Posts Tagged ‘Delaware’

Obama administration’s Title IX activism

The quota pressure in sports has been around for a while, but the idea of an enforcement push in hard academic disciplines may be getting extra encouragement from the very top:

Obama himself seems to have latched onto the idea. While praising Title IX’s impact on increasing women’s participation in athletics, he said, “If pursued with the necessary attention and enforcement, Title IX has the potential to make similar, striking advances in the opportunities that girls have in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (“STEM”) disciplines.” The nation’s university science, engineering, and mathematics departments may thus soon find themselves faced with the task of complying with a regulatory regime similar to the intercollegiate athletics three part test.

[Alison Somin, Federalist Society “Engage”, PDF]

More: a John Stossel segment, and cutbacks in men’s sports at Delaware.

“Delaware judge dumps frequent filer plaintiff attorneys”

“When forced to defend their conduct and leadership role, original plaintiffs’ counsel approached the concept of candor to the tribunal as if attempting to sell me a used car,” wrote Vice Chancellor Travis Laster, ordering the replacement of shareholder lawyers in a case against Revlon Inc. “The lawsuit was consolidated from several complaints brought by law firms that Laster describes as ‘frequent filers’ — firms which often file cases on behalf of shareholders, sometimes within in minutes of a deal being announced.” [Reuters] More: Dave Hoffman, Concurring Opinions.

By reader acclaim: school suspends Cub Scout over camping utensil

Annals of zero tolerance: in Newark, Delaware, 6-year-old Zachary Christie took “a camping utensil that can serve as a knife, fork and spoon to school. He was so excited about recently joining the Cub Scouts that he wanted to use it at lunch. School officials concluded that he had violated their zero-tolerance policy on weapons, and Zachary was suspended and now faces 45 days in the district’s reform school.” In other Delaware cases, a school district “expelled a seventh-grade girl who had used a utility knife to cut windows out of a paper house for a class project,” and “a third-grade girl was expelled for a year because her grandmother had sent a birthday cake to school, along with a knife to cut it.” [New York Times]

The policies do have their defenders: “‘There is no parent who wants to get a phone call where they hear that their child no longer has two good seeing eyes because there was a scuffle and someone pulled out a knife,’ said George Evans, the president of the Christina district’s school board. …Charles P. Ewing, a professor of law and psychology at the University at Buffalo Law School who has written about school safety issues, said he favored a strict zero-tolerance approach.” Blog reactions (some via Memeorandum): Sullum/Reason “Hit and Run”, Q and O, BoingBoing, Kate Harding/Salon “Broadsheet”, Below the Beltway, Tom Freeland/North Mississippi Commenter, Lowering the Bar.

P.S. He’s on the Today Show (via Skenazy). Scott Greenfield wants to call it a knife. After worldwide press attention and a large show of local support, the school board reversed its policy and allowed Zachary back (h/t comments). And now: “A 17-year-old Eagle Scout in upstate New York has been barred from stepping foot on school grounds for 20 days — for keeping a 2-inch pocketknife locked in a survival kit in his car.” [Fox News]

Microblog 2008-11-06

  • Expects to have to fight Obama on policy, wept anyway when he came to podium for victory speech [Jonathan Blanks] #
  • Every self-respecting insider-trading ring should include an exotic dancer and a Croatian underwear seamstress [Bainbridge] #
  • New panel discussion: why are schools so bureaucratized and what can we do about it? [NewTalk] # @sekimori “Bureaucracy is to protect the system from litigation.” Not cynical to think this is one big part of the problem. #
  • @bschuelke: “Why is it so difficult to get clients’ medical records? Should be easy but is often the hardest part of the case.” #
  • Primer on role of Delaware in corporate law [NY Times] #
  • Ways to find good, underrated people [Ben Casnocha h/t Tyler Cowen] #
  • Cluelessness alert: U.K. cabinet minister criticizes blogs for not “allowing new voices” [Massie] #
  • Dems swept races for judge in Houston — unless their names were too unusual [Houston Chronicle] #

White House race roundup

  • High-profile trial lawyer and Hillary fundraiser John Coale now backing McCain, believes plaintiff-friendly Sen. Lindsey Graham, a confidant of the GOP candidate, will sway him on liability issues [Gerstein, NY Sun, Tapper/ABC, Haddad/Newsweek] More on McCain-Graham friendship [New Republic]
  • Reasonably neutral evaluation of contrasting McCain and Obama positions [Chris Nichols, NC Trial Law Blog]
  • No Naderite he? Sen. Biden has generally taken a “protect the golden goose” approach toward his state’s niche as provider of corporate law [Pileggi, Bainbridge]
  • Palin’s views on legal reform mostly unknown; Alaska (like Delaware) has one of the most highly regarded state legal systems, and wouldn’t it be fun if the state’s distinctive and longstanding (if somewhat attenuated) loser-pays rule got mentioned in the campaign?
  • Lending spice to campaign: prospect that victorious Dems might criminally prosecute Bush officials [Guardian (U.K.), Memeorandum, OpenLeft (“we’ll put people in prison” vows whistleblower trial lawyer/Democratic Florida Congressional candidate Alan Grayson)] Some differences of opinion among Obama backers on war crimes trials [Turley (Cass Sunstein flayed for go-slow approach); Kerr @ Volokh (Dahlia Lithwick doesn’t think it has to be Nuremberg or nothing); earlier]
  • If anyone’s keeping track of these things, co-blogger Ted is much involved with the McCain campaign this fall, I am not involved with anyone’s, so discount (or don’t discount) accordingly.

Sen. Biden and the trial lawyers

The Delaware senator tapped as Obama’s running mate has just announced that he’s giving away to charity campaign contributions from participants in the Scruggs scandal, no doubt preparing for scrutiny of a set of connections that have already gotten considerable attention in the blogosphere [ABA Journal, NMC @ Folo, YallPolitics, Lattman @ WSJ law blog, Rossmiller, our own mention]. Lotus @ Folo wonders if the McCain camp will risk bringing up Scruggsiana given their own candidate’s former dealings with the disgraced lawyer.

In 2005, Sen. Biden praised “bottom-feeders” (his term) in the legal profession, saying it was worth it to let them collect big fees “to stop bad guys from doing bad things”. In another account, the Senator “began pounding the table in opposition to the bill [Class Action Fairness Act] as he praised plaintiffs attorneys”. On Sen. Biden’s overall alignment with the general trial lawyer cause, see our earlier links here, here, and here.

Members of Biden’s family, including brother Jim Biden and son Joseph (“Beau”) Biden III, who serves as Delaware attorney general, have figured in many news stories about the senator’s connections with the practicing law world. The state of Delaware, renowned for the high caliber of its legal system, has lately attracted an influx of asbestos lawsuits filed on behalf of residents of other states, a trend criticized by guestblogger Steven Hantler (of the Chrysler Corporation) last year. Credit-card companies are a mainstay of the Delaware economy, and Marc Ambinder notes Biden’s having “pushed the bankruptcy bill that Dems now hate”.

Orin Kerr @ Volokh, who is from Delaware himself, likes the Senator.

More: Carter Wood @ PoL on the Senator’s rating of “zero” on legal reform as judged by NAM. See also Ted’s further post. Open Secrets covers the Senator’s campaign finance. And now, as Lotus @ Folo notes, the AP’s Pete Yost and Holbrook Mohr have jumped on the Mississippi connection.

July 25 roundup