- Those enviro-hazard warnings plastered all over because of Prop 65? They may be not merely pointless but untrue [California Civil Justice; a still-timely 2000 piece]
- Is it somehow wrong for a public medical examiner to testify against cops — even when it’s in another county? [Radley Balko, Reason]
- UCLA research scientists fight back against animal rights fanatics’ violence and intimidation [Orac/Respectful Insolence, “Pro-Test”]
- Ezra Levant, himself a target of Canada’s official speech tribunals, has written a new book denouncing them, buy before they ban it [Amazon; Andrew Coyne, Maclean’s] Has odious censorship-complaint-filer Richard Warman finally gotten his comeuppance? [Ken @ Popehat] More: another Warman case [Cit Media Law]
- Roundup of recent sports/assumption of risk cases [John Hochfelder]
- Already in trouble on charges of faking a will, Allentown, Pa. police-brutality attorney John Karoly now faces tax charges including alleged failure to report $5 million in income for 2002, 2004 and 2005 [TaxGirl]
- Lawprof’s “Reparations, Reconciliation and Restorative Justice” seminar led to introduction of Maryland bill requiring insurers to disclose antebellum slaveholder policies [DelmarvaNow]
- Judge tosses suit by Clarksville, Tennessee officials against activists who called them cozy with developers [Sullum, Reason “Hit and Run”]
- “Intellectual Easter egg hunt”: great Michael Kinsley column on Wyeth v. Levine and FDA drug preemption [Washington Post]
- Negligent for the Port Authority to let itself get bombed: “Jury Awards $5.46M to 1993 WTC Bomb Victim” [WINS, earlier]
- “How following hospital quality measures can kill patients” [KevinMD]
- Owner of Vancouver Sun suing over someone’s parody of the paper (though at least it drops the printer as a defendant) [Blog of Walker]
- Court dismisses some counts in Billy Wolfe bullying suit against Fayetteville, Ark. schools [NW Arkansas Times, court records, earlier here and here]
- Law bloggers were on this weeks ago, now Tenaha, Tex. cops’ use of forfeiture against motorists is developing into national story [Chicago Tribune, earlier here and here]
- Can hostile blog posts about a plaintiff’s case be the basis for venue change? [IBLS]
- Calls 911 because McDonald’s has run out of chicken nuggets [Lowering the Bar]
If the political culture up there is so nicey-nice, how come we keep hearing about this pattern again and again?
Following the failure of the commissions to nail journalists Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn over such offenses as printing the Danish Mohammed cartoons and challenging Islamism in Maclean’s, the newest human rights hearing is over “bombastic” and outspoken materials sent by a Saskatchewan member of parliament to constituents in which he decried legal preferences for aboriginal (Indian native) residents and the high rate of crime in native populations. Terry ONeill of the Western Standard calls the investigation of former MP Jim Pankiw “an unprecedented attack on the speech rights of a sitting member of Parliament” (Nov. 3; Ezra Levant, National Post, Oct. 24; CanWest and more).
- Bulgarians employ “decoy lawyers” to get around corruption in official bureaus [Cowen, MargRev]
- Forum-shopping vol. MMMCCXII: Taiwan company claims Apple broke California unfair-practices law so of course it sues in Texarkana [AppleInsider]
- “U.S. produces far too many lawyers for society to absorb” and one reason is that law schools want warm seats on chairs [Greenfield]
- Second Circuit: lawyers can’t buy their way out of sanctions for filing meritless lawsuit [Krauss, PoL]
- Some reasons furor over free speech in Canada is relevant this side of the border [Bernstein @ Volokh]
- We’re quoted on the subject of those websites that offer “point-and-click access to trial lawyers” [Business First of Columbus]
- Tight lid kept on study of disposable diapers’ environmental impact since findings were … inconvenient [Times Online (U.K.) via Stuttaford]
- Judge backs Kentucky’s bid to seize domains of online gambling sites, implications for everyone else [Balko, “Hit and Run”; earlier here and here]
The provincial government of British Columbia will not punish the magazine Maclean’s for running an article exposing Islam to asperity (coverage at Steyn’s site). Jay Currie, via Steyn at NRO “Corner”:
…the way I read this decision is that it imposes a two part test a) are your words offensive and hurtful? b) are you a major media organization with deep pockets represented by serious lawyers. If “a” and not “b” you are a hate monger; if “a” and “b” you are engaged in political debate.
Commenter “Binks” at FreeMarkSteyn:
The ordinary Joe or Jane Canuck is no safer today than last year when this all started. The Human Rights Commissions have probably learned only two things: the internet bites back when bloggers get rolling on an issue; and don’t chew on famous and well-connected targets.
