Posts Tagged ‘John Stossel’

Big news day


Because we haven’t done a columnist-fest in a long time:

* “I’m struck by how little attention has been given to one of the biggest problems in America’s judicial system: the enormous cost and creativity-killing pace of ordinary civil cases. … War is what a lawsuit is”. (John Stossel, syndicated/TownHall, Dec. 7).

* For years and years liberal groups have been cheering the federal government’s right to attach burdensome regulatory strings when colleges accept its money. Now, with the Solomon Amendment controversy, they finally get to learn about the other side of the story (Steve Chapman, “When Liberals Oppose Strong Government”, syndicated/Chicago Tribune, Dec. 8).

* “No Couch Potato Left Behind”: George Will on a $3 billion federal program to subsidize owners of obsolete TV sets (“The Inalienable Right To a Remote”, syndicated/Washington Post, Dec. 8).

A thought on fast-food regulation

ABC’s John Stossel, writing in his weekly column (“Who’s really open?”, syndicated/TownHall, Jul. 13):

I did have had a wonderful time on Air America’s “Morning Sedition,” with a host who was furious that government doesn’t stop Americans from eating too many Big Macs. I treasure the moment of silence that followed my saying that government that’s big enough to tell you what to eat … is government big enough to tell you with whom you can have sex.

Welcome Baltimore Sun readers

On Thursday the Baltimore Sun quoted me saying unflattering things about Stephen L. Snyder, the successful local attorney who’s taken out very costly ads ostensibly aimed at attracting a $1 billion case (see Feb. 16). I said Snyder has probably has made it onto the Top Ten list of tasteless lawyer-advertisers, having particularly in mind the cheesy way his website flips off would-be clients whose cases, however meritorious, lack a big enough payoff (Jennifer McMenamin, “In search of a $1 billion case, fielding 100 calls”, Baltimore Sun, Feb. 16)(reg). A week earlier the same paper quoted me commenting on the likely impact on civil litigation of a federal grand jury’s indictment of the W.R. Grace Co. and seven of its current or former executives; the charges arise from the widely publicized exposure of townspeople and others to asbestos hazards from the company’s vermiculite mine at Libby, Montana. (William Patalon III, “Grace’s plight made worse”, Feb. 9).

And: Rob Asghar of the Ashland (Ore.) Daily Tidings devoted two recent columns to the problem of overlawyering and was kind enough to quote my opinions (“Law and disorder”, part 1 (Feb. 7) and part 2 (Feb. 14)). NYC councilman David Yassky, sponsor of the let’s-sue-over-guns ordinance that I criticized in the New York Times two weeks ago (see Feb. 6), responds today with a letter to the editor defending the legislation (Feb. 20). My Manhattan Institute colleague Jim Copland, writing in the Washington Times on the passage of the Class Action Fairness Act, quotes my Feb. 11 post on the subject (“Tort tax cut”, Feb. 15). Finally, the New York Sun covers a recent Institute luncheon at which I introduced ABC’s John Stossel (Robert E. Sullivan, “John Stossel Chides the ‘Liberal’ Press for Spinelessness”, Feb. 9)(sub-$).

“What the World Needs Now Is DDT”

“[W]hat really merits outrage about DDT today” is its underuse, as millions die annually of malaria for lack of the reviled pesticide, writes New York Times editorialist Tina Rosenberg. Commentators such as ABC’s John Stossel got to the story first (see CEI, Todd Seavey), but the Times may be more effective at reaching those who can do something about the state of the law (New York Times Magazine, Apr. 11).

The Madison County scent

That was quite an editorial from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “The scent of fish in Madison County finally reached the noses of the Illinois Supreme Court judges. It’s about time. The court should crack down on venue rules that make Madison County a Mecca for plaintiff’s lawyers and a ‘judicial hellhole’ for corporations.” (“Plug the hellhole”, Sept. 19). See Kevin McDermott, “Penchant for attracting class-action suits is damaging business climate, petition says”, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 9 (industry and legal experts petition for venue rules restricting plaintiffs from strategic selection of Madison County). A ruling last month has lawyers on both sides hopeful/fearful that venue reform may be coming in Illinois: “In a case involving a 1997 collision in Macoupin County between a truck of Union Pacific Railroad and a tractor of a private individual, the justices overturned lower court rulings that the case be heard in Madison County. The Supreme Court said a judge must consider more than just where a plaintiff would like the case heard. Judges must also weigh other factors, such as where the event that led to the suit occurred and where the parties live or work.” (Trisha L. Howard, “High court orders case moved from Madison County”, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Aug. 21) (see recent John Stossel coverage, and our earlier coverage).