Liability roundup

  • “Firings and lawsuits follow discovery of secret bugging devices at law firm; ‘It’s very John Grisham'” [Palm Beach County, Fla.; Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal]
  • Save on lawyers’ fees, get to trial faster: “If I were able to do something unilaterally, I would probably institute a new federal rule that said that all cases worth less than $500,000 will be tried without any discovery.” [Judge Thomas Hardiman, echoed by Judge Amul Thapar, at Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention panel; David Lat, ABA Journal]
  • “Austria: Farmer liable for hiker trampled to death by cow” [Elizabeth Schumacher, Deutsche Welle]
  • “Cloned” discovery: the “name derives from the fact that the plaintiffs are attempting to clone the discovery taken by others in unrelated cases.” Courts should resist [James Beck]
  • “Minnesota Supreme Court: No Primary Assumption of Risk in Skiing, Snowboarding” [Stephanie K. Jones, Insurance Journal]
  • Missouri lawmakers seek to limit forum-shopping by out-of-state litigants seeking plaintiff-friendly St. Louis courts [Brian Brueggemann, St. Louis Record]


  • The Minnesota ski race seems reasonable and easy. The risks you impliedly assume while skiing are of a certain kind that are related to your actions and/or the resort and/or nature — falling, sliding, hitting trees, maybe even avalanche or frostbite. But should that prevent you from suing another participant who is recklessly flying down the slopes and crashes into you while not even looking? No, it shouldn’t. The risk of a co-equal participant being a tortious idiot, should not be one you are presumed to assume.

    • 100% agree.

      • I can appreciate why they found that way, against the other skier.

        How long, do you think, before the ski lodge is held liable for the gross negligence of its patrons in injuring other patrons – likely on some theory the slopes are inadequately marked, poorly designed, or that they should have taken some other, obvious in retrospect for purposes of litigation, affirmative action to prevent the claimed injuries from occurring?

        Worries of a slippery slope (pun intended) do not seem unfounded in this instance