- “The Climate Debate Should Focus on How to Address the Threat of Climate Change, Not Whether Such a Threat Exists” [Jonathan Adler, whose analysis of environmental law is often quoted in this space]
- “Grizzly Bears and Endangered Species Recovery” [Cato Daily Podcast with Brian Yablonski and Caleb Brown] “Property Rights as a Foundation for Conservation” [same, with Holly Fretwell and Brown]
- “If an environmentalist values the land more than ranchers do, then the environmentalist should get the lease.” [Shawn Regan, Reason; related on “diligence” regulations in federal resource leasing Robert M. Nelson, Regulation, Jan./Feb. 1983]
- “Litigation vs. Restoration: Addressing Louisiana’s Coastal Land Loss” [U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, earlier]
- Who will build the roads? Go ask Friedrich Engels [David Henderson, Econlib] Related: Market Urbanism Report podcast on road privatization and other topics with Robert Poole, Chris Edwards and others;
- “Florida Democratic Party adopts ‘rights of nature’ into platform” [Scott Powers, Florida Politics; see here, here, here, etc.]
- “A Louisiana DA will let you out of your community service obligation — if you donate to his nonprofit” [Radley Balko; Calcasieu Parish, La.]
- New study of law enforcement fines and fees finds they bear more heavily on rural residents and have high costs of collection. Also makes a case for periodic forgiveness of mostly-uncollectible balances of old debt [Matthew Menendez, Michael F. Crowley, Lauren-Brooke Eisen, and Noah Atchison, Brennan Center/Texas Public Policy Foundation/Right on Crime]
- Oakland County, Mich. “Says Seizing Home Over $8.41 Tax Debt Was OK Because Counties Need Money” [Eric Boehm, Reason first and second posts] “The Unsung Scourge of Home Equity Theft” [Cato podcast with Christina Martin and Caleb Brown]
- Georgia: “Doraville Homeowners Win Round One in Lawsuit Challenging City’s Overzealous Ticketing Scheme” [J. Justin Wilson, Institute for Justice]
- Here’s a revisionist (though only partly so) account of the Luzerne County, Pa. cash-for-kids judicial scandal, to which we devoted multiple posts at the time [Roger DuPuis, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader]
- “Forty-four states have policies of suspending driver’s licenses over unpaid fines, fees or court debts.” Time to rethink [Jenny Kim, WSJ/Koch]
A Lake Charles, Louisiana lawyer’s welcome-to-the-neighborhood letter is the toast of Twitter.
“A libertarian attorney filed a lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s monopoly on the legal profession, joining a wave of similar litigation in other states. New Orleans insurance defense lawyer Randy Boudreaux alleges in the federal court suit that his rights of free speech and free association are being violated because the bar association collects his mandatory dues while taking positions on controversial issues like the death penalty and LGBT rights…. Boudreaux, a married gay man, said he agrees with the bar association’s position in favor of LGBT rights. But he’s opposed to the idea of compelling his fellow lawyers to pay for a group with which they disagree.” [Matt Sledge, NOLA.com, earlier] But note: Eighth Circuit rejects argument that North Dakota bar fees are open to challenge under Janus [Fleck v. Wetch]
- Though ruled unconstitutional a half century ago, Louisiana’s criminal defamation law has remained on the books and could still cause you grief, especially if a sheriff’s office thinks you’ve defamed it [Sara Pagones and Katie Moore, NOLA.com]
- Certiorari petition filed asking Supreme Court to stop climatologist Michael Mann’s lawsuit against National Review [NR, earlier]
- Latest sassy response to a cease-and-desist demand (language) [Mike Masnick, TechDirt; “Diamond and Silk” versus Wonkette] Person “threatens to sue the Guinness World Record folks for removing his records” [same]
- Also Techdirt-related: “Defamation lawsuit brought by self-proclaimed email ‘inventor’ settles” [Cyrus Farivar, NBC, related]
- New Hampshire high court: inventor and company weren’t defamed by being called patent troll [ABA Journal, earlier here and here] Lawsuit alleging adult defamation of a seventh grader results in liability but no damages [Eugene Volokh; Massachusetts Superior Court]
- Council in Peachtree City, Ga. considers proposal to pay legal bills of city workers and officials who sue critics for defamation [George Franco, Fox 5 Atlanta]
- “Addicted to fines: Small towns in much of the country are dangerously dependent on punitive fines and fees” [Mike Maciag, Governing, a publication that will be much missed]
- “How diversion programs became a cash cow for DAs in Louisiana” [Jessica Pishko, Politico] New Orleans: “Judge steered defendants to campaign contributor’s ankle-monitor company, report says” [ABA Journal]
- Greg and Teresa Almond seizure: “Alabama Cops Raided Their House, Seized Their Cash, and Ruined Their Lives Over $50 of Marijuana” [C.J. Ciaramella, Reason, sequel (more transparency)]
- “Chicago Hiked the Cost of Vehicle City Sticker Violations to Boost Revenue. But It’s Driven More Low-Income, Black Motorists Into Debt.” [Melissa Sanchez, ProPublica, and Elliott Ramos, WBEZ Chicago] Related earlier on impound here, here, etc.
