We’ve covered “breed-specific” legal limitations on dog ownership, which often take the form of legislated curbs on particular breeds seen as dangerous, but have also cropped up in judicial rulings designating some breeds as inherently dangerous for purposes of strict liability. As we noted in 2013, after Maryland courts established elevated liability for bites by pit bulls, the result was continued pressure by insurers and landlords for families to abandon or relinquish pets “and a resulting flow of related breeds into the animal shelter system.” Now a story from Prince George’s County, Maryland, one of the larger jurisdictions to ban pit bulls: “A pit bull who stood by her injured owner while their house was on fire is now losing her home — not to the fire itself, but to a law prohibiting pit bulls from living in the county. … Back in May, Michigan’s Hazel Park lifted its pit bull ban in the wake of public outcry, after a dog credited with saving her owner from domestic violence was subsequently thrown out of town.” [Arin Greenwood, Huffington Post]
- Kip Viscusi: current structure of tort law gives firms like General Motors reason not to investigate risks/benefits of their designs [Alison Frankel, Reuters]
- California woman in trouble after allegedly sending “faked treatment documents and burn photos from a hospital website” to bolster hot coffee spill claim against McDonald’s [ABA Journal]
- Despite Kumho Tire, Joiner, and amendments to evidence rules in 2000, Eighth Circuit cuts its own liberal path on expert witness admissibility [Bernstein]
- “In the BP case, the rule of law is on trial” [Lester Brickman, The Hill, on cert petition]
- “Fighting and Winning Against Pit Bull Defense Lawyers” [Ronald Miller]
- Business groups savor victory in racketeering suit over concocted asbestos claims [Barrett, Bloomberg Business Week]
- Peter Spiro adds another favorable review of Paul Barrett’s Chevron/ Ecuador book Law of the Jungle [Opinio Juris]
It isn’t really the federal government’s business one way or the other, but the Obama administration is at least lending moral support to the idea that animal control laws should not single out particular dog breeds as inherently ultradangerous. A court decision in Maryland establishing elevated liability for bites by pit bulls has resulted in continued pressure for pet abandonment and a resulting flow of related breeds into the animal shelter system. [Arin Greenwood, HuffPo; earlier here, here, etc.]
I’m going to liveblog some reactions to today’s expected marriage rulings, below the line. To see more recent comments, refresh (it won’t auto-refresh, unlike the liveblogs at places like SCOTUSBlog).
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- Pittsburgh firm sued in W.V.: “Law Firm Hit With $429,000 Verdict Over Faked Asbestos Suits” [Daniel Fisher]
- “Mashantucket tribal leaders indicted in theft” [Norwich Bulletin; My 2004 take on Connecticut’s pioneering casino tribe]
- New Mexico: “Booster Club Parents Fed up with Regs” [Saving Sports] No, you can’t blame football for Title IX-driven cuts at Mount St. Mary’s [same; University of Maryland Big Ten angle]
- How about this compromise: Gannett publishes where gun owners live, but agrees to do so using Apple Maps.
- On a more serious note, some thoughts on the efficacy of popular gun-control measures in preventing mass shootings [Steve Chapman, Larry Correia, Cato on gun control] “During our negotiations, it wasn’t the NRA that was opposed to putting the names of people receiving anti-psychotic medication into the Instant Check database…it was advocates for the mentally ill.” [Josh Tzuker quoted by Tom Coale]
- “FBI Arrests 26 People for Immigration Fraud; 21 from Law Firms” [Legal Ethics Forum]
- Would anyone notice if we abolished the Cabinet position of Secretary of Commerce? [Ira Stoll]
- Not only did Wisconsin turn back the effort to recall Gov. Walker, but voters in San Jose and San Diego embraced public employee pension reform by convincing margins [Steven Greenhut, Cal Watchdog] Union immediately sues to overturn measure backed by 70 percent of San Jose voters [Greenhut, PSI] Illinois and Ohio have ducked the need for reform, Wisconsin and Indiana haven’t [Malanga] Did it make a big difference that recall proponents were outspent? [John Samples, Cato Institute; Ira Stoll] “Comparing the Impact: Public Sector Labor Reform in Wisconsin and Indiana” [Josh Barro via Reihan Salam] Where next — on to Michigan? Maryland? More: Althouse;
- New Mexico ruling: “Why Not Force Somebody Who Hates You to Photograph Your Wedding?” [Reason, Kincaid/Box Turtle Bulletin, Volokh and more, Bader, earlier]
- Suddenly, the science of salt casts less odium on sodium [Gary Taubes/NYT via Alkon; Bader]
- For making up authority without statutory basis: “Supreme Court spanks HUD” [Mark Calabria/Cato]
- Another way to think of Oglala v. Bud: “Native American Tribe files lawsuit requesting discrimination on alcohol sales” [Rob Green/Abnormal Use, earlier]
- It’s not every day the New York Times agrees with me in favoring broader use of loser-pays in litigation [editorial on shifting costs of document translation]
- GOP sinks misnamed, lawsuit-promoting Paycheck Fairness Act [Steve Chapman, Caroline May/Daily Caller, WSJ, David Harsanyi, earlier]
- Illinois now requires showing of ID, signing of log to buy drain cleaner. So long as you’re not trying to vote! [Consumerist via @amyalkon]
- Tribute to no-longer-anonymous Ken White of Popehat and his work defending bloggers from legal threats [Scott Greenfield; earlier; Ken’s defense in Maryland of blogger Aaron Worthing; new case of science blogger in Texas]
- Politicos mobilize against risk that Wal-Mart will bring fresh produce choices to Harlem [Greg Beato] India frets about whether to allow chain stores, recapitulating a debate U.S. once went through [Tabarrok, MR]
- Colorado legislators honored at a luncheon where I spoke [CCJL]
- HHS launches initiative to audit health providers for compliance with HIPAA data privacy law, and many are unprepared [American Medical News, Dana Thrasher, Dom Nicastro/HealthLeaders Media]
- New scholarship on effects of Twombly/Iqbal [Drug and Device Law series first, second, third, CL&P]
- Congratulations to the outstanding Abnormal Use for winning the ABA’s “Blawg 100” vote for best torts blog; we feel pretty good about placing third without mounting a campaign. While exploring that site, don’t miss its stellar coverage of the tendentious documentary “Hot Coffee”.
