Search Results for ‘"patrick lynch" "rhode island"’

Breaking: Rhode Island lead paint decision overturned

So AP reports. More details as they become available.

9:43: AP/Boston Globe reports a dramatic rejection of public-nuisance theory, holding the case should’ve been dismissed years ago. Good news that. The Rhode Island Supreme Court decision was unanimous.

5:00: Here is the opinion itself. James Beck has the most comprehensive analysis of the opinion so far; Walter gives thorough background at Point of Law as well as a roundup of other links. The defendants and NAM have released statements; Motley Rice claims they were doing it for the children, which doesn’t explain their self-serving settlement with DuPont or why they asked for a highly inefficient remediation remedy that would have maximized their attorneys’ fees.

Also: Jonathan Turley (who I just learned has a year-old blog with over a thousand posts), who, to his credit, has opposed such lawsuits; OpenMarket; Jane Genova; Publius. Attorney General Patrick Lynch is unhappy about the legal setback to his campaign contributors constituents.

Existing abatement efforts already required of landlords under Rhode Island law mean that lead paint exposure is at an all-time low in the state–evidence that was excluded at trial.

And more: ShopFloor; NFIB.

New York Times on the AG-trial lawyer alliance

The close working relationship between some state attorneys general and private trial lawyers — in which the AGs hire the lawyers to represent their states for a percentage fee of the haul — is not a new topic to us here at Overlawyered, but it’s nice to see it getting aired at length in the Dec. 18 New York Times piece by reporter Eric Lipton. The title gives a good introduction: “Lawyers Create Big Paydays by Coaxing Attorneys General to Sue” and in fact the private lawyers who commonly pitch the suits are themselves sometimes former state attorneys general, such as Michael Moore of Mississippi (of longstanding fame here), Patricia Madrid of New Mexico, Patrick Lynch of Rhode Island, Drew Edmondson of Oklahoma, and Peg Lautenschlager of Wisconsin. A few excerpts:

  • Law firm donations to AGs or “party-backed organizations that they run” “often come in large chunks just before or after” inking contracts to represent the state. A sidebar chart, “Political Gifts from Plaintiffs Lawyers,” confirms that most of the money flows to partisan attorney general associations ($3.8 million to Democrats and $1.6 million to Republicans over a decade) or state parties ($1.5 vs. $445,000) as opposed to candidates directly ($2 million vs. $240,000, not counting AGs running for governor).
  • When various AGs signed a brief to the Supreme Court supporting the plaintiff’s side in a securities litigation case, it was after being sedulously cultivated to do so by the lawyers.
  • “…at least three former attorneys general are pitching painkiller abuse cases to states nationwide, although no state has yet publicly signed up.” More on the Chicago and California-county painkiller cases here.
  • Yes: “‘Farming out the police powers of the state to a private firm with a profit incentive is a very, very bad thing,’ said Attorney General John Suthers of Colorado, a Republican and a former United States attorney.”

Full article, again, here. Michael Greve has further commentary on why it’s often AGs from small states who take the lead and whether business really started it all.

“Worst state attorneys general”, cont’d

Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute informs me that Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal has in a sense won his recount after all: a recalculation taking into account a bit of overlooked data has now moved him up from #3 to #2 on this year’s list, though he’s still essentially tied with Oklahoma’s Drew Edmondson. In first place: California’s Jerry Brown, while perennial favorites Patrick Lynch of Rhode Island and Darrell McGraw of West Virginia fill the #4 and #5 places, and a newcomer, William Sorrell of Vermont, makes an appearance at #6.

More: Bader in the Examiner on the selection process.

July 15 roundup

Tobacco-ban roundup

“California could be on its way to becoming the first U.S. state to outlaw smoking in cars or trucks that have children inside.” The bill, which would make lawbreakers of parents transporting their own children, has been introduced by Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh and is being supported by the bossyboots American Lung Association, a good reason to scratch that organization off one’s charitable donation list (“Calif. Bill Would Ban Smoking in Car with Kids”, Yahoo/Reuters, Apr. 28)(see Sept. 24). (Update May 29: bill narrowly defeated in California Assembly.) Irish Minister for Health and Children Miche?l Martin, who pushed through a recent ban on smoking in pubs and most other public places in the Emerald Isle, has announced that he is “very tentatively” mulling a fat tax, according to a profile by Andrew Stuttaford, who calls Martin a number of rude names including “nosey, hectoring clown” (“Goodbye to All That”, National Review Online, Apr. 27)(via Radley Balko). A bill being discussed in Rhode Island’s legislature and backed by state Attorney General Patrick Lynch, primarily aimed at increasing the penalties for school truancy, would also authorize courts to revoke or suspend the driver’s license of high schoolers determined to be “wayward”, a category that includes students found in possession of cigarettes. (Wendy Fontaine, “Truancy plan gets mixed review”, Newport Daily News, Apr. 30). And Jacob Sullum catches the federal government’s National Institute of Aging dispensing flagrant untruths about the relative hazards of smokeless tobacco (“Lies and the Health Nannies Who Tell Them”, Reason “Hit and Run”, Mar. 24).