- Federal judge throws out wrongful-termination suit filed by pants suit judge Roy Pearson, he’ll probably appeal [D.C. Examiner] More: Lowering the Bar.
- Sebelius signs documents providing lawsuit immunity for swine flu vaccine developers [Orato]
- How Sacha Baron Cohen keeps from getting sued, part umpteen [The Frisky]
- More on British Chiropractic Association’s defamation suit against skeptic Singh [Citizen Media Law, Orac/Respectful Insolence; earlier here, here, and here]
- Next round of lawsuits against Dov Charney’s American Apparel may allege “looks discrimination”, though that’s probably not actually a relevant legal category [Gawker, Business Insider, earlier here, etc.]
- Demand that Chicago set aside municipal contracts for gay-owned businesses [Sun-Times]
- “Grandstanding anti-Craigslist politicians still not satisfied” [TechDirt, TG Daily]
- Judge Kozinski: this is America, behaving disrespectfully toward a cop isn’t a crime [Greenfield]
Be careful using it, lest you hear from zealous Olympics lawyers [Chalkie, Apr. 28]
Before you click the link, guess: who wins the $200,000? Was your guess right? Were other guesses just as plausible? And where does race fit in?
More: Coyote (“Here is a real journalistic triumph — the story of a multi-party conflict in which I immediately dislike absolutely everyone in the story on all sides of the conflict, up to and including the jury and the third parties quoted.”) And Scott Greenfield.
- Airline off the hook: “Couple drops lawsuit claiming United is liable for beating by drunken husband” [ABA Journal, earlier]
- Why is seemingly every bill that moves through Congress these days given a silly sonorous name? To put opponents on the defensive? Should it do so? [Massie]
- With police payouts in the lead, Chicago lays out more money in lawsuits than Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Dallas put together (but NYC still #1 by far) [Chicago Reader]
- Who’s behind the website Asbestos.com? Bill Childs does some digging [TortsProf]
- When not busy carrying out a mortgage fraud scheme from behind bars at a federal prison, inmate Montgomery Carl Akers is also a prolific filer of lawsuits, appeals and grievances [Doyle/McClatchy]
- Alcohol policy expert Philip Cook on Amethyst Initiative (reducing drinking age) [guestblogging at Volokh]
- Must Los Angeles put career criminals on public payroll as part of “anti-gang” efforts? [Patterico]
- Some “local food” advocates have their differences with food-poisoning lawyer Bill Marler [BarfBlog, which, yes, is a food-poisoning policy blog]; Marler for his part is not impressed by uninjured Vermont inmates’ “entrails in the chicken” pro se suit [his blog; more from Bill Childs and in comments; update: judge dismisses suit]
Left-leaning author, lawyer and union advocate Thomas Geoghegan is running for Rahm Emanuel’s House seat in Chicago. I’ve often in the past recommended Geoghegan’s first book on labor unions Which Side Are You On?, because of its force and originality, despite my (pretty much diametric) opposition to most of his ideas policy-wise.
His most recent book See You in Court: How the Right Made America a Lawsuit Nation (2007, New Press, and out in paperback this month) showed independence of mind and a willingness to rethink received ideas, as usual, but disappointed in other respects. For one thing, Geoghegan seemed more interested in blowing off steam against conservatives and litigation reformers than in trying to understand what they actually think about the issues he raised. The result was that some of his shots fell very wide of the mark, while he missed other points that might have advanced his case. Ted wrote a much more extended critique of the book that is linked here.
Note, however, that commenter “Vail Beach” stopped by the other day to offer a more positive assessment of “Lawsuit Nation” that is worth giving thought to. The House race, at any rate, should be fun to watch. More: Kaus.
I’ve got a new piece just up at City Journal on last week’s occupation of the Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago, led by a union on the left fringe of the American labor movement. The action ended after six days with the capitulation of Bank of America and Chase under intense political pressure. Earlier coverage here. A few points:
- You’d have had trouble guessing from a lot of the coverage, but it’s far from clear that the window factory owners owed any severance at all under the terms of the federal WARN (plant-closings) act. And it’s abundantly clear that the actual targets of the protest, the two banks, owed nothing.
- The whole point of this sort of illegal action is to resolve by force a dispute that would otherwise be consigned to the ordinary processes of law — put differently, to make sure the action’s targets never get their right to a day in court to put forth their (quite possibly meritorious) defense. When Chicago and Illinois officials jumped in to arm-twist the targets into settling, they endorsed this way of resolving disputes. That may come as little surprise given the reputation of Chicago governance. But why should anyone feel secure in locating a politically sensitive business in that city (or state) from now on?
- Among those who either cheered the illegality or viewed it with complacency are not only high public officials but law professors, commentators and leaders of the legal profession. Indeed, President-elect (and former law professor) Barack Obama vocally backed the union’s cause at a press conference while pointedly saying not a word about its unlawfulness of its actions. Should we ever again take seriously the rumblings of any of these parties about the all-importance of the rule of law?
- Some in the media, like Boston Globe columnist James Carroll, applauded the illegal action and left-leaning Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson called for more of the same: “Barack Obama means to build a more equitable nation, but it would help him in that task if more workers sat down”. Does Obama agree?
(cross-posted from Point of Law).
- Everything that makes Chicago politics what it is: Gov. Blagojevich shook down a children’s hospital [Massie] Time to play Name That Goon: guess which statements are by Illinois governor and which by Tony Soprano [Daily Beast] The most closely watched Obama appointment is and should be the U.S. Attorney for Chicago [@patrickruffini]
- Many writers including me relied on UAW assertion that oft-heard $73/hour figure for GM compensation was misleading because it included vast army of retirees; but per one new paper, the number really does reflect only payments for currently active workers [James Sherk, Heritage] Contra, the New York Times sides with the original critique of the number [David Leonhardt]
- Green activists contact the authorities to report illegal logging, turns out to be beavers [OK!; Poland]
- Pride and Prejudice: the Facebook feed [DeeDee Baldwin]
- Economists invite volunteers to play game simulating investment behavior. Usual result? Bubbles & crashes [Postrel]
- “Watermelon smell”, “ferret odor”, “gasoline fumes”: Japanese site uses Google maps to track stinky locations [Japan Probe via Tyler Cowen]
- Subprime-implosion lawsuits haven’t gone well for plaintiffs, who’ve had trouble showing guilty state of mind [CCH Wall Street] But are things beginning to shift in their favor? [Frankel, American Lawyer]
- Nifty “Atlas of True Country Names” displays place names as their underlying meanings [Telegraph]