September 15 roundup

  • Falling tree limb injures woman, jury orders city of Savannah to pay $12 million [Insurance Journal]
  • Dept. of Interior mulls lowering threshold for federal recognition of Indian tribes [AP]
  • Section 230: “The Law that Gave Us the Modern Internet, and the Campaign to Kill It” [Derek Khanna, The Atlantic]
  • Interview with false-memory expert Elizabeth Loftus [Slate]
  • “No meaningful costs or downsides” to the Microsoft antitrust case? Really? [Tom Bowden]
  • NSA covertly intervened in standards making process to weaken encryption standards [Mike Masnick, TechDirt] After being rebuffed by public opinion in quest for dragnet surveillance programs, NSA quietly put programs in place through other channels [Jack Shafer; related, Ken at Popehat]
  • Given the limitations of litigation, better not to lament the shortcomings of the NFL concussion settlement [Howard Wasserman]


  • I think even the greenest of new lawyers realizes that a tree doesn’t have deep pockets (roots, maybe, but not pockets). Therefore, you sue the deepest pockets within reach. Here, that’s the city, which knew or should have known that branches fall from trees during storms.

    Never mind that those passing under trees during storms should also know this fact of life.

  • Since the city has no way of guaranteeing that a branch will not fall down in a storm, the only sure way of preventing this from happening again is for the city to cut down all of the trees.

  • Actually, given that the trees were probably mandated by zoning laws, it makes sense that the municipality should be responsible for maintaining them (and for paying damages resulting from them.)