff told the doctors that “on my way to check my mailbox, I fell on the grass and I slipped on my right foot.” [If true, that would have destroyed her case.] At trial, plaintiff denied saying that.
    2. Months later, plaintiff sent a letter to the hospital changing her account of the incident. Her doctor then edited the hospital chart, modifying her complaint from “weakness in the right leg” to “weakness in the right knee.” Her theory at trial was that her knee was injured during the 100 story evacuation 10 days before she fell and broke her ankle.
    3. Plaintiff was 260 pounds.
    No doubt, this case was and remains controversial and there’s a very good chance plaintiff will lose at the retrial.

  • Ottinger Delivers!

    (tag line from Ottinger’s election campaign for what became James Buckley’s Senate seat.)