Urged by the U.S., Canada recently arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou. “Meng was traveling in Canada, switching planes using a Chinese passport, when she was taken into custody.” For Tyler Cowen, the “procedural normality of the arrest is precisely what scares me. There are so many international laws, and so many are complex or poorly defined, and there are a couple hundred countries in the world. Arguably most multinational corporations are breaking some law in some manner or another, and thus their senior executives are liable to arrest. If I were a top U.S. tech company executive, I would be reluctant to travel to China right now, for fear of retaliation.” [Bloomberg] See also the FIFA (soccer) controversy, 2015, and related: our series of 2006 posts about the arrest of traveling British executives on charges of remotely violating U.S. online gambling laws.
Allen & Unwin, the publisher, says it does not plan to publish a book by Charles Sturt University academic Clive Hamilton called Silent Invasion, on the influence of the Chinese government in high places in Australia. Hamilton says the publisher has privately communicated to him that it is afraid of facing defamation lawsuits should it go forward. [Andrew Greene, Australian Broadcasting Corporation]
On my trip to San Francisco last week I was delighted finally to meet Kevin Underhill, longtime writer of one of the most consistently funny and well-written of legal blogs, Lowering the Bar. If there were any justice in the world I would link a post of Kevin’s every day or two, but for the moment I’ll just note this one from last month: For years now, China has “forbidden anyone to reincarnate without [its] express written permission.”
- Tonight in New York City, Cato presents its Milton Friedman Award to Danish journalist Flemming Rose, a key figure in the [still-ongoing] Mohammed cartoons episode, and author of The Tyranny of Silence [David Boaz, Cato]
- Troubles in Turkey: journalists sentenced to two years in jail for reprinting Charlie Hebdo cover [Reuters, Reason] Erdogan’s campaign against foreign critics assumes extraterritorial reach with complaints against comedian in Germany and Geneva exhibit [Colin Cortbus/Popehat, Foreign Policy]
- Ya mad wee dafty: “Man faces hate crime charge in Scotland over dog’s ‘Nazi salute'” [Guardian]
- Publish a “wrong” map of India, face seven years in jail and a huge fine [Hindustan Times; “crore” = 10 million]
- United Kingdom man fined £500 for calling romantic rival “fat-bellied codhead. [Blackpool Gazette]
- Emulating USA tycoon D. Trump, China pressures finance analysts against negative forecasts [WSJ, Barron’s on the Marvin Roffman story, which I used to tell when giving speeches on my book The Litigation Explosion]
- Do behavioral economists acknowledge policymakers’ own foibles? Not often it seems [Niclas Berggren via Bryan Caplan]
- China, not unlike our own attorney general-environmentalist alliance, is cracking down on the work of what it deems ideologically harmful nonprofits [ABA Journal]
- Barking mad: new ABA ethics proposal would deem it professional misconduct for lawyers to discriminate on various grounds, including “socioeconomic status,” in choosing partners, employees and experts [Eugene Volokh, Sara Randazzo/WSJ Law Blog]
- Virginia still has a law requiring annual safety inspection of your car, and it’s still a bad idea [Alex Tabarrok]
- Court in Canadian province of New Brunswick rules against honoring will that left estate to racist group [CBC]
- From the left, Paul Bland sees Monday’s Supreme Court decision in Spokeo v. Robins as a big loss for business defendants [Public Justice, earlier] Contra: Andrew Pincus, plus more from WLF.
- Pennsylvania bill would restrict the pre-paid business cemeteries could do, which by remarkable coincidence would benefit their competitors on the funeral home side [Allentown Morning Call]
- How to get capital out of China? Lose a lawsuit on purpose [Chuin-Wei Yap, WSJ Law Blog]
- Arms-trafficking sting caught crusader against videogames, guns: “Judge Sentences Ex-California Senator Leland Yee to Five Years for Racketeering” [KNTV (auto-plays), earlier]
- Workplace bias, which can mean a lot of things, would be an ethics violation for lawyers under proposed ABA model rule [ABA Journal, more]
- Breaking: New York court denies Donald Trump’s bid to throw out AG Eric Schneiderman’s suit over Trump University [ruling, The Hill, Eric Turkewitz] More background: Lowering the Bar.
- Grounding interstate comity: California Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) wants to ban state-funded travel to sister states with religious conscience laws [Bay Area Reporter (“discrimination of any kind …will certainly not be tolerated beyond our borders.”)]
- “NY Times: Contaminated Property Makes For Costly Inheritance” [Paul Caron/TaxProf]
A lesson in conservation: wild ginseng, which often grows on parkland, is under pressure due to high demand from overseas, but an expert says “if the Feds try to protect [it] by banning its sale, the black market will swallow the remainder up.” [Clint Rainey, New York mag]
China recently made it easier to maintain lawsuits by providing that judges in dismissing cases must give specific written reasons and providing for appeal of dismissals. Modest though it may sound, the change has provoked fears in some quarters that litigants will file too many groundless cases, of which an action by a TV viewer against star Zhao Wei for “staring too hard,” thus causing “spiritual damage,” is cited as an example. [Guardian]
- ObamaCare challenge: D.C. Circuit vacates Halbig decision for en banc rehearing [Roger Pilon, earlier]
- ACLU and SEIU California affiliates oppose trial lawyers’ higher-damages-plus-drug-testing Proposition 46 [No On 46, earlier] As does Sacramento Bee in an editorial;
- Rethinking the use of patient restraints in hospitals [Ravi Parikh, Atlantic; legal fears not mentioned, however]
- Certificate of need regulation: “I didn’t know the state of Illinois had a standard for the maximum permissible size of a hospital room.” [John Cochrane]
- In China, according to a study by Benjamin Liebman of Columbia Law School, hired malpractice mobs “consistently extract more money from hospitals than legal proceedings do” [Christopher Beam, The New Yorker]
- Overview of (private-lawyer-driven) municipal suits on painkiller marketing [John Schwartz, New York Times, earlier] More: Chicago’s contingency deal with Cohen Milstein on opioid lawsuit [LNL] More: Rob Green, Abnormal Use.
- “So In The End, The VA Was Rewarded, Not Punished” [Coyote]