July 27 roundup

  • Dodd-Frank major oops: Faced with new liabilities, agencies refuse to let their ratings be used in bond issuance [WaPo, Salmon] SEC scurries to suspend requirement for six months while it figures out what to do [Salmon]
  • Left-leaning law lectern: study of newly hired lawprofs identifies 52 liberals, 8 conservatives [Caron, ABA Journal, Lindgren/Volokh]
  • “Progress in protecting gripe site owners against silly trademark claims” [Levy, CL&P]
  • “Congress Investigates Beck, Ingraham Advertisers” [Stoll]
  • “Uncle Sam Kicks Out Legal Immigrants for Down Profits in Recession” [Shapiro, Cato]
  • Judge punishes Goodyear for discovery heel-dragging by denying it chance to disprove liability in $32M case [Las Vegas Sun]
  • “$2.3M verdict against Dole thrown out on fraud grounds” [PoL, background]
  • Paul Campos vs. Elena Kagan: this time it’s personal [Lawyers Guns & Money]


  • Re: Goodyear case.

    1. I’m pretty confident that the “footdragging” on discovery probably went as follows: the plaintiffs dreamed up all kinds of POTENTIAL documents that might be out there, and, unsatisfied with the haul they received because there was no “smoking gun”, made repeated motions with bombastic language about a conspiracy to hide documents, which language was duly adopted by the liberal judge.

    In New York we called this the “stricken answer”, and it was pretty rare. It sounds to me like Goodyear’s due process rights WERE violated. Would the Supreme Court take the case? Why does “Clark County, Nevada” sound like a judicial hellhole to me?

    2. I’d love to know the condition of the tires. Many blown-tire cases are simply the result of the plaintiff running his tires down to beyond bald, then suing when there’s an explosion. Did that happen in Kumho?

    3. I’d also love to know if the plaintiffs were legal citizens, but that’s just xenophobic ol’ me.

  • I am confused why the Dodd-Frank requiremet is a bad thing.

    If the agencies are issuing valid ratings, they should be able to get liability insurance. If not, why is anyone relying on them?

    Actions have consequences. The ratings agencies should be willing to stand behind their work. If they are not, the system is broken.

    What we are left with is the choice between no ratings and ratings we cannot rely on. Neither is good.

    Why can’t we just get valid ratings that insurance companies are willing to underwrite?

  • For some reason unknown to me people have a hard time distinguishing automobiles from horses. When a horse trips, the rider is thrown. The same is not true of automobiles. When I pulled off the Taconic parkway, my wife asked why. I had a flat tire. She didn’t even notice the problem. There is no reason why a flat tire by itself would cause a car to turn over.

    If it wasn’t for Massachusetts, Nevadans would be the dumbest people on Earth.