“The Latest On Occupational Licensing Reform: At the federal level and in the state of Michigan, there have been encouraging moves toward market liberalization.” [Thomas A. Hemphill and Jarrett Skorup, Cato Regulation mag] Related: George Leef, Regulation (reviewing “Bottleneckers” by William Mellor and Dick M. Carpenter II). “Florida Lawmakers Are Fast-Tracking Licensing Reforms” [Boehm] “But sadly Elias Zarate is no closer to being a barber, because he still doesn’t have a high school diploma. And, yes, that matters for some reason.” [same] “Inside the Insane Battle Over Arizona’s Blow-Dry Licensing Bill” [same] “Tennessee has imposed nearly $100K in fines for unlicensed hair braiding since 2009” [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal] Licensing bars on applicants with criminal histories, often related hardly at all to the risks of crime in licensed occupations, make re-entry of offenders harder [Arthur Rizer and Shoshana Weissmann, The Blaze] A Twitter thread on board certification of music therapists, which are licensed in 10 states [Shoshana Weissmann et al.] Study: “optician licensing appears to be reducing consumer welfare by raising the earnings of opticians without enhancing the quality of services delivered to consumers.” [Edward J Timmons and Anna Mills, Eastern Economic Journal]
- Activist high court, no-fault PPI auto insurance, assignment-of-benefits (AOB) claims helped Florida win top Judicial Hellhole ranking from American Tort Reform Foundation [Amy O’Connor, Insurance Journal]
- Maybe getting people interested in the age-old ethical dangers of champerty and maintenance would be easier if litigation finance were framed as a Chamber of Commerce vs. Peter Thiel match-up [Jacob Gershman, WSJ] “Prosecutors Investigate Firms That Offer Plaintiffs Early Cash” [Matthew Goldstein and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, New York Times]
- Seventh Circuit: parents, not Starbucks, bore duty of protecting 3-year-old from harm resulting from playing on crowd-control stanchions [Roh v. Starbucks]
- British Columbia is only Canadian province without limits on soft-tissue injury claims after car crashes, and now fiscal implosion at province-owned auto insurer ICBC may force leftist NDP government to reconsider that [Mike Smyth/The Province, Jason Proctor and Karin Larsen, CBC]
- “NYS Exposed: The one law adding $10,000 to the cost of a new home” [WHEC, New York Post editorial on scaffold law and other elements of state liability scene, earlier]
- “Former South Carolina Lawmaker Sentenced for Improperly Using Office to Help Trial Lawyers” [U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; Glenn Smith, Post and Courier; John Monk, The State]
A small town in the Florida Panhandle has long tried to live down its special place in the history of insurance fraud. “By the time the early 1960s rolled around, according to the Tampa Bay Times, Vernon, Florida was responsible for roughly two-thirds of all loss-of-limb-related insurance claims in the United States.” I’ve written on the story a number of times, and Dan Lewis of the oft-recommended-here Now I Know website penned this account in 2012 which I seem to have overlooked at the time, an omission I remedy herewith.
- Critique of Obama-era Education Department initiative on racial disparities in school discipline [Gail Heriot and Alison Somin, Texas Review of Law and Politics forthcoming/SSRN] Minnesota among states riding herd on local disparities [Roger Clegg; related, Federalist Society podcast with Roger Clegg and Jason Riley]
- Pointed questions asked about Broward County handling of future shooter before rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school [Paul Sperry, Real Clear Investigations; Max Eden, City Journal; Valerie Richardson, Washington Times; earlier]
- A contrasting view: “Parkland Shooting Doesn’t Justify More Cops and Harsh Discipline” [RiShawn Biddle, Dropout Nation]
- “Philly Schools Tormented by Decision to Reduce Suspensions” [Max Eden, Philadelphia Inquirer/Manhattan Institute]
- DeVos urged to rescind Obama guidelines [Bloomberg editors (“School Discipline Isn’t Washington’s Business,” calling current policy “a classic case of Washington overreach”); Valerie Richardson, Washington Times]
- Authorities often refuse to back up teachers assaulted by students [Madeline Will, Education Week]
“A 54-year-old Florida woman was arrested Sunday after she was caught stealing cement pavers from a home in Port Richey….Upright said she thought they were trash. Deputies said she then threatened to sue the owner because she hurt her back on his property while loading the blocks into her vehicle.” The homeowner said the 42 decorative blocks, worth an estimated $420, were being stored not far from the roadway as part of a remodeling project. [WFLA]
Federal judges have fined the Jacksonville law firm of Farah & Farah $9.1 million over improperly handled claims against a fund set up after litigation to compensate smokers in the state of Florida [WTLV/First Coast News]:
The judges’ order states 1,250 frivolous tobacco claims were filed by Farah & Farah and the Wilner Firm against the Engle Trust Fund….