- Is it OK if Boulder County prosecutor Tweets the murder trial while in progress? [Colorado Daily]
- Pierce O’Donnell terms his gigantic Katrina/New Orleans lawsuit a “crapshoot” [Hiltzik, L.A. Times]
- Massachusetts hospital not responsible for third-party injuries from just-released colonoscopy patient’s auto accident [Ronald Miller]
- Controversial “citizen suit” provision was removed from environment bill as one of the compromises to obtain House passage [Global Climate Law Blog and more, earlier] More: Coyote.
- “I was shocked at the number of cases the neurologist, radiologists, and especially the neurosurgeon had against them.” [ER Stories with a first-person lawsuit tale]
- I liked Dole Food better when it was a victim of the litigation system rather than an aggressor [L.A. Business Journal, NLJ, L.A. Times “The Envelope” on company’s suit against Swedish documentary filmmaker; underlying banana-worker pesticide litigation scandal; CJAC]
- Virginia Postrel on kidney donation, altruism, and policy [The Atlantic]
- Grown kids appear in court to exonerate dad who spent nearly 20 years in prison on false charges of abusing them [The Columbian, Wash., via Obscure Store] More: Coyote.
An Alexandria tapas bar was cited for serving sangria—which violates a 1934 Virginia law against mixing wine with spirits, with penalties of up to a year in jail. Virginia Spanish restaurants, so warned, now only serve a bowdlerized version of the drink, to the dismay of customers who can get the real thing a few miles away in DC or Maryland. The legislature is contemplating a change, though a pending bill would fail to exempt the similarly illegal kir royals or boilermakers. (Anita Kumar, “Virginia’s Sangria Ban At Issue in 2 Hearings”, Washington Post, Jan. 24). (According to Instruction 33 on this bulletin, Virginia also appears to ban the pitcher of margaritas the local Mexican restaurant serves.) Left unspoken: when is someone going to bring a consumer class action against the Spanish restaurants serving faux sangrias without warning customers?
(ObJingoism: At least Virginia still has better Thai, Indian, and Vietnamese food than DC or Maryland.)
- Hush up with those jokes, now: Lerach Coughlin lawyer hailed as hero after jumping from his BMW to save pregnant woman attacked by pit bulls [ABA Journal]
- The “murky area between zealous advocacy and improper conduct”: Judge Preska sanctions Cleary Gottlieb for litigation abuse [WSJ Law Blog, Lat]
- Out-nannying them all? Edwards says his health plan will legally oblige everyone to go in for checkups with the doc [AP; MagicStats, Howard, Althouse]
- Apparently we missed out on the Aug. 31 celebration of Love Lawyers Day [Giacalone]
- To settle lawsuit by psychiatrist’s family, Augusten Burroughs agrees to call “Running with Scissors” a “book” rather than “memoir” [Althouse]
- Will contest over Maryland judge’s estate has dragged on for fourteen years [Washington Post]
- Recap of Flea fiasco (doc liveblogging his own trial); we get randomly mentioned [American Medical News; earlier]
- “Viacom charges man with violating his own copyright, after he YouTubed their program that used his video.” [Reynolds](but see: Evan Brown via Coleman]
- Is your lawyer a “chicken catcher” or a “chicken plucker”? [KevinMD]
- When if ever should “best interest” custody standard override parent’s right to free exercise of opinion, religion, cultural affiliation, etc.? [series of Eugene Volokh posts]
- Don’t forget to join our new Facebook group with distinctive content [if you’re a member]
- New at Point of Law: Texas judge’s son withdraws from odometer class action; what do environmentalist litigators have against whales?; N.Y. Times’s born-yesterday Vioxx coverage (and this from Ted, which is pretty devastating); Dickie Scruggs takes down an insurance commissioner; sexual assault foreseeable when fraternity left in possession of unsupervised motel room? Marshall, Texas dignitaries rally to save their special court; and much more.