Among ways to add to the festive atmosphere: sign-in and sign-out sheets, monitors hired to look out for slip-inducing bead spills, and rules against letting supervisors or employees pour drinks. [Melissa Landry, The Hay Ride] Earlier on Mardi Gras liability here (tossed coconuts), here (floats), here (King cake figurine), and here (flasher’s-remorse cases.
From the archives:
- Christmas in legalese: “…Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the woodburning caloric apparatus… ” 
- California lawyer using Prop 65 bounty-hunting statute goes after silver dragées found on some gingerbread houses [2005; more on gingerbread (and chestnut-roasting) hazards, 2002]
- Yuletide in old England less jolly given health and safety adjustments [2007, 2009]
- Santa’s extra helper might be a witness in case of litigation, and other items from the legal-Claus file 
- “Law firm offers divorce vouchers for Christmas” 
- Unable to cope with CPSIA testing rules, charity will discontinue donating handcrafted wood toys 
- “Cease this shouting!” cried Grinch, “From all Yule din desist!” But he’d Moved To The Nuisance and so, case dismissed [Art Carden, Forbes on Whoville externalities] 
The holiday Hollywood chestnut gets a medico-legal analysis from Steven Buckingham at Abnormal Use.
From Kyle Graham, guest blogging at Concurring Opinions.
No wonder a Long Island University professor thinks so: the Christmas ditty spins a grim account of name-calling and game-exclusion and then gives it all an inappropriately “happy” conclusion, thus distracting us from the need for massive therapeutic and social intervention. [KDKA](& Althouse)
P.S. And let’s not even get into “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “known as the Christmas Date Rape Song” [Ann Althouse]
I am not an accomplished lawyer. I find quite as much material for a lecture in those points wherein I have failed, as in those wherein I have been moderately successful. The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for to-morrow which can be done to-day. Never let your correspondence fall behind. Whatever piece of business you have in hand, before stopping, do all the labor pertaining to it which can then be done. When you bring a common-law suit, if you have the facts for doing so, write the declaration at once. If a law point be involved, examine the books, and note the authority you rely on upon the declaration itself, where you are sure to find it when wanted. The same of defenses and pleas. In business not likely to be litigated, — ordinary collection cases, foreclosures, partitions, and the like, — make all examinations of titles, and note them, and even draft orders and decrees in advance. This course has a triple advantage; it avoids omissions and neglect, saves your labor when once done, performs the labor out of court when you have leisure, rather than in court when you have not. Extemporaneous speaking should be practised and cultivated. It is the lawyer’s avenue to the public. However able and faithful he may be in other respects, people are slow to bring him business if he cannot make a speech. And yet there is not a more fatal error to young lawyers than relying too much on speech-making. If any one, upon his rare powers of speaking, shall claim an exemption from the drudgery of the law, his case is a failure in advance.
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this. Who can be more nearly a fiend than he who habitually overhauls the register of deeds in search of defects in titles, whereon to stir up strife, and put money in his pocket? A moral tone ought to be infused into the profession which should drive such men out of it.
The matter of fees is important, far beyond the mere question of bread and butter involved. Properly attended to, fuller justice is done to both lawyer and client. An exorbitant fee should never be claimed. As a general rule never take your whole fee in advance, nor any more than a small retainer. When fully paid beforehand, you are more than a common mortal if you can feel the same interest in the case, as if something was still in prospect for you, as well as for your client. And when you lack interest in the case the job will very likely lack skill and diligence in the performance. Settle the amount of fee and take a note in advance. Then you will feel that you are working for something, and you are sure to do your work faithfully and well. Never sell a fee note — at least not before the consideration service is performed. It leads to negligence and dishonesty — negligence by losing interest in the case, and dishonesty in refusing to refund when you have allowed the consideration to fail.
There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal. Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief — resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave.
(see also post of four years ago, when we quoted excerpts)
I might post a little next week, but for now I’m going to take a break to enjoy the holiday, and I expect heavier fare will probably wait until the New Year. Enjoy the Christmas season!
- Food Safety Modernization Act, much scrutinized in this space, revived and passed after Senate leadership obtains unanimous Republican consent, now heads for federal statute books [ABC “The Note”, Marler, Bader; National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition on amendments aimed at lessening some of the bill’s burdens]
- FCC’s “net neutrality” power play over Internet [John Fund, WSJ.com; Jack Shafer, Slate]
- “UConn’s Streak and Title IX” [Neal McCluskey, Cato] John Stossel’s new program on “Top Ten Politicians’ Promises Gone Wrong” included Title IX [video, one reaction] Related from College Sports Council: California rugby, Delaware equestrian.
- Cracked Bell: notorious California city milked small biz, tradespeople through vehicle seizures, fines [LAT] “How the Road to Bell Was Paved” [William Voegeli, City Journal]
- “Nothing says Christmas like taking away a child’s treasured toy and destroying it.” [Boston Globe, James Taranto/WSJ on Providence, R.I. program to shred toy guns]
- Dishes Still Dirty? Blame Phosphate-Free Detergent” [Shogren, NPR; Holmes, NRO and more]
- Domain seizures point up shaky legal stance of much music-blogging [Switched]
- “Santas have a pretty good chance of getting sued” [six years ago on Overlawyered] And this just in: “Man sues Santa Claus Parade after eye injury” [680News.com, Toronto, Canada; suit alleges frozen candy tossed into crowd caused injury]
- Minneapolis police arrest author-blogger-gun rights activist Joel Rosenberg [Popehat, Mark Bennett, Scott Greenfield]
- In Wal-Mart v. Dukes, Justice Ginsburg’s instincts as a proceduralist might come in tension with her instincts as a feminist [Alexandra Lahav, Mass Tort Lit]
- “Cease this shouting!” cried Grinch, “From all Yule din desist!” But he’d Moved To The Nuisance and so, case dismissed [Art Carden, Forbes]
- “San Francisco Sues to Close Down Immigration Law Firm, Claims ‘Exorbitant’ Fees” [ABA Journal]
- New ATRA report blasts overly cozy state attorneys general cooperation with plaintiff’s bar [“Beyond Reproach? Fostering Integrity and Public Trust in the Offices of State Attorneys General,” PDF]
- Nathan Myrhvold’s patent aggregator Intellectual Ventures, which said it was disinclined to sue, begins suing [The Recorder, Salmon]
- Privacy = when I choose to conceal my life data, secrecy = when you conceal yours [Kelly Young via Dave Boaz, Cato at Liberty]
- One doc’s memoir: litigation crisis as morality crisis [seven years ago on Overlawyered]