January 31 roundup

  • Latest of periodic Towers Watson (formerly Towers Perrin/Tillinghast) surveys: tort costs fell in 2010 excluding oil spill liability [Towers Watson]
  • “Will Newt Neuter the Courts?” [James Huffman, Defining Ideas] Obama’s high court appointees are fortunately friendlier toward civil liberties than he is [Steve Chapman]
  • Unanimous Cal Supremes: companies not legally responsible for other companies’ asbestos products used as replacement for theirs [Cal Biz Lit, Jackson, Beck, Mass Tort Prof]
  • Claim: jurors considered policy implications of verdict and you can’t have that [On Point; defense verdict in Baltimore, Maryland school-bullying case]
  • Airfare display mandate: “‘Protecting’ Consumers from the Truth About the Cost of Government” [Thom Lambert, TotM]
  • Critical assessment of AP-backed new copyright aggregator “NewsRight” [Mike Masnick] Promises not to be “Righthaven 2.0” [Cit Media Law]
  • Restatement (Third) of Torts drafters vs. Enlightenment scientific views of causation [David Oliver in June]


  • Re: School bullying–should jurors worrying about money being taken away from other needs really drive a verdict? I don’t know. But I’d be willing to bet that that kid was bullied and the school didn’t do much about it.

    It’s hard to get school administrators fired. What else is a parent faced with race-based bullying supposed to do? You have to send your kids to school, and you should be able to use schools that you pay for through taxes.

  • I strongly approve of the airfare full cost display mandate.
    (If the airline feels put upon, I believe they can add a parenthetical statement “(includes $x in taxes and government fees)

    The full-cost principle would be especially useful for hotel and rental car price quotations. Some localities pile up the taxes, figuring that visitors don’t vote. If the taxes were instantly visible, however, high tax municipalities would see their hotels and convention business at a disadvantage, and might be forced to relent.