Posts Tagged ‘Borat’

February 9 roundup

Multi-billion dollar (and down) extortion edition:

  • Merrill Lynch and CSFB appeal extortionate Enron class-action certification. [Point of Law; AEI (Feb. 9); WLF brief]
  • More on the extortionate and lawless $500 billion Wal-Mart class certification. [Point of Law]
  • Mississippi Supreme Court rejects extortionate medical monitoring class actions. [Behrens @ WLF]
  • Lawyer Daniel Hynes tries to extort $2000 from New Hampshire bar holding Ladies’ Night. [Foster’s Daily Democrat (h/t B.C.)]
  • Colorado Civil Justice League stops legislative attempt at giveaway to local trial lawyers. [Point of Law]
  • Wisconsin court: family can be sued for babysitter’s car accident when returning home from dropping off child. [AP/Insurance Journal]
  • Fox seeks to dismiss Borat suit on anti-SLAPP grounds. [Hollywood Reporter Esq. via WSJ Law Blog]

  • Passaic County jury: $28M for “wrongful birth.” []
  • Former AG (and Dem) Griffin Bell: “Judicial Leadership Emerging In Asbestos And Silica Mass Torts” [WLF]

  • Utah legislature considering med-mal reform for ERs. “Neurosurgeons in this town have to pay over $90,000 a year just for the privilege of getting out of bed on a Friday night to drain the blood from the brain of a victim of a drunk driver crash. And they say, I’m not gonna do it. Because the patients are sicker. The procedures are sometimes more invasive and more risky with more complications. Why take that risk if they don’t have to?” [KCPW via Kevin MD; Provo Herald]

  • A little-read blog promoting a soon-to-be-pulped fictional account of tort reform is really begging for a link from us, what with three out of the last five posts making amateurish (and often false) personal attacks on this site’s authors or soliciting others to also fling poo. No dice.

“Candid Camera”

Apparently the long-running show was sued very little, if at all, by victims of its hidden-camera stunts. Was that because, as host Allen Funt maintained, the show’s spirit was genial rather than sadistic, in contrast to more recent shows? Or because its liability releases (presumably proffered to the victims after the embarrassing stunt had been sprung) were more likely to be upheld? Or just because people then weren’t as primed to sue? (Ann Althouse, Jan. 20).

January 20 roundup

  • Med mal: does sorry work? [Point of Law]
  • Med mal: Nelu Radonescu v. Naum Ciomu. I think the damages were too low, since the act was intentional. But it’s in Romania. [Metro UK]
  • New San Francisco sick leave law helps workers at big chains (if only in the short term) and lawyers, hurts everyone else. [Point of Law]
  • Vioxx medical monitoring class action to proceed. [Point of Law; Drug and Device Law Blog]
  • And the next Vioxx trial in New Jersey, starting Monday. [Point of Law]
  • Adware displays porn on teacher’s computer, she faces 40 years. [roundup of links at Boing Boing]
  • Fraud in Ohio asbestos case plus slap on wrist for lawyer; no consequences for plaintiff. [Point of Law; Adler @ Volokh]
  • Always open mail from California. [Cal Biz Lit]

  • $100 million legal bill defending oneself against Spitzerism. [WSJ Law Blog]
  • “It would probably be better for the nation if more of the gifted went into the sciences and fewer into the law.” [Murray @ OpinionJournal]
  • Borat accepting Golden Globe: “And thank you to every American who has not sued me so far.” [Above the Law; Throwing Things]
  • OJ’s book contract. [Slate]

  • Contra Doonesbury, Bush administration not hiding age of Grand Canyon [The Daily Gut via Captain Spaulding; Adler @ Volokh]
  • Stephen Colbert “eviscerates” Dinesh D’Souza. [Comedy Central via Evanier]

January 13 roundup

About to fly away for the Martin Luther King Day weekend; Walter will approve comments, but there may be delays. I leave you with:

  • Judge Senter channels Hugo Chavez: $2.5M in punitive damages in Mississippi for noting that an uncovered storm surge was responsible for the destruction of a $225k house. [Point of Law; Insurance Coverage Blog; Chicago Trib]

  • Public Citizen calls medical malpractice crisis a “hoax.” Are they right? [Point of Law]
  • Mass torts and multiple misjoinders. [Point of Law; Drug and Device Law Blog]
  • Sasha Baron Cohen isn’t exactly sympathetic to the Borat litigation plaintiffs. [LA Times]
  • “High-profile trial looms large for controversial class-action leader” [DC Examiner]

  • Still more on warning labels. [Mass Tort Litigation Blog]

  • New Jersey Dem wants voting rights for idiots. No, really. [CNN/Reuters]

  • I found this tale of a Supreme Court argument poignant [WSJ Law Blog]

