- Federal Circuit court of appeals says government can’t deny trademark as “disparaging” just because it frowns on its expressive content, implications are favorable for Washington Redskins in their legal case [Eugene Volokh, Paul Alan Levy, In Re Simon Shiao Tam opinion, case won by past Overlawyered guestblogger Ron Coleman]
- Mentally ill man walks into San Diego county recorder’s office, submits properly filled-out deed transferring major sports stadium to his name, chaos ensues [San Diego Union Tribune]
- Lawsuit against prolific California class action firm includes details on how it allegedly recruits plaintiffs, shapes testimony [Daniel Fisher]
- New Jersey: “Man Sues Because Alimony Checks Were Mean To Him” [Elie Mystal/Above the Law, ABA Journal]
- Blustery Texan Joe Jamail, “greatest lawyer who ever lived” or not, was no stranger to Overlawyered coverage [Houston Chronicle, Texas Monthly (“We only overpaid by a factor of five, and that felt like a win”), Daniel Fisher (city should have cut down beloved oak tree in road median because “it isn’t open season on drunks”)] Jamail’s best-known case gave me chance to write what still might be my all-time favorite headline, for a Richard Epstein article in what is now Cato’s (and was then AEI’s) Regulation magazine: “The Pirates of Pennzoil.”
- Hotel security camera footage may help decide whether Eloise tainted-sandwich tale will end up shelved as fiction [New York Post]
- Your War on Drugs: shopping at garden store, throwing loose tea in trash after brewing combine with police goofs to generate probable cause for SWAT raid on Kansas family’s home [Radley Balko] More: Orin Kerr.
…may not be all that it seemed, reports a Mississippi newspaper. It’s almost enough to make you rethink the cathartic value of mass Internet shaming. What if the process could be misused by people with agendas?
“A woman who made international headlines when she lied about finding a severed finger in a bowl of chili at a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose is expected to return to prison for concocting another tale – that someone had shot her son, a prosecutor said Wednesday.” [Henry K. Lee, SFGate.com, autoplays]
- If you thought “finger in chili” was bad, meet the Utah couple arrested on charges of planting razor blade shards in doughnuts and swallowing some [KSL, Daily Mail]
- My talk a few weeks ago as part of Cato Institute panel on nanny state [YouTube, Bruce Majors]
- New Reason-RUPE public opinion survey finds public broadly opposed to food and drink bans [Sullum]
- Feds’ bad advice on polyunsaturated fat: more damaging than any mass tort in sight? [David Oliver] More: Hans Bader.
- Coroner blames woman’s death on Coca-Cola addiction [TV NZ] Monster Beverage: natural causes, not caffeine toxicity, killed Maryland teen [Reuters, NYT, earlier] More: Jacob Sullum.
- Oh, CSPI, thou contradictest thyself [Baylen Linnekin; more from him on parents’ and kids’ food choices quoting me, NYC soda ban]
- “Bloomberg limits seder portions” [Purim spoof, New York Jewish Week]
- Kelly Brownell, guru of obesity-reduction-through-coercion formerly based at Yale, named dean of public policy school at Duke;
- “A Knife, a Walmart Birthday Cake and a Frenzy of Overreaction” [Free-Range Kids] Mardi Gras perennial: can you buy king cake with baby figurine already in it? [same, earlier]
- Now they tell us: NYT book review not conspicuously enthusiastic about Michael Moss anti-food-biz book hyped to the rafters in NYT magazine three weeks earlier [Ira Stoll, SmarterTimes, our take]
Anna Ayala served four years of a nine-year sentence after pleading guilty (with Jaime Plascencia) to attempted grand theft and the filing of a false insurance claim in the famous Wendy’s chili incident. Now she’s facing charges over new fibs allegedly told to the police to cover for her son in a gun possession case [San Jose Mercury News, earlier]
- Liquor commissioner of New Hampshire nabbed on DWI rap, refuses breathalyzer test [WMUR]
- Slumber party liability waivers are something we’ve reported on before. But home trampoline disclaimers? [Free-Range Kids]
- Website’s terms and conditions include giving up your immortal soul [Popehat]
- Scottish jury says charges “not proven” against lawyers in case of monetary demand for return of stolen Leonardo da Vinci painting [Guardian, earlier]
- If you’re going to shake down food makers with false claims of contaminants in their wares, it’s best to vary your story patterns [Tacoma News-Tribune, Seattle Times]
- “My task is simple: spew foundationless tripe that turns itself into a pre-trial settlement demand.” [The Namby Pamby, a lawyer blog I really should have linked before now] More: Daniel Fisher, Forbes.
- Why plaintiffs lawyers aren’t so thrilled about recent Toyota revelations: most are invested in blaming electronics, not stuck pedals or mats [WSJ Law Blog]
- Duck hunters sue guide over disappointing trip [Fred Hartman, Fort Bend, Texas, Herald]
Speaking of national media hoaxes, today’s San Jose Mercury News profiles the post-incarceration life of Anna Ayala. The digital pioneer is divorced from co-conspirator Jaime Plascencia, who is still in prison. Ayala’s greatest trauma from her four years in prison (out of her nine-year sentence) seems to be that everyone called her the Finger Lady. She’s permanently banned from Wendy’s, so she’ll miss out on the Baconator.
- Wronged wife loses suit under California “Drug Dealer Liability Act” (DDLA) against mistress who supplied crack cocaine to husband [OnPoint News]
- “D.C. Circuit to Former Judge in Pants Lawsuit: Follow the Rules” [NLJ, more, earlier]
- “Law firm demands retailer destroy all copies of Olivia Munn comic, retailer refuses” [BoingBoing, HeavyInk, earlier on TJIC]
- Can’t find jury for tobacco trial: “Lawyers excused a woman who said people have no right to sue over diseases that are disclosed on the warning label of a package.” [Russell Jackson, Chamber-backed W.V. Record]
- Despite widespread misconception to the contrary, editing comments generally does not open blogger to liability over what remains [Citizen Media Law]
- To heck with HIPAA, introduce your patients to each other if you think they’ll get along [Musings of a Dinosaur]
- Devoted daughter vs. RSPCA: epic will contest in Britain over family farm bequest [Times Online]
- Woman found guilty after planting dead rat in meal at upscale restaurant [Appleton Post-Crescent via Lowering the Bar and Obscure Store]
Newcastle, England leaflet distributor (and former Labour Party council member) Mark Hunter is suing a dog owner whose Jack Russell terrier, the imaginatively named Jack, allegedly bit off the tip of the leafleteer’s finger as he pushed election paraphernalia through a front-door letterbox. While both Hunter and dog owner Mark Monroe seem to agree that part of Hunter’s bloody finger did indeed end up on the floor of Monroe’s home, it’s unclear how Jack could have bitten Monroe through the letterbox–which boasts a contraption known as a “letterbox guard”. Also unclear: why Monroe put Hunter’s finger in his freezer (keeping it for several months before ultimately tossing it in the rubbish), and why neither Hunter nor Monroe immediately reported the incident to police. Hunter is seeking about $25,000.