January 18 roundup

  • What, no more monkeys or snakes? Starting March 15 new federal regulation will restrict definition of “service animals” to dogs alone [Central Kitsap Reporter, earlier, more]
  • “Appeals court: SD prosecutor’s conduct denied man a fair trial” [San Diego Union-Tribune]
  • A tale of local regulation: “A septic system at the crossroads” [Roland Toy, American Thinker]
  • Firm sues Fark, Reddit, Yahoo, etc. etc. over 2002 patent on “structured news release generation and distribution,” draws rude reply from defendant TechCrunch;
  • UK schools minister: “no touching pupils” policy keeps music teachers from doing their job [Telegraph]
  • Legal ethicist Stephen Gillers hired at $950/hour to approve ethics of Ken Feinberg’s BP compensation fund work [two views: Andrew Perlman and Monroe Freedman; earlier, Byron Stier]. Per Ted at PoL, trial lawyers criticizing the arrangement “complain that BP is using the same tactic plaintiffs’ lawyers regularly use to prove their own ethics.”
  • Is WordPress’s quirky “Hello Dolly” plugin a copyright infringement? [TechDirt]
  • Congrats, you’re eligible for a job with the D.C. public school system [ten years ago on Overlawyered; more on criminal records and hiring, subject of a current EEOC crusade]


  • It’s the service spiders I’ll miss.


  • “For example, the court said, Lawson argued that a defense expert was a ‘hired gun’ paid to make up a defense.

    Lawson told the jury, ‘This isn’t a man looking for the truth. … This was a man looking for an excuse and he found one.'”

    THAT is prosecutor misconduct?

    Let me tell you something. That’s EXACTLY what experts are: hired to spin it, not tell the truth. Courts don’t seem to understand that. Their attitude is these are benevolent scholars gracing the legal system with their wisdom, and by God, we’d better listen to what they say.

    And while I’m at it, judges, here’s something else:

    THE FACT THAT ONE SIDE HIRES A NUTBALL EXPERT TO SAY THE MOON IS MADE OF CHEESE DOES NOT MEAN THE OTHER SIDE HAS TO BRING ONE IN TO SAY OTHERWISE. You are not “constrained to find that the moon is made of cheese because litigant presented unrebutted testimony of an expert that the moon was made of cheese.”

    You can just reject the finding as incredible.

    Rant over.

  • “…solely dogs, with the exception of miniature horses in certain cases”

    Good. As much as I disagree with Islam’s aversion to dogs (and a few of its other tenets, especially the one regarding bacon), it’s good that disabled persons who are observant Muslims will still be able to benefit from the ADA. It really does set the U.S. apart from many other advanced nations.

    And it’s also good the nutters with the snakes won’t be able to continue abusing the ADA.