  • Harris County courthouse “rocket docket”: delay people with lengthy metal-detector lines, then throw them in jail when they’re late for court. [Kirkendall]

  • Different kind of rocket PSA: Don’t explode fireworks in your hand. [GruntDoc; Unbounded Medicine (gory)]

December 14 roundup

  • Ford wins an Explorer rollover lawsuit brought by family of unseatbelted accident victim, but press coverage is skimpy. [Detroit News]
  • Milberg Weiss’s claims for $12 million in fees viewed skeptically, cut in half. [Lattman; WSJ]
  • Dog food prank plaintiff Tennie Pierce is “the O.J. of the Fire Department.” Contrary to what one may think, this is apparently meant as a compliment, suggesting a racial divide that can’t be entirely attributable to whites. [LA Times]
  • SDNY Clinton appointee Judge Scheindlin thinks she’s smarter than Judge Easterbrook, throws pension law into mess again. See POL Nov. 12 and Aug. 8 for background. [Business Insurance; Cooper v. IBM]
  • Nifong gets around to releasing DNA results that appear to exonerate indicted Duke lacrosse players. Earlier: Oct. 12, etc. [AP/ABC News]
  • Judge won’t censor Borat DVD, but frat-boy lawsuit goes forward. [Reuters]
  • Criminal speeds away from DC police, hits innocent motorist, DC taxpayers liable for $1M. [WaPo]
  • Similarly: negligent driver veers across three lanes of highway traffic into oncoming vehicle, killing 18-year old; taxpayers liable for $2M because SUV was able to smash through the median. [AP/King County Journal]
  • Today’s Ninth Circuit Follies edition: lawless reopening of final sentences. [Kerr @ Volokh; Bashman; Carrington v. US; Lat]
  • Robert Ramsey files two more lawsuits claiming simultaneous asbestosis and silicosis in Madison County against several dozen defendants. [Madison County Record]
  • UK: 100-pound fine for misfiling trash. [Market Center Blog via Overcriminalized]
  • Inhofe’s take on global warming. [Senate]
  • Trial lawyer puts money where his mouth is. Check back in ten years to see whether it’s lawyers or insurers who are really at fault for medmal insurance crisis. [Point of Law]
  • I blame the fact I joined Friendster for this. [PrawfsBlawg]

November 27 roundup

  • In the Supreme Court November 29: Watters v. Wachovia. Also an AEI panel November 28, broadcast on C-SPAN1, 2pm to 4pm Eastern. [Point of Law; AEI; Zywicki @ Volokh]
  • Also in the Supreme Court November 29: Massachusetts v. EPA global warming regulation case. Previously an AEI panel November 21. [Adler @ Volokh; AEI; C-SPAN (Real Media)]
  • Legal cliche: If the facts are against you, pound the law; if the law is against you, pound the facts; if both are against you, pound the table. Table-pounding class of Gerry Spence protegee offers lessons in emotionally creating jury sympathy worth millions. [LATimes]
  • What judicial activism?, Part 7356: Indiana state court judge holds “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” unconstitutional, complains gun industry supported the law. [Indianapolis Star via Bashman; Indiana Law Blog]
  • Entertaining doctor victory in medmal case. [Musings of a Dinosaur via Kevin MD]
  • Dahlia Lithwick gets something right; if only it was on an issue more important than a suit advertisement. [Slate]
  • Leftover from Thanksgiving: lawyers acting like turkeys. [Ambrogi]
  • Ninth Circuit grants potential standing to monkeys over Kozinski dissent. Earlier: Oct. 21, 2004. [Bashman roundup of links]
  • Gloria Allred joins the Borat pile-on. [LATimes]
  • Speaking of, here’s the future case of Allred v. Kramer. More Allred: Oct. 16. [Evanier]
  • Speaking of Allred nostalgia, and of primates, whatever happened to chimpanzee victim St. James Davis? (Mar. 17, 2005; Mar. 8, 2005) [Inside Edition; “The Original Musings”; CNN Pipeline ($)]
  • More Allred nostalgia: is Veronica Mars‘ Francis Capra the next Hunter Tylo? Discuss. [Prettier than Napoleon]

Yet another Borat suit

This one threatened on behalf of villagers from Glod, Romania, (a stand-in for Kazakhstan in the movie) who say they weren’t paid or given releases for their participation in the film, an assertion denied by the studio. The Los Angeles Times gives a largely sympathetic platform to their lawyer, Ed Fagan, without managing to mention the disciplinary trouble he found himself in (Nov. 26; Aug. 27, 2005 and links therein). Fagan shamelessly admits that he will simultaneously file suits in California, Florida, and Germany; international judge-shopping at its finest. (Bojan Pancevski, “Villagers to sue `Borat'”, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 19).

