- Makes perfect sense: to make transportation more accessible to its residents, Montgomery County, Maryland orders 20 taxi companies to close down [Washington Post]
- “New ‘Gainful Employment’ Rule Spells Trouble For For-Profit Law Schools (And Would For 50 Non-Profit Law Schools)” [Caron, TaxProf]
- “To comply with a twisted interpretation of TCPA, Twitter would have to stop providing certain services altogether.” [Harold Furchtgott-Roth] “New FCC Rules Could Make Polling More Expensive, Less Accurate” [HuffPost Pollster]
- To draft the unpassable bill: Scott Shackford on the politics and bad policy behind the omnibus LGBT Equality Act [Reason] “So How Can Anyone Be Opposed to Non-Discrimination Laws?” [Coyote] More: Establishment liberalism reluctant to admit it’s changed its thinking on religious accommodation, but that’s what’s happened [Ramesh Ponnuru/Bloomberg View]
- Update: “Court rejects claim over goat goring in Olympic National Park” [AP, earlier here and here]
- “I would receive 100 other identical stories [from asylum seekers] with only the names changed.” [The Australian, 2013]
- “Some protested that DNA testing amounted to a violation of canine privacy because dogs were not capable of consent.” [New York Times on Brooklyn condo dispute via @orinkerr]
“All you would be asked is the same few rubbish questions,” said the lawyer. “Just make it up.” However, the 2010 conversation was being secretly recorded by the feds as part of an investigation that “has led to the prosecution of at least 30 people” including lawyers, paralegals and others employed by ten law firms, as well as a church employee “accused of coaching asylum applicants in basic tenets of Christianity to prop up their claims of religious persecution.” [Kirk Semple, Joseph Goldstein and Jeffrey E. Singer, New York Times] Earlier on asylum law here, here, here, etc..
- Disabilities treaty might hit Senate floor soon; Sen. Hatch opposes [The Hill, Hatch, Heritage; earlier here, here, etc.]
- Right to expropriate trumps right to privacy? Georgetown lawprof claims Swiss bank confidentiality violates human rights [Stephen Cohen, SSRN via TaxProf]
- No thanks, we like our First Amendment: curbs on internet “hate speech” top agenda of UN committee;
- You know those unsound “no recognition of foreign law” bills popular in some state legislatures? Among their unintended effects could be to interfere with recognition of some international adoptions [Jefferson City, Mo. News Tribune, earlier] Court strikes down Oklahoma sharia ban [NPR]
- Two views of the U.N. Small Arms Treaty, which President Obama is due to sign any day now [Bob Barr/Washington Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (editorial dismisses issue as mere “scarelore”)]
- Conservatives for looser asylum laws? About the German homeschooler case [Ann Althouse]
- Claim: international law forbids complicity in the death penalty [Bharat Malkani, OJ] Hans Bader on European court’s invalidation of “whole-life” sentences [CEI “Open Market”]
- “The War of Law: How New International Law Undermines Democratic Sovereignty” [Jon Kyl, Douglas J. Feith, and John Fonte, Foreign Affairs; Peter Spiro, OJ; related ForeignPolicy.com interview with Kenneth Anderson and Brett Schaefer]
An immigration judge has ruled that the British government cannot deport convicted drug dealer Hesham Ali, who has never been in the country legally, because he has a girlfriend and making him leave would therefore violate his “right to family life” under the Human Rights Act [Telegraph]:
He convinced a judge he had a “family life” which had to be respected because he had a “genuine” relationship with a British woman – despite already having two children by different women with whom he now has no contact.
Ali also mounted an extraordinary claim that his life would be in danger in his native Iraq because he was covered in tattoos, including a half-naked Western woman – a claim which was only dismissed after exhaustive legal examination.
