- Our defense of free expression should go beyond the utilitarian and consequentialist: Flemming Rose’s acceptance speech last week on receiving the Cato Institute’s 2016 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty [Cato Daily Podcast, WSJ “Notable and Quotable” excerpt, earlier; Michael Tanner on Rose’s role in the Mohammed cartoons episode and more recent Cato book, The Tyranny of Silence; my related post in context of Copenhagen terrorist attack]
- Virgin Islands attorney general withdraws D.C. subpoena demanding 10 years of records from Competitive Enterprise Institute in “climate denial” probe, in what looks to be a tactical fallback rather than a durable concession of CEI’s rights [CEI; John Sexton]
- FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) launches every-other-week podcast series, kicked off by interview with Jonathan Rauch, author of Kindly Inquisitors [“So To Speak“]
- “Tax Prep Company Tries To Sue Unhappy Customer Into Silence; Hit With Damages In Anti-SLAPP Order” [Tim Cushing, TechDirt]
- Media law has intersected with champerty and maintenance in the copyright complaint campaigns of recent years [earlier, OpenSource, and CopyHype on RightHaven episode]
- One of my community’s favorite businesses, Flying Dog Brewery, is using the damages received from a legal battle with the state of Michigan over its Raging Bitch IPA label to found a nonprofit “First Amendment Society” dedicated to “awareness-raising and advocacy around free-speech issues and organizing events that promote “the arts, journalism and civil liberties”; on Wednesday I attended its kickoff press conference in Washington, D.C. with civil rights lawyer (and friend of this site) Alan Gura and Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso [Ronald Collins, Elizabeth Nolan Brown/Reason, Flying Dog, earlier]
- Latest of periodic Towers Watson (formerly Towers Perrin/Tillinghast) surveys: tort costs fell in 2010 excluding oil spill liability [Towers Watson]
- “Will Newt Neuter the Courts?” [James Huffman, Defining Ideas] Obama’s high court appointees are fortunately friendlier toward civil liberties than he is [Steve Chapman]
- Unanimous Cal Supremes: companies not legally responsible for other companies’ asbestos products used as replacement for theirs [Cal Biz Lit, Jackson, Beck, Mass Tort Prof]
- Claim: jurors considered policy implications of verdict and you can’t have that [On Point; defense verdict in Baltimore, Maryland school-bullying case]
- Airfare display mandate: “‘Protecting’ Consumers from the Truth About the Cost of Government” [Thom Lambert, TotM]
- Critical assessment of AP-backed new copyright aggregator “NewsRight” [Mike Masnick] Promises not to be “Righthaven 2.0” [Cit Media Law]
- Restatement (Third) of Torts drafters vs. Enlightenment scientific views of causation [David Oliver in June]
- “Copyright troll Righthaven in its death throes, domain going up for auction” [Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing]
- Controversy over litigation finance continues [WaPo, NYPost]
- Presumably unrelated to above: “Unpaid Bills Land Some Debtors Behind Bars” [NPR]
- “Rent Control Violates Property Rights and Due Process” [Ilya Shapiro and Trevor Burrus, Cato, on Harmon v. Kimmel cert petition]
- Child abuse horrors result in dubious policy proposals including moves to abolish statutes of limitation, cast wider mandatory-reporting net [Howard Wasserman/PrawfsBlawg, Kyle Graham/Concurring Opinions]
- Schwab IRA class action settlement: lawyers get $500K while benefit to class is unclear [Lawrence Schonbron, Washington Times]
- “State Court Challenges to Legislatively Enacted Tort Reforms” [Andrew Cook and Emily Kelchen, Federalist Society “State Court Docket Watch”]
- Furor continues over insider trading by Congress [Roger Parloff/Fortune, Bainbridge (“unimpressed” with reform proposal entitled STOCK Act), earlier] Rep. Bachus disputes claims in Peter Schweizer book [AW, Perry]
- “Fort Hood victims’ families seek $750M from feds” [Kenneth Timmerman, Daily Caller]
- “Chicago Lawyer Sues Southwest, Says Airline Breached Free-Drink Coupon Contract” [ABA Journal]
- “Lawyer Solicitation: Penn State Sex Abuse Edition” [Turkewitz] Slate slags Merck CEO [Ted Frank]
- Akaka Hawaii-racialization bill, smuggled in through the back door? [Ilya Shapiro, background]
- Suits over Hurricane Irene electrical outages expected to spread [Connecticut Law Tribune, Chris Powell]
- Fiasco envy? “RIAA Thinking Of Backing Righthaven” [Masnick, TechDirt] “Righthaven ordered to pay nearly $120,000 in attorney fees, court costs” [VegasInc., Ars Technica, American Power Blog]
“US Marshals turned loose to collect $63,720.80 from Righthaven” [Nate Anderson, ArsTechnica]
- Behind the antitrust assault on Google [Jerry Brito, Josh Wright, more]
- Rapid rise of lawsuit lenders [WSJ] And a Searle Civil Justice Institute conference on third party financing of litigation;
- More law firms muscle into class action against e-book publishers [PaidContent] Fifth Circuit questions cy pres [Trask] And a new edition of the Federalist Society’s Class Action Watch is out;
- When the house painters announce they’re not leaving: “Britain plans to tighten anti-squatter laws” [NYT]
- “Courts Call Out Copyright Trolls’ Coercive Business Model, Threaten Sanctions” [EFF] “Righthaven’s Copyright Trolling is a Bankrupt Idea” [Cit Media Law] More: Vegas Inc.
