- Judge blocks sweeping Obama administration ban on new offshore drilling [Roger Pilon, Cato] Some reasons judge may have found ban irrational [Lowry, NRO, scroll to reader comment; Gus Lubin, Business Insider] More on Jones Act waivers in the Gulf [Bainbridge, earlier]
- Connecticut AG Blumenthal launches investigation of Google Street View [Rick Green, Courant]
- Florida judge tosses out $10 million libel verdict against St. Petersburg Times [St. P.T.]
- Lawyer in British Columbia suspends practice after bizarre jury tampering charges [CBC]
- “Disclosed to death”: why laws mandating disclosure are so overused and overbroad [Falkenberg, Forbes on work of Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl E. Schneider, via PoL]
- Judge dismisses controversial Pennsylvania case against Johnson & Johnson over Risperdal marketing, Gov. Rendell had hired major donor to run suit on contingency [LNL, McDonald/NJLRA, earlier]
- Rick Hills vs. Ilya Somin on federalism and constitutional enforcement of property rights [Prawfsblawg, Volokh]
- Beware proposed expansion of Federal Trade Commission powers [Wood, ShopFloor]
- Some California attorneys hoping to restart lucrative construction-defect litigation [Frith, Cal Civil Justice]
- Jury awards Seattle bus passenger $1.3 million for stair mishap [KOMO, Seattle Times]
- “Louisiana Bill Would Outlaw Insulting an Under-17-Year-Old By E-Mail” [Volokh, earlier] Update: bill watered down before passage, but still bad news for speech;
- “Attorney Fee Fight Gets Ugly in World Trade Center Litigation” [Turkewitz and more]
- Preventive detention law shows why we need to confine Congress [Sullum, Greenfield]
- Mass Fifth Circuit recusals in Comer v. Murphy Oil global warming case [Wood/PoL, Jackson] More: Shapiro, Cato, Wood/ShopFloor (a strategy to provoke recusals?)
- “By some estimates, circa 40 percent of cases in the Central African court system are witchcraft prosecutions” [Graeme Wood, The Atlantic]
- Lawyers who sued Facebook over “Beacon” to get $2.3 million in fees, class $0.00 [Balasubramani, SpamNotes]
- Tossed: “Zulu coconut lawsuit thrown out on appeal” [NOLA.com; earlier on this Mardi Gras tradition and the law Louisiana passed to protect it]
- Maryland: “Felony Charges for Recording a Plainclothes Officer” [Rittgers, Cato at Liberty]
- More on decline of local slaughterhouses under federal regulation [Zachary Adam Cohen, NYT “Room for Debate”; earlier]
- “Now Brussels has declared that tourism is a human right” [Times Online via Coyote]
- Three taxes that are a more immediate danger than a VAT [David Frum; my take, at National Journal blogger poll]
- “WorldNetDaily Sues White House Correspondents Association Over Dinner Tables” [MediaBistro, more]
- Department of Labor vs. internship programs: one target’s view [Terry Michael, Reason; earlier]
- Allegedly easy way bloggers can comply with FTC endorsement regs [Chris Pirillo]
A judge has ordered a satirical website to remove an article about a fictional attack by a giraffe at a Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana wildlife center. The center had argued that the article was not clearly labeled as satire and had been taken for real by some readers. A lawyer for the center says his client is asking “to have the story permanently removed from the site and to prevent Hammond Action News from ever distributing it.” Having handed down a temporary restraining order, the judge will consider the permanent removal request March 15. [The Advocate; Hammond Action News]
P.S. Commentary on the story from Ken at Popehat, who links another local story reporting that president of wildlife park threatened college-student satirist with “criminal charges, FCC charges, fraud charges, an IRS complaint, a governor’s office complaint, and a federal lawsuit” (h/t commenter Doug).
“Peter Q. ‘P’Ta Mon’ John, who advertises himself as ‘The Thugs Lawyer,’ was indicted Thursday on charges that he conspired to have attempted murder charges against two local rap music executives dropped.” [Baton Rouge Advocate via Above the Law] Earlier coverage of John here and here (his advertised $500 “Expungement Special”).
Why there’s a “Keep out of the reach of children” label on a can of Glade. [WAFB Baton Rouge, Louisiana]
Following a huge outcry in Louisiana and elsewhere (see Oct. 28; Slashfood, Washington Times, Ryan Young/CEI), the agency will reconsider the rule. The uber-nannyish Center for Science in the Public Interest was dismayed at the delay [BayouBuzz], while the New Orleans publication Gambit, which calls the episode “a glaring example of bureaucratic overkill,” warns that after finishing further study the FDA “could still return with its faulty reasoning.” Nancy Leson at the Seattle Times passes on word from a Northwest shellfish official: “We were told by FDA officials that initially, they were planning to mandate post-harvest treatment of all oysters, and at the last minute they decided to just stick to Gulf oysters — for now.” And ubiquitous food-poisoning lawyer Bill Marler, whose publicity juggernaut rolls on* (recent Seattle Times profile — “I represent poisoned little children against giant corporations”), feels like he’s been wasting a fortune:
…let me make clear that I dumped a lot of “change” into the Democratic change wagon – I have given or raised millions of dollars for Democratic candidates over the last several years. My goal was to put people in office that did good public policy. Well, I guess I needed to wake up literally and figuratively. … Now, the FDA runs and hides from the Oyster industry. … Democratic candidates – do not bother calling, this “change” machine is out of order.
*Marketing disclosure for the FTC’s benefit: when I spoke at the recent AEI food safety panel an employee of one of Marler’s journalistic enterprises presented me with one of his promotional t-shirts.