Meanwhile, Ted Frank argues that the case of the Tsarnaev family points up the longstanding problem of dubious or fraudulent asylum claims [Point of Law]
A New Yorker writer sympathetically if uneasily profiles one of the many who choose to pursue legal immigrant status (with lawyers’ help) by petitioning for asylum on the basis of made-up atrocity stories. “‘I have never been raped,’ she admitted, giggling with embarrassment… ‘Telling that story makes me sad, because I know it’s true for someone.'” But not necessarily true for most of those in her position: “There’s one [a story] for each country,” explains a lawyer. “There’s the Colombian rape story — they all say they were raped by the FARC. There’s the Rwandan rape story, the Tibetan refugee story. The details for each are the same.” [Suketu Mehta, “The Asylum Seeker: For a chance at a better life, it helps to make your bad story worse,” New Yorker](& Legal Ethics Forum)
A front-page story in the New York Times details how some immigration middlemen engage in systematic coaching of false persecution stories. “West Africans claim genital mutilation or harm from the latest political violence. Albanians and immigrants from other Balkan countries claim they fear ethnic cleansing. Chinese invoke the one-child policy or persecution of Christians, Venezuelans cite their opposition to the ruling party, and Russians describe attacks against gay people. Iraqis and Afghans can cite fear of retaliation by Islamic extremists.”
As any economist would tell you, if you lower the price of something, you get more demand for it. If it becomes completely costless to bring suit, we will see many more meritless suits.
That’s no small problem in New York, where courts are already overloaded.
If a dispute over shelter entitles a cantankerous tenant to a free attorney on the government’s dime, it will be much easier for people to fight evictions when they violate a lease in ways that threaten other tenants or intentionally refuse to pay rent. Landlords, in turn, will have to hire their own attorneys and raise rents and costs for their honest tenants.
Not unrelated: U.S. is granting asylum requests far more often than formerly. Why might that be? [Ted’s answer]
- From attorney Bob Ambrogi, on Twitter: “This felt wrong: Shortly after heated call with lawyer saying he’d sue my client, he sent me invite to connect on LinkedIn.” Related: Amy Alkon.
- “Spot the lawsuit in this commercial” [Louis Vuitton vs. Hyundai; Trademark Blog]
- Video: “Community swimming pool closes due to lawsuit” [Hazleton, Pa.; U.S. Chamber Faces of Lawsuit Abuse series; plaintiff’s side of things]
- Recycling, found materials, and why so much “green building” won’t last [Sippican Cottage and followup]
- German ban on homeschooling not a compelling reason to grant asylum to affected family [Krikorian, NRO, Volokh]
- Ted’s Center for Class Action Fairness files objections to a Costco fuel class settlement; related reflections from the judge in the recent Honda case;
- “Photographing Public Art: A Legal Waltz in Seattle” [Citizen Media Law, earlier]
- “Big Bankruptcies’ Big Fees Raising Questions” [Asarco, Station Casinos; Baxter, AmLaw Daily]
- “California’s Largest Cities and Counties Spent More Than $500 Million in Litigation Costs in Two Years” [CACALA]
- Violence Policy Center blames handgun carry permits for offenses that include … strangulation? [Sullum]
- New allegations in New York school district lawyers pension scandal [Newsday]
- Plush doll twade dwess dispute made Tonstant Weader fwow up [Schwimmer]
- “School Hit With a Lawsuit over Dodgeball Game Injury” [FindLaw “Injured”, Bronx]
- Too bad judges are so reluctant to sanction lawyers for filing papers that contain false assertions [Coleman]
- Hundreds of asylum clients could be deported after law firm founders are convicted of fraud [ABA Journal]
- Congratulations to superlative juryblogger Anne Reed, picked to run Wisconsin Humane Society [Deliberations; also Turkewitz]
The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal ruled that sending the Bolivian man back to his homeland would breach his human rights because he was entitled to a “private and family life”, and joint ownership of a pet was evidence that he was fully settled in this country. …
The Bolivian’s identity has not been disclosed and even the name of the pet cat was blanked out in official court papers to protect its privacy.
Delivering her decision on the case, which is thought to have cost the taxpayer several thousand pounds, Judith Gleeson, a senior immigration judge, joked in the official written ruling that the cat “need no longer fear having to adapt to Bolivian mice”. …
More: Rougblog (“We are all familiar with the term “anchor baby,” but the “anchor cat” is a new concept for me.”)