“A police lieutenant, fired for covering up a hit and run crash involving a fellow officer [she] was involved in a relationship with, has been reinstated following an arbitration decision that chastised the city’s Police Commission.” Christine Burns also got six months back pay. The arbitrator found that Burns’s boyfriend had been treated leniently, drawing only a one-year unpaid suspension despite serious misconduct, which in turn deprived her of her right to be treated “evenhandedly and without discrimination.” [Connecticut Post]
Today I’m talking to state legislators courtesy of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Next week I head off for luncheon talks about my new book Schools for Misrule before Federalist Society lawyers’ chapters in Greenville, S.C. on Wed. Dec. 7, and Charlotte, N.C. on Thurs. Dec. 8. And then the following week I keynote the annual luncheon of the Colorado Civil Justice League Dec. 13 in Denver. If you’re in the audience, do introduce yourself!
I’m currently planning speaking trips that will take me to Chicago Nov. 7-8, Greenville, S.C. Dec. 7, Denver Dec. 13, and possibly Phoenix Dec. 1. If you’ve got a speaker’s series or organization that’s in one of these places or an easy travel jump away, consider saving on travel expenses by booking me for a talk around these dates. You can contact me directly at editor – [at] – overlawyered – dot – com or Diane Morris at the Cato Institute: dmorris – [at] – cato – dot – org.
- General Mills sends lawyers after local “My Dough Girl” Bakery [Consumerist via Amy Alkon]
- But he can reapply in five years: “Lawyer Takes Plea in Case Over His Hardball Litigation Tactics, Will Be Disbarred” [ABA Journal, California]
- “Shame on Elie Wiesel” for threatening a lawsuit over his fictionalization in a stage play [Terry Teachout]
- State AGs dive into HIPAA and health privacy enforcement [Nicastro, Health Leaders Media]
- More highlights from Daniel Okrent book on Prohibition [Tabarrok]
- Denver school board investment fiasco [Popehat]
- Russell Jackson on the Yoo-Hoo chocolate beverage class action [Consumer Class Actions and Mass Torts, earlier]
- California court rules state’s Moscone (“little Norris-LaGuardia”) Act unconstitutional [Workplace Prof]
- Asks to have $12.6 million verdict set aside because juror Twittered about the case [Little Rock, Ark.; AP/Yahoo]
- Florida legislator opposes “animal husbandry,” thinks it’s sin forbidden in Book of Leviticus. And “Larcenia” is probably the most perfect first name for a politician I’ve ever heard [Popehat]
- Eleventh Circuit upholds most charges against Alabama ex-Gov. Don Siegelman [AP/New York Times, earlier]
- D.C. Council member bullies tiny non-profit paper, says advertiser “will be held responsible” [Marc Fisher, WaPo; Brookland Heartbeat]
- “Worst teachers are rarely formally removed from the classroom” [Denver Post]
- Blogger calling fashion model a skank makes an unsympathetic figure, but the implications for blog anonymity could be serious [NY Post, Scott Greenfield, (Cit Media Law, earlier]
- Barbie says, “Governing West Virginia is hard!” [@cathygellis; Lowering the Bar; earlier]
- Student journalists are blogging dismissed professor Ward Churchill’s lawsuit against the Univ. of Colorado [Race to the Bottom via Ambrogi, Legal Blog Watch]
In Boulder, Colorado, hair salon owner Joy Douglas “received a $1,000 ticket from an animal-control officer for coloring her white poodle, Cici, pink by using organic beet juice.” Everyone seems to agree that the dye job is not physically harmful to the pooch, who is well cared for in other ways, but Boulder has a town ordinance against animal-dyeing, aimed at Easter-season tormentors of bunnies and chicks, and several residents ratted Douglas out. She says the idea of the pink fur was to raise awareness for breast cancer. (“Boulder’s pink poodle owner preps for legal fight”, Denver Post, Mar. 11).
U. S District Court Judge Robert Matsch recently got so infuriated by the conduct of McDermott, Will and Emery attorneys Terrance McMahon and Vera Elson that he overturned a jury’s $51 million verdict, then ordered the lawyers to pay the fees and costs of the opposing lawyers, a sum that could total several million dollars. (Denver Post, Feb. 25)
From the decision (Medtronic Navigation, Inc. v. BrainLAB Medizinische, 2008 WL 410413):
In essence, the response from the plaintiff and MWE, through new counsel, is that the Court had the obligation to stop any trial conduct that stepped over the line of zealous advocacy. In short, they argue that they should not be held responsible for what they were able to get away with during the trial presentation. The adamant denial that there was any abuse of advocacy in this case is in disregard of what this Court has already concluded and displays the same arrogance that has colored this case almost from its inception. Throughout these proceedings Medtronic and the MWE lawyers have demonstrated that when they are faced with adverse court rulings, they proceed undeterred, with only superficial observance of the court’s determinations. Such conduct supports the conclusion that after the Markman rulings, Medtronic’s primary objective in pursuing this litigation was to put economic pressure on its competitor in the market.
Medtronic’s counsel proceeded cavalierly, with reckless indifference to the merits of Medtronic’s infringement claims. The continued prosecution of a claim after its lack of merit has become apparent warrants sanctions under § 1927. At trial, MWE’s conduct was in disregard for the duty of candor, reflecting an attitude of “what can I get away with?” Throughout the trial, the MWE lawyers artfully avoided the limitations of the patent claims and created an illusion of infringement. They did so with full awareness that their case was without merit.