- Are the big bucks where you expected them to be? “Follow the money of mass incarceration” [Prison Policy Initiative]
- “Missouri trial courts send people to jail, charge them room-and-board as ‘court costs,’ then send them back to jail if they can’t pay, yielding — you guessed it — more court costs. Missouri Supreme Court: Cut it out.” [Institute for Justice “Short Circuit” on State v. Richey; Titus Wu, Columbia Missourian]
Orleans Parish, Louisiana (= county, in this case coterminous with the City of New Orleans) funnels the revenue from many criminal fines and fees into a judicial services fund which, while it does not pay judges’ salaries, does cover many related expenses including staff salaries, conferences and office supplies. Judges themselves help determine the volume of inflow to the fund by their rulings in cases. Now a unanimous Fifth Circuit panel has ruled that given the fund’s substantial dependence on such revenue, the parish “failed to provide a neutral forum” and thus violated defendants’ constitutional right to due process [Nick Sibilla/Forbes, ABA Journal; opinion in Cain v. White]
- Starting in mid-1990s German doctors began writing many more opioid prescriptions. But addiction and overdose rates did not skyrocket. What made Germany different? [Jeffrey Singer, Cato; Jacob Sullum, Reason]
- Will the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Merck v. Albrecht manage to clarify preemption law? [Beck, Drug & Device Law and more; Jonah Knobler, Washington Legal Foundation]
- Money didn’t go into state treasury: “Oklahoma Lawmakers not so Happy About Purdue Pharma Settlement” [Sean Murphy, Insurance Journal, more] “Nevada AG’s old law firm can make up to $350 million on his opioid lawsuit” [Daniel Fisher, Legal Newsline] “List of firms handling Louisiana’s opioid lawsuit balloons to 17, including politically connected ones” [Sam Karlin, The Advocate] Richard Epstein on opiate litigation [Ricochet]
- National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: “Where Calls for Overturning Bruesewitz v. Wyeth Go Wrong” [Dorit Reiss, Petrie-Flom “Bill of Health”]
- “Drug lawsuit ads are scaring seniors to death” [P. Roosevelt Gilliam III and Susan Peschin, STAT]
- Senate Republicans file bill to fast-track FDA consideration of over-the-counter birth control pill [Elizabeth Nolan Brown]
It is forbidden to save lives except in the prescribed location and manner: “In an effort to protect rural hospitals in Louisiana, state lawmakers have passed a bill that bans the creation of most freestanding emergency rooms.” [Alia Paavola, Becker’s Hospital Review]
Attorneys for Mississippi-based Whitestone Transportation “allege in court documents that their investigations have uncovered evidence of more than 30” incidents around New Orleans following a distinct pattern of “multiple people in a claimant vehicle, sideswipe allegations with commercial vehicle trailers, minimal damage to claimant vehicle, little to no damage to the insured trailer and a commercial vehicle driver who is either unaware of or denies impact, according to trucking attorneys.” “In Louisiana we estimate our insurance costs are three to five times more than the national average,” said Chance McNeely, executive director of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, and with the legal system not well suited to defeating claims for staged or pretended accidents, companies are increasingly turning to truck-mounted cameras.
“It’s always the same thing: Four people in a sedan, and there’s always a random witness who gives a loose statement to the cops and has a random appointment and has to get away, “ McNeely said. And all too often they use the same attorneys and the same doctors, he said….
“We have a lot of billboards for attorneys, and many of them demonize our industry,” he said.