November 18 roundup

  • “Common sense makes a comeback” against zero tolerance in the classroom [USA Today]
  • Slip at Massachusetts antiques show leads to lawsuit [Wicked Local Marion]
  • Update: Washington Supreme Court takes up horn-honking case [Lowering the Bar, earlier]
  • MICRA as model: “California’s Schwarzenegger stumps for medical liability reform” [American Medical News]
  • “Inventing a better patent system” [Pozen, NYT]
  • Google Books settlement narrowed to countries with “common legal heritage” [Sag, ConcurOp]
  • One way to make ends meet: cash-strapped Detroit cops are seizing a lot more stuff [Detroit News via Business Insider]
  • What temperatures are hot coffee actually served at? Torts buffs (including our Ted Frank) want to know [TortsProf exchange with Michael Rustad and followup, more and yet more]


  • Re the coffee: Again, said Law prof is trying to force the physical reality of properly brewing & serving coffee into some lawyer construct of ‘safe’ in saying that “custom” doesn’t protect against and unreasonable hazzard.

    Well, coffee that’s brewed at the tepid temperatures that the prof proposes is simply crap.

    and scroll down a bit for temperature.

    Snip from above link:
    A second requirement of water for good coffee brewing is the water temperature as it passes over the coffee grounds. Ideal brewing temperature is 200°F, plus or minus 5°F (at sea level). Subtract 2°F for every 1,000 feet of elevation. Too low a temperature causes flavor compounds not to dissolve resulting in an under extracted weak beverage. Too high a temperature will cause flavor changes resulting in an over-extracted bitter and astringent beverage. By maintaining the proper temperature throughout the brew cycle, optimum extraction can be attained.

    A simple google search of “ideal coffee brewing temperature” will reveal that to make decent coffee, it MUST be brewed at 195 to 205 degrees F.

    Also see the “Held” section from the above link:
    Serve coffee as soon after brewing as possible. Coffee loses flavor and aroma quickly. If brewed coffee must be “held” on a direct heat source, it should be held at 185°F, and for no longer than 20 minutes.

  • I’m sick and tired of “Zachary Christie” who was able to leverage his membership in a particular Church (the Boy Scouts of America) to get special treatment wrt his school’s zero tolerance policy. ZTPs are stupid, I’ll agree, but giving a person special treatment because his knife was a religious icon of his “Cub Scout” group and not, for example, a Satanist group, is even more horrendous.

  • Robert: BSA is not a church, nor is it affiliated with any church. BSA merely requires adherence to *some* faith. Separation of church and state claims (which are bogus in the first place, but this is not the time nor place for that discussion) do not apply. Oh, and you’re right, ZTPs *are* stupid!

    (Lack of) disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of BSA. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. 🙂

  • The idea that allowing police to benefit directly from property seizures would do anything but lead to corruption and unfair seizures is mind-boggling. What are legislators smoking?

  • Coffee buffs@Let’s grant that coffee must be brewed at a high temperature. Why does that imply that it must be served at such a temperature? If the ideal brewing temperature is indeed dangerous to customers, wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect the purveyors to let it cool down a bit before serving?