April 5 roundup

  • Lawsuit by pilot against landowner who shot down his drone is dismissed for lack of federal jurisdiction [Cyrus Farivar, ArsTechnica; earlier here and (criminal case) here]
  • Super-broad readings of Emoluments Clause intended to trip up President Trump might have unwelcome consequences for over 2 million military retirees and 2.8 million federal employees also affected by the Clause’s interpretation [Chuck Blanchard via Andy Grewal; earlier on Emoluments Clause]
  • “Appeals court throws out six Intellectual Ventures ‘do it on a computer’ patents” [Joe Mullin, ArsTechnica]
  • David Meyer-Lindenberg interviews Cato Institute chairman and legal scholar Bob Levy on topics that include Heller v. D.C., his taking up of law as a second career after business success, and Cato’s mission [Simple Justice]
  • Judicial deference to the administrative state: Evan Bernick reviews “Law’s Abnegation: From Law’s Empire to the Administrative State,” by Adrian Vermeule [Federalist Society Review]
  • An economist visits India’s great onion market [Alex Tabarrok]

One Comment

  • Re Drone AAA case: USDC Judge Russell is clearly correct that this is a minor tort case. At damages of $1,500, it should be heard in the Jefferson County (KY) District Court (jurisdiction over cases seeking damages of less than $5,000), along with the pro se minor parking lot fender benders and landlord return of deposits. Although such cases are important for the parties, they don’t usually generate press coverage publicity for the attorneys.

    Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state, which follows the Restatement (3d ed.) of Torts. Being a trespasser doesn’t define the duties owed. Foreseeablity is the touchstone for duties. It’s, also, a state where there are many hunters, gun owners and people who hold traditional values.

    Mr. Merideth has produced two witnesses who state that the drone was flying below the tree line. His teenage daughter was sun bathing in her bikini of their home’s backyard deck, where she had expectations of privacy. That’s what appears to have attracted the drone owner-operator’s interest (although he denies that, it being happenstance that he chose to fly low and slow over a young backyard bikini babe). She’s said that she went inside and the drone left, only to return when she went back out. By then, her father had been alerted, gotten and loaded his shotgun. These facts could make for interesting jury instructions. I suggest:

    “A perv and his drone are soon parted.”