“Anyone who runs an online message board, from the lowliest vanity blogger to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, can be charged under federal human rights law if visitors to their site post hateful comments, according to the Canadian Human Rights Commission. … ‘If a message board owner can’t manage to ensure the content of the message board is complying with Canadian law, then the message board should not be operating,’ [CHRC lawyer Margot Blight] said.” (National Post via Western Standard Shotgun blog; more; StageLeft.info via Reynolds).
- Speech tribunal in Alberta, Canada, acquits Ezra Levant over publication of Mohammed cartoons, and it only cost him C$100,000* [National Post, his site, Daimnation]
- Must not cover John Edwards-Rielle Hunter story … must not cover John Edwards-Rielle Hunter story … oh darn!
- U.K. version of a story we’ve seen stateside: noise restrictions threaten roving musical ice cream trucks [Telegraph, Times Online, earlier from NYC]
- “Lawyer Who Says She Was Chastised for Not Being Sweet Is Allowed to Sue” [ABA Journal]
- More thoughts about “going on disability” [White Coat Rants]
- Willie Gary perhaps less than gallant (though undeniably hard-hitting) in countering woman’s claim of sexual assault [WPTV, ABA Journal, Ambrogi]
- Arguing against release, federal prosecutors say millions in assets of two Kentucky fen-phen defendants can’t be traced [Lexington Herald Leader]
- Virginia restaurantgoers looking forward to sangria on sultry evenings [Lindsay Nair, Roanoke Times]
- “It’s true that [veep-buzzed Sen. Bayh] sided with Republicans on tort reform … but do Democrats really want to be the kind of party that makes litmus tests out of those issues?” [Patashnik, TNR “Plank”]
- Third Circuit strikes down ban on “depiction of animal cruelty” as unconstitutional, protecting both bullfight travelogues and those bizarro-fetish “crush videos” [Volokh, our 1999 report]
- Sen. Lieberman brought an outspoken pro-legal-reform voice to the Democratic ticket [eight years ago on Overlawyered]
*Levant can recover nothing from his tormentors because the so-called human rights tribunals are given a special dispensation from the normally prevailing Canadian rule of loser-pays.
Canada’s speech-tribunal censorship, writ large? “A coalition of Islamic states is using the United Nations to enact international ‘anti-defamation’ rules”. Among entities to protected from such “defaming”: religions.
Susan Bunn Livingstone, a former U.S. State Department official who specialized in human rights issues and also spoke to the July 18 congressional gathering, said the developments at the UN are worrisome. “They are trying to internationalize the concept of blasphemy,” said Livingstone at the panel. She contrasted “the concept of injuring feelings versus what is actually happening on the ground — torture, imprisonment, abuse.” And, she added, “They are using this discourse of ‘defamation’ to carve out any attention we would bring to a country. Abstractions like states and ideologies and religions are seen as more important than individuals. This is a moral failure.”
The fact that the resolutions keep passing, and that UN officials now monitor countries’ compliance, could help the concept of “defamation of religions” become an international legal norm, said Livingstone, noting that when the International Court of Justice at The Hague decides what rises to the level of an “international customary law,” it looks not to unanimity among countries but to “general adherence.” “That’s why these UN resolutions are so troubling,” she said. “They’ve been passed for 10 years.”
- High school graduation got rained out in Gilbert, Ariz., and a dad wants $400 from the school district for that [Arizona Republic]
- Happens all the time in one-way fee shift awards, but still worth noting: lawyer in police-misconduct case “billed 22 hours at $480 an hour — a total of $10,560 — just to figure out how much his fees are going to be” [Seattle Times]
- We get to decide and that’s that: New York judge orders that salaries of New York judges including his own be raised [PoL, Bader] Also at Point of Law: white-shoe Clifford Chance throws a party for New York lefties, should anyone be surprised? outsourcing of interrogation to profit-minded private contractors is bad when it’s Blackwater, good when it’s Motley Rice; tax break for trial lawyers said to be blocked for now.
- One firefighter killed in Boston restaurant blaze had sky-high .27 blood alcohol level, the other traces of cocaine, which probably won’t impede the inevitable lawsuit against the restaurant and other defendants [Globe, background]
- Writing again on U.S. exceptionalism, Adam Liptak contrasts our First Amendment with Canadian speech trials; James Taranto thinks he’s siding with the Canadians, but the piece looks pretty balanced to me [NYTimes, WSJ Best of the Web]
- Milberg said to be on verge of deferred prosecution agreement deal with feds involving $75 million payment and admissions of wrongdoing [NLJ]
- Courts in Australian state of Victoria, emulating a model tried in Canada, will resort more to mediation of intractable disputes [Victoria AG Rob Hulls/Melbourne Age]
- Great moments in international human rights: KGB spy on the lam sues British government for confiscating royalties he was hoping to make from his autobiography [five years ago on Overlawyered]