November 19 roundup

  • By popular demand: Alexis Brennan gives hot chocolate to daughter in carseat, little girl spills drink and burns herself after mom drives away, mom sues Starbucks; press mentions one hot coffee case where plaintiff won, and none of the dozen-plus where plaintiffs had claims thrown out. (This case is distinguishable from the McDonald’s coffee case if the mother’s claim that she specifically asked for a low-temperature drink holds up.) [Indianapolis Star; WRTV]
  • Former placekicker and current Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas wins $7 million libel judgment from newspaper that dared to criticize him. Newspaper unable to defend truth of its reporting, because its discovery requests were blocked by claims of “judicial privilege.” [Lattman; Bashman]
  • Copyright trolls inhibit hip-hop music. Is that a bug or a feature? [Tim Wu @ Slate]
  • Judge to class action plaintiffs: tell me about your dealings with Milberg. [Point of Law]
  • “Plaintiff draws $1.26M penalty. Judge sends developer message: ‘Scorched-earth litigation’ will cost you.” [Knoxville News]
  • Second Circuit: Illegal aliens may sue for wages at U.S. levels. [Madeira v. Affordable Housing Foundation; New York Sun; both via Bashman]
  • UK Guy Fawkes crowd forced to resort to “virtual bonfire” because of liability fears over real one. [Evening Standard; apologies for losing the hat-tip]
  • Burlington Northern & Santa Fe to artists: don’t paint paintings of our trains or else. [CL&P Blog]
  • Borat update: “One immediate handicap the two fraternity brothers bring to this legal battle is an inability to find a lawyer who knows how to spell ‘aisle.'” [Slate]
  • ATLA on the offense in the new Congress, but their fifth Congressional target, Heather Wilson, held on to her seat against AG Patricia Madrid (Sep. 13). [Point of Law; Albuquerque Tribune]
  • Reliving deregulation debates. [Wallison @ AEI]
  • Inconsistent Internet gambling ban violates existing treaty, may result in trade sanctions; Congress must now decide whether to annoy anti-gambling Puritans, American IP content providers, or horse-racing and lottery industry. [Slate]
  • Roundup of links on new UK law on derivative suits. [Point of Law]
  • World ends: minorities and women hardest hit, as applied to noneconomic damages. [Point of Law; Roth CPA]

Breaking: Obnoxious Chi Psi frat boys sue Borat

Two of my least favorite things—misogynistic frat-boys and frivolous lawsuits—together at once. Three Chi Psi fraternity brothers from the University of South Carolina, after signing waivers and getting paid $200, got caught drunkenly wishing for slaves and making other obnoxious sexist and racist remarks on film to Sasha Baron Cohen in his character of Kazakh journalist Borat; those scenes appeared in the movie. They’re now suing, wanting takebacks. TMZ has the Los Angeles Superior Court complaint, which asks for an injunction, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees. (I look forward to the discovery on the “false light” claims that suggest that the plaintiffs never would say such things as they were recorded being said.) Earlier, a friend of one of the frat boys asked Metafilter for advice. The complaint is filed by John Does, but Chi Psi David Corcoran has already bragged about the experience to FHM. Frat president Todd Bailey talks about the story to the local paper.

(Update: Upon further review, I see that the complaint alleges that the movie “falsely depicted them as insensitive to minorities.” There is no allegation that the movie falsely depicted them as insensitive to women. In the trade, that’s known as a negative pregnant.)

(Second update: Bashman with a roundup of links and Lat with sardonic commentary.)

November 6 roundup

  • Election day is tomorrow; the roundtable is still going on our sister website. [Point of Law]
  • One reason the election is important: judicial nominations. Bill Clinton appointed 378 judges; Bush, in six years, 266, with 45 vacancies. [National Law Journal]
  • Update: Illinois appellate court rejects Judge Maag’s $110M libel suit. (Earlier: Dec. 23, 2004 and links therein.) [Bashman]
  • Does Professor Charles Silver’s single-variable time series on Texas doctor supply tell us anything about reform, as he claims? Did doctors push reform down the throats of an “anonymous and dispersed” group? I argue no. [Point of Law; Silver @ Bizarro-Overlawyered]
  • Professor Paul Horwitz questions the convenience of the death-bed statements of the decedent in Williams v. Philip Morris. [PrawfsBlawg]
  • More threatened Borat-related litigation (Nov. 29) from Mahir “I kiss you” Cagri and from Gypsies. The latter is resulting in film censorship in Germany. [Wired; Sydney Morning Herald]
  • “We live in a very litigious society; it makes it more difficult for a physician to be a good Samaritan.” [MetroWest Daily News via Kevin MD]
  • Add Art Bell to the list of people threatening to sue bloggers. [Workbench]
  • Twenty years of Scalia. [Weekly Standard]