Posts Tagged ‘H. Walker Royall’

Blurbing of books possibly safe again (or not)

An update on the overreaching litigation of Dallas developer H. Walker Royall: “Prof. Richard Epstein Dismissed from Book-Blurb Libel Case, on Jurisdictional Grounds”. [Volokh, earlier here and here].

P.S. Commenter VMS points out that despite my choice of original headline, blurbing of books has by no means been made safe, since the judge dismissed Royall’s claim only on jurisdictional grounds that Epstein was not within the reach of the Texas courts. I’ve added to the post title accordingly.

January 30 roundup

  • Irvine, California class-action lawyer Sandeep Baweja: sorry, I bet the class’s $2.7M wage/hour settlement on the stock market and lost it [ABA Journal, WageLaw]
  • Litigant alleges his iPod playlist is worth $1 trillion; also, another kicked-by-exotic-dancer lawsuit [Lowering the Bar]
  • Lawyers representing victims of Long Island’s “Agape” Ponzi scheme would do well to be modest [Scott Greenfield]
  • More on that litigation filed by Dallas developer H. Walker Royall against author Carla Main, who wrote a book critical of eminent domain abuse; her publisher, Encounter Books (which is also publishing a book of mine); a reviewer, and his newspaper; and even eminent scholar Richard Epstein, for giving a blurb [Real Clear Politics, Somin @ Volokh, Sullum/Reason “Hit and Run”, earlier]
  • “OMG, there’s mercury in the high-fructose corn syrup!” scare doesn’t sound very scare-worthy [Coyote]
  • Another reason we (sometimes) go too far in search of safety: “Availability Bias and Water Landings” [Cernovich]
  • Supreme Court mulls whether to grant certiorari on Bilski (business methods patent) case [SCOTUS Blog]
  • Trial judge lops $32 million off that $55 million verdict against San Diego Gas & Electric for helicopter crash into unlit utility tower [CalBizLit]

Royall pain to his critics

Jacob Sullum at Reason “Hit and Run” (Dec. 10):

I want to write a blog post about H. Walker Royall, the Dallas developer who sues people when they criticize his abuse of eminent domain, but I’m afraid he’ll sue me. After all, he sued Wright Gore III over a website that detailed the city of Freeport’s attempt to condemn land occupied by the Western Seafood Company, a business owned by Gore’s family, so Royall could use it for a luxury marina project. And he sued Carla Main, a journalist who wrote a book about the legal struggle over the Gores’ land, along with her publisher, Encounter Books [also a publisher of mine — W.O.]. He sued University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein, one of the country’s leading authorities on eminent domain, for writing a blurb that appeared on the cover of Main’s book. He even sued two newspapers that published reviews of the book.

So after thinking carefully about my potential legal exposure, I have decided not to say that Royall…

I can’t go on. I just can’t. I’m so scared of Royall that I can’t even repeat the colorful epithets that Sullum might apply to Royall if he dared (which he doesn’t) for fear that Royall will then find some excuse to sue me too. But you can go read them if you dare. More: Tim Sandefur, PLF on Eminent Domain.