- “Twombly is the Logical Extension of the Mathews v. Eldridge Test to Discovery” [Andrew Blair-Stanek via Volokh, Frank] “Four more reasons to love TwIqbal” [Beck] “O’Scannlain says 9th Circ has adopted ‘Iqbal lite’ pleading standard, ‘Same insufficient complaints, fewer dismissals!'” [@ScottKGraham on dissent in Starr v. County of Los Angeles, PDF]
- Florida farms sell raw milk as (wink) “pet food” [Sun-Sentinel]
- Large newspaper group drops RightHaven; “it was a dumb idea” [Kravets/Wired, more] Courtroom reverses for copyright aggregator assume a comic tone [BoingBoing, Slashdot, Corporate Counsel]
- Dan Snyder drops suit against Washington City Paper [WCP, Wolfman/CL&P, Adler, earlier here, here, etc.] More reactions to TSAer’s lawsuit threat against columnist/blogger Amy Alkon [Treacher, Balko, Bader]
- Jury declines to credit testimony about when victim took Children’s Motrin [Beck]
- Mississippi high court strikes down widely noted $7 million lead paint verdict in Sherwin-Williams vs. Gaines [AP, Freeland, LNL, opinion]
- “Is suing the bar a new drunk driving trend?” [NJLRA]
- Decline of chemistry sets tells a story of fear and liability [John Browning, SETR, earlier]
- “Expectedly pleasing,” that’s me [Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason]
- New movie “InJustice: A Film About Greed and Corruption in America’s Lawsuit Industry” premieres on Reelz Channel July 11 [film website; Bryan Quigley, U.S. Chamber]
- “Failure to Warn Suit Filed Against Tanning Salon” [AboutLawsuits via TortsProf; melanoma, Pennsylvania]
- NYC: “Politically Tied Lawyers Win Jobs Handling Foreclosures in the City” [NYT]
- Beldar tells a war story about the nature of de novo review, in the Prop 8 context;
- “Viacom’s Sumner Redstone: The Mogul Named ‘Sue!'” [Johnnie L. Roberts, The Wrap]
- Chairman of Dallas Fed salutes litigation reform’s role in Texas economic strength [CJAC; Rick Wartzman, L.A. Times]
- “Righthaven cheerleader wanted by irony police” [Kurt Opsahl, EFF, Citizen Media Law] “Righthaven pressing for right to seize defendants’ websites, computers” [Vegas Inc. via @PogoWasRight]
Like Marc Randazza, I’m a little too close to the Righthaven litigation in Nevada — being co-counsel with him on a couple of Righthaven cases — to say much beyond what I have said about that issue here. (Overlawyered in general suffers from no such limitation, of course.) But as “Marco” notes, the following quote from a website called Righthaven Victims says plenty:
First it was a “clerical error” that caused Righthaven to sue an Ars Technica journalist for using an image that was part of a court filing, now Righthaven is blaming an undisclosed “Former In-House Counsel” for not disclosing Stephens Media as an interested party in hundreds of cases they have filed over copyright infringement.Righthaven submitted their answer to Judge Roger Hunt’s order to show cause why they should not be sanctioned for the omission. Their only answer was this unnamed rogue in-house counsel screwed up.
For the foregoing reasons, Righthaven respectfully requests that the Court find its failure to comply with Local Rule 7.1-1 through its former in house counsel does not rise to the level of sanctionable conduct given the circumstances described herein. Moreover, Righthaven has taken corrective action in response to the Court’s June 14th Order by filing amended disclosure statements in almost 120 pending cases in within this District and within the District of Colorado. Dated this 28th day of June, 2011.
Since so many lawyers have left Righthaven it is difficult to determine exactly who Righthaven is blaming which cannot go over well for any lawyer that has ever worked for Righthaven.
As Marc points out, Steve Green at Vegas Inc. has one possible answer to that question, which suggests one very big little problem with this throw-’em-under-the-bus strategy:
Ninety-eight. That’s the number of Righthaven LLC copyright infringement lawsuits in which Righthaven CEO Steven Gibson was one of the attorneys of record for his own company.
I’ve actually always said, in my professional life, that clients pay, in part, for the privilege of blaming you for no damned good reason. It’s like being a baseball manager: Can’t find a third starter or a decent third baseman? Fire the manager. Occupational hazard.
But this is a new one. Can you actually throw yourself under the bus? Now that would sure flatten you good. And — again — it would be Mr. Gibson who would be doing the throwing:
In fact, Righthaven is half owned by Gibson and half owned by investors who are part of the family of Arkansas investment banking billionaire Warren Stephens. He and his family also own Stephens Media.
If that’s all true, and I don’t recall anyone denying it, it could be a long, flat summer in Nevada for Righthaven and its, uh, counsel.
It has to do with RightHaven: “Why We Won’t Link To Denver Post, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Salt Lake Tribune, and Several Others” [Box Turtle Bulletin]