August 8 roundup

  • North Carolina’s heartbalm law strikes again, as judge orders man who slept with married woman to pay jilted husband $8.8 million [Virginia Bridges, Raleigh News & Observer, more on homewrecker tort]
  • Cornell economist Rick Geddes explains the federal government’s postal monopoly [David Henderson]
  • Trademark swagger: “Chicago Poke Chain Sends C&D To Hawaiian Poke Joint Demanding It Not Be Named ‘Aloha Poke'” [Timothy Geigner, Techdirt] “Shipyard Brewing Loses Its Lawsuit Over Ships and The Word ‘Head'” [same]
  • “Man files lawsuit under False Claims Act against manufacturer of batteries for use in intercontinental ballistic missile launch controls, asks for $30 mil, settles for $1.7 mil. What follows is—in the trial court’s words—a “hellish” dispute over the man’s attorneys’ fees. Third Circuit: We feel you; the order reducing requested fees is affirmed in almost every respect.” [John K. Ross, Short Circuit, on U.S. ex rel. Palmer v. C&D Technologies]
  • Using the law to suppress one’s competition: New York Taxi Workers Alliance cheers City Council’s move to cap Uber and ridesharing [Reuters] It’s totally normal and not at all suspicious that the city council president who wants tougher enforcement against Airbnb is also president of the state’s hotel lobby [Eric Boehm, Reason; Biloxi, Mississippi]
  • For those still keeping score, it’s improper and prejudicial for the head of the nation’s law enforcement apparatus to declaim publicly against a criminal trial in progress, whether or not the defendant happens to be his own campaign manager [David Post, Volokh; April Post and podcast on inapplicable “fruit of the poisonous tree” claim]


  • ‘“Man files lawsuit under False Claims Act against manufacturer of batteries for use in intercontinental ballistic missile launch controls, asks for $30 mil, settles for $1.7 mil. ‘

    It’s hard enough being a mad scientist trying to launch your home-made- ICBMs again nations who won’t pay your reasonable fees, but then you get soaked by lawyers!


  • I know a lot of men who would be fine with their wives having an affair, if they could get $8 million out of it.

  • RE: Trump and the on-going trial. In a vacuum, yes, it is improper. But sometimes fighting fire with fire is indicated.

    Mueller’s prosecution of Flynn deserves the harshest possible criticism (and that, of course, taints everything he touches). In the context of the obvious thumb on the scale regarding the Obama Administration’s response to clear wrong-doing by Hillary Clinton and the non-wrongdoing of the Trump campaign, should the president be silent to satisfy pearl-clutchers?

    And where is the outrage among the pearl-clutchers over the surveillance of Carter Page? Isn’t that a wrong far more egregious than Trump fighting fire with fire?

    • Whataboutism, insult, and unfounded factual aspersions. A trifecta. Congratulations!

      • Not sure that a defense of fighting fire with fire is “whataboutism?” And pointing out that the surveillance of Carter Page appears to have have been bereft of factual support (note: the predicate is probable cause that he committed an actual crime–anything in the FISA application that shows probable cause? I get it’s redacted, but do you think that it wouldn’t have been leaked if the redacted portions showed a crime?)

        And seriously—the Logan Act maneuver on Flynn–is that remotely ok? Or does it show a politicized DOJ, then special counsel?

        No sane observer can look at the kid gloves treatment of Clinton and crew and turn over every stone approach with Trump can look at this as having a non-politicization cause.

  • Absolutely, totally unrelated… I am celebrating being able to once again read the book titles on Thanks to the effort of their tech support staff and what I hoped was a nice email from me informing them of the particular issues. I posted the beginning here, wanted to post what I think is the end as well.