…cases filed collectively by Jacksonville attorneys Charlie Farah and Norwood Wilner prompted a U.S. Attorney Special Master seven month investigation into possible misconduct in 2012.
The investigation revealed some cases filed by the attorneys were for deceased clients, non-smokers, those who did not suffer from one of the required diseases, and 572 that did not authorize the attorneys to file lawsuits on their behalf.
More: Glenn Lammi.
- Bill advancing in California legislature would authorize jail for nursing home staff who “willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns” [Eugene Volokh, SB 219]
- “The FDA cannot get out of its own way on the issue of off-label communications.” [Stephen McConnell, Drug and Device Law Blog first and second posts]
- Public health covets territory of other studies and disciplines, part CLXXII [British Medical Journal on American College of Physicians’ resolution declaring “hate crimes” and “legislation with discriminatory intent” to be public health issues]
- Podcast on battle between Vascular Solutions and the FDA [Federalist Society with Howard Root and Devon Westhill]
- Policy U-turns needed: “Deregulation and Market Forces Can Lower Pharmaceutical Prices” [Marc Joffe, Reason]
- Florida Supreme Court ignored market history in striking down noneconomic damages limits in medical malpractice awards [Robert E. White, Jr., Insurance Journal and Andrew S. Bolin, WLF on North Broward Hospital District, et al v. Kalitan]
Yes, really; it’s from the Facebook feed of Florida attorney and political hopeful John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan, who has featured in these columns on various occasions over the years. More eclipse-chasing from the firm’s website: “If you’re an eclipse viewer and you’re hurt on someone else’s property, you could have a claim, depending on the circumstance.” [George Bennett, Palm Beach Post]
P.S. According to this Space.com account of the turbulence found on the sun’s surface, “These pockets, or ‘bombs,’ eject plasma.” So that explains it. The sun has deep pockets! (And welcome Ray Dunaway show listeners.)
Florida: “someone set up a handful of social media accounts criticizing the City of Coral Gables for its use of private security guards. … So in late May, deputy city attorney Miriam Ramos fired off two cease-and-desist letters and sent them to Silicon Valley, threatening to fine Facebook and Instagram $500 a day if they didn’t remove the posts, which Ramos said infringed on the city’s trademarks. Now, the city is suing Mark Zuckerberg’s multibillion-dollar businesses in an attempt to get the name, phone number, and address of whoever ‘cast the city in a false light.'” While cities can own trademarks, as in the slogans and logos used in marketing campaigns, courts are likely to accord broad recognition to fair use of those marks in discussions of civic affairs. Can cities sue over false light at all? [Jessica Lipscomb, Miami New Times; Lance Dixon/Miami Herald]
- Mother who gives 10 year old the run of a Lego store: Mom of the Year, or candidate for arrest? [Lenore Skenazy on Ontario County, N.Y. incident]
- Sorry to see WSJ Law Blog close. A wealth of valuable content, often first on stories, showcase for rising writers [farewell post]
- Oops! “The bill as [passed] …allows a pregnant woman to commit homicide without consequences.” [Lowering the Bar on New Hampshire measure]
- No, a court really didn’t overturn Florida stand-your-ground law. Let Eugene Volokh explain [Volokh Conspiracy] Still, the recently enacted procedural fillip the court did strike down was one of practical significance to many defendants [C.J. Ciaramella, Reason]
- In the mail: John Corvino et al., Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination. Good opening essay [Oxford University Press]
- What one bad lawyer can do: feds chase $600 million in disability claims linked to fugitive Eric Conn [Chris Edwards, Cato]