Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore’

Jailed for 11 years — so far — in divorce

Is H. Beatty Chadwick concealing major assets, as his ex-wife’s lawyers contend and as a court has agreed? Or is Chadwick right in his story about not being able to lay hands on the money? And is Chadwick stubborn enough to have stuck with a false story through 11 years — so far — of imprisonment for contempt of court? (“A divorce case’s singular result: 11 years in jail … and counting”, AP/Baltimore Sun, Sept. 17).

Duly noted

Threats against federal judges are on a record-setting pace this year, nearly 18 months after the family of a federal judge was killed in Chicago….

The rise in civil lawsuits, especially those filed by people who do not have lawyers, and a change in criminal cases in federal courts help explain the increase, the marshals say.

Donald Donovan, chief deputy marshal in Baltimore, said people who file and lose multiple lawsuits account for the largest percentage of threats.

Federal courts now handle many more violent crime prosecutions, cases that were once the province of state and local courts….

(Mark Sherman, “An angry trend: Threats against federal judges set record pace”, AP/Boston Globe, Jul. 28).

Baltimore Examiner (& publicity roundup)

Lawsuits filed against the city of Baltimore demand hundreds of millions of dollars, but the city pays out only a minute fraction of that sum — one of many reasons being that “the city caps awards for lawsuits at $200,000, save for intentional bad acts by city employees.” An editorial in the Baltimore Examiner quotes me on the subject (“Slow lawsuits; charge losers fees”, Jul. 13). For more on New York City’s tort predicament, see Jun. 15.

Last month was named “Web Site of the Day” by the Bulletin Board at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, one of the Twin Cities’ two big papers (Jun. 2). The British publication The Lawyer cited our coverage of Bill Lerach’s Enron fees (Jun. 5). And New York-based journalist Robert A. George (the “good” Robert George) calls this website “great”, though he erroneously thinks me a lawyer (Jun. 5).

I’ve also been quoted on same-sex marriage issues in a variety of venues, including by Lou Chibbaro Jr. in the Washington Blade (“Amendment bars states from marrying gay couples: experts”, Apr. 20); Jonathan Rauch at (May 6); Andy Humm, “Gay Marriage Ruling Highlights a Changing Court”, Gotham Gazette, Jul. 10); and the Robert A. George post above. For more of my views on that subject, see Jun. 2, etc.

Sues to compete in high school race by wheelchair

And wins.

Tatyana McFadden, 16, a sophomore at Atholton High School in Columbia, will be allowed on the track at the same time as the other competitors but will be scored separately under a preliminary injunction granted yesterday in Baltimore by U.S. District Court Judge Andre M. Davis.

McFadden complained that the school’s policy of separate wheelchair races made her “feel left out,” because she would often compete alone after track officials refused to let her share the track with runners because of risk of injury. I look forward to the lawsuit if a competitor is injured: the Post notes that an injury hasn’t happened yet, but that sort of Bayesian analysis never stops 20/20 hindsight. (Jon Gallo and Mary Otto, “Wheelchair Athlete Wins Right to Race Alongside Runners”, Washington Post, Apr. 18) (via Lott). Volokh comments, and there are some good notes in the comment section.

Welcome Baltimore Sun readers

The newspaper of H.L. Mencken gave this site a nice recommendation Nov. 24 (not online) in its column about the Web, “The Monitor”:

What’s the point? — This site explores the ever-increasing litigiousness of society by reviewing law blogs (aka “blawgs”), and linking to and discussing articles and papers on cases, laws and so on.

What to look for — Check out posts on such recent cases as a man who says he got glued to a toilet seat in the bathroom of a Home Depot and last week’s accusations that Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee is too hot.

Microsoft fee squabble: judge has “better things to do”

Declaring that he had “better things to do”, U.S. District Judge Frederick Motz in Baltimore has dismissed for lack of jurisdiction an action by plaintiff’s lawyers seeking to grab more than $24 million from a $79 million fee pot awarded another group of lawyers for their work suing Microsoft in six states and the District of Columbia. The lawyers are still free to pursue their claims in state courts. (Brian Witte, “Federal judge dismisses request for legal fees in Microsoft case”, AP/Grand Forks Herald, Oct. 27). More on MS fee-ing frenzies: Jul. 25, 2004 and links from there.

Hurricane-chasing, cont’d

New Orleans criminal defense attorney Joseph Larre’s 300 clients were evacuated and now sit in lockups across the South, some as far away as Jacksonville, Fla. Many of his case records were destroyed by floodwater, and the city’s criminal courts have not reopened. So Larre, 47, drove around the city last week in his champagne-colored Ford Explorer and nailed signs to telephone poles announcing, in big red letters, “KATRINA CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT.”

By Friday, he had received 300 phone calls. At least two other lawyers, he said, have put up similar signs.

Larre said he hasn’t decided whom to sue for what. But he says he has heard from homeowners who fear that insurance companies will scrimp on settlements, as well as irate residents looking to haul New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and even the Red Cross into court.

As he considered potential defendants, Larre said, “I definitely like the oil companies and their insurance companies.”…

“You really hit the jackpot if you nail the Army Corps of Engineers,” he mused, standing in a mud-caked intersection in his shorts, T-shirt and running shoes.

(Douglas Birch, “Lawyers drawn to storm cases”, Baltimore Sun, Oct. 10).

His onion-scented handkerchief

Another tidbit from Sadakat Kadri’s colorful history The Trial, which I reviewed yesterday:

Howe’s [legendary NYC courtroom lawyer William Howe, whose heyday was the late 19th century] most remarkable talent, a skill that won him plaudits from colleagues and hoodlums alike, was an apparent ability to weep at will. Although [prosecutor Francis L.] Wellman suspected that he used an onion-scented handkerchief to get in the mood, the ducts, once opened, flowed steady as a siphon, and never were they deployed more effectively than during his summation in 1887 for a client named Edward Unger.

Read On…