October 30 roundup

  • Under investigation and facing the same sorts of tactics he once used against Wall Street, Giuliani may now have reason to appreciate the sorts of principled civil libertarians who stand firm against prosecutorial excess [Ira Stoll]
  • U.S. dominance in social media is the envy of the rest of the world. Politicians’ trustbusting zeal could change that [Amy-Xiaoshi DePaola, Cronkite News/Arizona PBS, thanks for quoting me]
  • Walgreen’s had a tussle with Wegman’s over the trademark use of a big script “W,” but has not gone after with another well-known organization with such a letter symbol, the Washington Nationals [Richard Patterson, American University IP Brief back in 2011]
  • British Columbia human rights tribunal rejects groin-waxing complaint, finding that complainant “engaged in improper conduct”, “filed complaints for improper purposes”, and gave testimony that was “disingenuous and self-serving,” along with having “targeted small businesses, manufactured the conditions for a human rights complaint, and then leveraged that complaint to pursue a financial settlement from parties who were unsophisticated and unlikely to mount a proper defense.” [Joseph Brean, National Post, Justice Centre, opinion in Yaniv v. Various Waxing Salons (No. 2), earlier]
  • “University of Louisville Students Can’t Sue Escort for Exposing Prostitution in the Louisville Basketball Program” [Eugene Volokh]
  • Intending no disrespect, Your Honor, you should think twice before doing this [Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner (“Two male judges shot after female judge gives middle finger during drunken night out”; Indiana)]


  • Hmmmm. With respect to the female judge, it seems to be undisputed that the two assailants shouted at the group she was in, and she responded. She gets to. That’s living in America, baby.

    The Indiana Supreme Court (and the prosecutors too) ought to think about any attempt to punish people who seem to have been minding their own business when set upon by others. The story appears to be that the two men in the SUV approached the group of judges AFTER saying some to the group and getting the middle finger. That’s obviously a threatening situation.

    We can tut-tut all we want about decorum or what have you, but I’d prefer the government not be the arbiter of decorousness. From these facts, it looks to me like the Indiana Supreme Court ought to be disciplining itself for these charges. And possibly should be looking at the ticket of t prosecutor who prosecuted the judge.

  • U of Louisville students–
    I assumed they were basketball players claiming damages when the university cut back their program in response to the bad publicity, but apparently not. They are just random students.
    Abe Lincoln might have described their cause of action to be “as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death.”

    • I actually disagree. The bottom line is that the escort participated in illegal conduct that could reasonably be foreseeable to harm the school significantly and thereby harm stakeholders (e.g., students, who reasonably rely on the school not shooting itself in the foot like this).

      Thus there is at least but for causation, and the harm isn’t completely speculative—people are paying for a name brand when they plunk down all that money.

      The issue is, of course, proximate causation, and here’s where it should fail. The escorts really don’t owe the students a duty. But there are counterarguments, given that the conduct was illegal etc.

      Damnum absque injuria.