Although she’s gotten blasted a lot about it, the “criticisms are (mostly) wrong and the defenses are (mostly) right,” argues Ken White at Popehat. On similar themes: Mirriam Seddiq, Not Guilty No Way, and Jonathan Adler/Volokh in 2014.
- Kip Viscusi: current structure of tort law gives firms like General Motors reason not to investigate risks/benefits of their designs [Alison Frankel, Reuters]
- California woman in trouble after allegedly sending “faked treatment documents and burn photos from a hospital website” to bolster hot coffee spill claim against McDonald’s [ABA Journal]
- Despite Kumho Tire, Joiner, and amendments to evidence rules in 2000, Eighth Circuit cuts its own liberal path on expert witness admissibility [Bernstein]
- “In the BP case, the rule of law is on trial” [Lester Brickman, The Hill, on cert petition]
- “Fighting and Winning Against Pit Bull Defense Lawyers” [Ronald Miller]
- Business groups savor victory in racketeering suit over concocted asbestos claims [Barrett, Bloomberg Business Week]
- Peter Spiro adds another favorable review of Paul Barrett’s Chevron/ Ecuador book Law of the Jungle [Opinio Juris]
A criminal defendant’s road to lenience? Not if Judge Jeffrey Lanphear has a say about it [Providence Journal]
One has to hope this kind of thing doesn’t happen often [press release, Office of the U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey]:
A former attorney in the Haddonfield, N.J., office of a firm specializing in toxic tort litigation today admitted that he falsified defendants’ names in more than 100 asbestos suits filed in New York State courts in order to increase business and his standing in the firm, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Arobert C. Tonogbanua, 44, of Sicklerville, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud. During the proceeding, Tonogbanua admitted that he fraudulently inserted the names of his former law firm’s clients into legitimately filed asbestos suits and charged the clients more than $1 million in attorney’s fees, costs and settlements to defend them.
[via Legal NewsLine; South Jersey Times] For a retrospective on the Lynn Boyd Stites/”Alliance” scam of years ago, in which a circle of defense lawyers in Los Angeles used manufactured litigation to harvest fees, see clips here, here, here, and here.
Menlo Park, Calif.: A 90-year-old lawyer’s BMW SUV jumped the curb and pinned two 6-year-old twin brothers against a wall, seriously injuring them. Now the driver, Edward Nelson, “states in his response to the lawsuit that the plaintiffs ‘carelessly, recklessly and negligently conducted and maintained themselves’ in a way that contributed to the accident. Furthermore, ‘knowing the probable consequences thereof, (they) placed themselves in a position of danger and voluntarily participated in all the activities,’ and so assumed any related risks. Finally, the plaintiffs failed to ‘reasonably mitigate’ any damages they sustained.” [Sandy Brundage, The Almanac (Peninsula communities, Bay Area)]
- Eliciting false testimony among sins: “Ninth Circuit finds ‘textbook prosecutorial misconduct'” [Legal Ethics Forum]
- Syracuse: jurors say insurance company lawyer observing trial got uncomfortably close [Above the Law]
- South Carolina: “Prosecuting attorney is accused of dismissing charges in exchange for sexual favors” [ABA Journal]
- Judge, handing down six-year sentence, calls defense lawyer’s briefing of witness a “playbook on how to lie without getting caught” [Providence Journal]
- Kentucky high court reinstates $42 M verdict against lawyers for fleecing fen-phen clients [Point of Law] Accused of bilking clients, prominent S.C. lawyer surrenders license, pleads to mail fraud [ABA Journal]
- Former Kansas attorney general accused of multiple professional violations: “Phill Kline is indefinitely suspended from practicing law” [Kansas City Star]
- “Nonrefundable ‘Minimum Fee’ Is Unethical When Fired Lawyer Will Not Refund Any of It” [BNA]
- Detroit police blasted for arresting Free Press photographer who filmed arrest with her iPhone [Poynter]
- “The discomfort of principles” in criminal defense matters [Gideon’s Trumpet]
- House Judiciary panel on overcriminalization and mens rea shows genuinely useful bipartisanship [Jonathan Blanks, Cato] One in four new bills these days to create criminal liability lacks mens rea [Paul Rosenzweig/Alex Adrianson, Heritage]
- Auburn, Alabama: “Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas” [Reason TV]
- Film project on overturned Death Row convictions [One for Ten] “Forensics review reveals hair evidence was possibly exaggerated in 27 capital cases” [ABA Journal]
- Critics of Stand Your Ground seem to be having trouble coming up with examples to back their case [Sullum]
- Maine: “Hancock County prosecutor admits violating bar rules in sexual assault trial” [Bill Trotter, Bangor Daily News]