This evening I took advantage of the hospitality of the folks at TechnoLawyer.com who secured the use of a dandy bar in Tribeca for the launch of a new eBook they are giving away to their customers, “BlawgWorld 2006: Capital of Big Ideas“. The book is discussed at length over at Evan Schaeffer’s today by Ted, Mike Cernovich and others. I enjoyed meeting other guests, among them Bruce MacEwen of Adam Smith Esq. and Arnie Herz of LegalSanity, both of which blogs are deservedly popular among practicing lawyers.
After too long a hiatus, we’ve resumed our separate letters to the editor feature. Among topics this time: a teacher writes to protest our 2001 coverage of her lawsuit over a parent’s injurious handshake; reflections on the recent $22.6 million settlement of a claim that “toxic mold” from wet building lumber had caused a child’s autism; a reader doesn’t agree that the “happy hour” antitrust case against taverns in Madison, Wis. was lacking in merit; and this site gets used as instructional material in a class on liability issues in law enforcement. More good letters remain in the pipeline.
…to this site on Tuesday. Thank you, FARK.
Next Monday, November 21, this website will be hosting Blawg Review #33, the thirty-third weekly carnival of the best postings about legal matters from around the blogosphere. A different site hosts the roundup each week; last week’s Blawg Review #32 was hosted in honor of (U.S.) Veteran’s Day by JAG Central, which covers the world of military law.
You can help assemble the material for Blawg Review #33 by following the instructions at the Blawg Review site. If you’re a website proprietor, you should nominate your favorite post from the past week or so from your own site. And any reader can nominate a favorite recent post from any weblog on a legal topic (the weblog needn’t be one that specializes in legal issues). (Sorry, we can’t guarantee that all nominations will be used.) All submissions are due in by this Saturday night, but earlier submissions are greatly appreciated to reduce the last-minute editing duties.
Yesterday afternoon our periodic newsletter went out to subscribers, in shorter-than-usual format due to time overcommitments. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you really ought to; sign up here (requires Google registration).
The site was down for about half an hour yesterday, which may or may not have had something to do with our meat-packing post getting Fark’d, bringing in a big surge of visitors. In general, traffic on the site has been up markedly since the redesign/rehosting a month and a half ago. Could be the more search-friendly URLs, could be the experiment with comments on some posts, could be increasing numbers of RSS/XML users — hard to tell exactly.
The comments experiment notwithstanding, the letters to the editor feature should be restarting before long. There are many good reader letters in the pipeline.
I’m off to the Federalist Society’s annual Lawyers Convention in Washington, D.C. and expect to be back posting on Sunday.
The widely read technology correspondent discusses the controversy arising from the revelation that Sony has been “injecting an undetectable copy-prevention utility into Microsoft Windows”. On the one hand, lawyers have already filed a class-action suit against Sony complaining of the practice; on the other hand, consumers who try to rid their computers of the anticopying program are at risk of violating “Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which bans the ‘circumvention’ of anticopying technology.” McCullagh goes on to observe:
If your head isn’t spinning by now, it should be. It’s a wacky result when both Sony and its hapless customers could be embroiled in legal hot water at the same time.
These citations to state laws, federal statutes and common law torts above should demonstrate an obvious point: The American legal system is, all too often, used as a weapon against businesses or individuals who can’t hope to comply with every regulation on the books. Entrepreneurs write checks to law firms instead of developing products. Guilt and innocence turn too often on technicalities rather than whether an action was inherently right or wrong.
Why? As Manhattan Institute fellow Walter Olson documents on Overlawyered.com, our legal system is set up to encourage lawsuits. They’re easy to file and difficult to dismiss. Plus, politicians receive attention by enacting new laws, not by repealing them. No wonder the Federal Register was growing by between 55,000 and 70,000 pages annually even by the first Bush presidency. …
(“Perspective: Why they say spyware is good for you”, CNet News, Nov. 7).
Are you reading Point of Law regularly? If not, you’re missing
- extensive analysis of the Alito nomination;
- the meaning of the New Jersey Vioxx verdict;
- the plaintiffs’ lawyer who asked for $60 million because he had successfully forum-shopped for a court with judges he helped elect;
- Eliot Spitzer bullying competitors of the Postal Service;
- multiple refutations of the plaintiffs’ bar’s attempt to lie about medical malpractice insurance;
- ongoing coverage of the silicosis litigation scandal;
- an extensive discussion of what it means to be an ethical litigator; and much, much more.