February 14 roundup

  • “One-Sided Loser Pays Is the Worst of Both Worlds” [Mark Pulliam at his new blog Misrule of Law, and thanks for mention]
  • My first piece for Quillette debunks claims of jump in rate at which gay men are being murdered in U.S.;
  • Welcome news: Department of Justice memo advises DoJ attorneys to seek dismissal of meritless False Claims Act suits [Reuters, Federalist Society teleforum with Brandon Moss, Greg Herbers/WLF, Michael Granston memo]
  • Empirical evidence on factors that lead to approval of low-quality patents [Timothy Lee, ArsTechnica, noting ideas for improving patent review process: (1) eliminate issuance fees, (2) limit re-applications, (3) give senior examiners more time per patent]
  • “Will we see tort reform in the midterms?” [Joseph Cotto interview with me for San Francisco Review of Books, YouTube audio, 33:51]
  • FSMA will drive many smaller farmers/foodmakers out of business, only question is how many [Baylen Linnekin, our earlier]

One Comment

  • One-way fee shifting would seem to violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. Nevertheless, it served a useful purpose in Massachusetts about 40 years ago against sleazy insurance companies that refused to pay even obviously reasonable claims.

    If we are stuck with one-way fee shifting, I would like it deployed in favor of the First Amendment to protect libel defendants: if the speech in question is substantially true, or otherwise protected by the NY Times v. Sullivan decision, the plaintiff and his attorney are jointly and severally liable for the defendant’s defense costs. In pro-se cases, the liability would be shared by the plaintiff and the jurisdiction that failed to shut down his lawsuit promptly.