January 4 roundup

  • Report: dead woman’s name robo-signed onto thousands of collection documents [Business Insider] Or was it? [comment, Fredrickson/Collections and Credit Risk (alleging that living daughter shares name of deceased mother)] “Are faked attorney signatures the ‘next huge issue’ in the foreclosure scandal?” [Renee Knake, Legal Ethics Forum]
  • “Major Verdict Threatens to Bankrupt Maker of Exercise Equipment” [Laura Simons, Abnormal Use]
  • Decline in competitiveness of U.S. capital markets owes much to legal and regulatory developments [Bainbridge, related]
  • Deadly Choices, The Panic Virus: Dr. Paul Offit and Seth Mnookin have new books out on vaccine controversy [Orac]
  • No one’s trying to get rich off this,” says lawyer planning suit on behalf of A train subway riders stranded during NYC blizzard [NY Daily News]
  • Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna continues to seek solutions to state’s uniquely exposed litigation position, including fix of joint and several liability [Seattle Times, background here and here]
  • ABA Blawg 100 picks — and a critique;
  • Alabama bar orders lawyer’s law license suspended, but in the mean time he’s been elected judge [four years ago on Overlawyered]


  • Providian (Chase/Wamu) is not engaging in robo-signing docs in a dead woman’s name.
    Martha (Lorrie) Kunkle is alive in 2008, and I believe is still alive living in Texas. Her legal name is Martha Kunkle and she executed legal documents in her legal name – – as she should have. Lorrie is a nickname from her middle name. A collegue of mine has worked with her for years.

  • According to the WSJ article, the younger Kunkle has testified that various other Providian employees used the name when signing affidavits.

  • “Cybrex had only $4 million in insurance coverage …”

    Not too smart. I have a$2M umbrella policy, and I don’t manufacture anything. Even if the judment were a fraction of the possibly excessive $66M, it would seem that this company sealed its own fate through mismanagement of risk.

  • I feel badly for the lady who had an exercise machine fall on her. But exercise machines have to be designed for the forces applied to them. Could a machine from a reputable manufacturer be dangerously top heavy? That would be strange indeed.

    Where did the $66 million come from? That would be the lifetime earnings of 33 people. I suspect a stupid jury.

  • […] NPR interview with Seth Mnookin on vaccine book [via TortsProf, earlier] […]