Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan Institute’

Examiner series on trial lawyers

The Examiner, the newspaper chain with outlets in Washington, San Francisco and other cities, kicks off a five-part series on “Lawyers Gone Wild” with a package of articles including “Is There a Doctor in the House…Who Hasn’t Been Sued?“, “High-dollar settlements mark class action cases“, “Little relief: Litigation costs rising as firms face fewer suits“, and “Rogues gallery of class action attorneys“. I’m mentioned, as is this site, in the last of these articles, and my colleagues James Copland and the Manhattan Institute Center for Legal Policy are mentioned in the articles on class actions and litigation costs. The authors are Cheryl Chumley and Washington Examiner editorial page editor (and blogger) Mark Tapscott.

Four more installments are slated in the series. To quote the newspaper:

* Sept. 21 – Buying political power and friends in high places
* Sept. 28 – How they do it
* Oct. 5 – Hard times in super lawyer land
* Oct. 12 – Securities lawyers’ heads we win/tails you lose deal for corporate America

(cross-posted, with slight alterations, from Point of Law).

Discrimination against the mentally ill

David Bernstein is presiding over a thread at Volokh (Apr. 18).

More from the WSJ’s editors today:

A reasonable university administrator might conclude from all this [the suits against Harvard and MIT over the Sinedu Tadesse and Elizabeth Shin episodes, respectively] that mentally ill students–when there is even a remote possibility that they will be dangerous–need to be removed from campus, at least until their condition has improved. But not so fast. In 2004, George Washington University suspended Jordan Nott after he sought medical treatment for severe depression. Officials said later that they were trying to act in Mr. Nott’s best interests, by forcing him to take time off to get counseling. Mr. Nott sued the university, arguing that it had violated his rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act. The school and Mr. Nott settled out of court last fall.

In the same rights-based spirit, Virginia recently passed a law barring public colleges and universities from punishing or expelling students “solely for attempting to commit suicide, or seeking mental-health treatment for suicidal thoughts or behaviors.”

(“Caught in the (Legal) Crossfire”, Apr. 20).

And: “Privacy and anti-discrimination laws have meant paralysis in the face of the scarily insane.” (Kay Hymowitz (Manhattan Institute), “In loco parentis – not”, New York Sun, Apr. 20, original at City Journal). Speaking of privacy laws, Hymowitz writes:

Some years ago, when my daughter was starting out at Amherst, the college president explained the terms of the Buckley Amendment to the parents of incoming freshmen. One parent asked in disbelief, “You mean, if my kid were to disappear to California with a drugged-out nut, you wouldn’t even tell me she was missing?” The president smiled with just a hint of condescension. “That’s right,” he said.

Imams sue USAir

A sad case of post-9/11 discrimination, or “performance art” designed to elicit a fearful reaction among fellow passengers? And what are we to think of the suit’s naming, as “John Doe” defendants responsible for damages, an “older couple” who reacted with alarm and the gentleman of which “kept talking into his cellular phone”, possibly alerting authorities? (John McWhorter (Manhattan Institute), “Drama Queens on U.S. Airways”, New York Sun, Mar. 15; Katherine Kersten, “The real target of the 6 imams’ ‘discrimination’ suit”, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Mar. 14; Kersten blog, Mar. 14; Power Line, Mar. 15; Dystopian Philosopher (Dennis Miller video), Mar. 14; Bruce McQuain, QandO, Mar. 15). Earlier coverage: Dec. 6.

More: Audrey Hudson’s coverage of the issue in the Washington Times is kind enough to quote me (“Imams’ suit risks ‘chill’ on security”, Mar. 16).

February 22 roundup

Slow typist sues law school, cont’d

The Ann Arbor News covers Adrian Zachariasewycz’s complaint against the University of Michigan Law School (see Jan. 27), and quotes me along the way:

In addition to seeking unspecified monetary damages, Zachariasewycz wants the law school to study his scores and provide a letter or make a verbal statement to prospective employers saying that his typing was a factor in his exams.

“I paid a lot of money to go to law school,” Zachariasewycz said. “I interrupted my career. I worked very hard. And I got a big zero out of it.”

Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank in New York City, is founder of, which posted a comment about the case and other lawsuits Olson believes have “eyebrow-raising potential.”

“It’s hard to figure out what’s been done to him that’s unlawful,” Olson said.

Olson said he thought it first had something to do with rights of the disabled.

“But it looks like he’s just an ordinary bad typist like a lot of the rest of us.”

(Jo Collins Mathis, “U-M law school sued over grad’s poor typing skills”, Ann Arbor News, Feb. 2).

“Trial Lawyers Inc. — Illinois”

At Point of Law (Oct. 18), Jim Copland announces a new report from the Manhattan Institute’s Trial Lawyers Inc. project:

This afternoon, the Manhattan Institute released Trial Lawyers, Inc.: Illinois, A Report on the Lawsuit Industry in Illinois 2006. The first comprehensive look at litigation in the Prairie State, the report synthesizes work done by the Illinois Civil Justice League, American Tort Reform Association, and U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, among others. The report also includes new information, such as the percentage of 2004 contributions to the Illinois State Democratic Party that came from plaintiffs’ lawyers and their firms (78 percent) and Illinois’ quantitative rank in terms of its medical-malpractice liability as a percentage of gross state product (49th of the 50 states) and its corporations’ self-insured liability as a percentage of GSP (48th).

The Madison County Record has already reported on the new study here.

More coverage: Adam Jadhav, “Metro East courts have improved somewhat, think tank concludes”, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 19.

Slavery reparations gaining momentum?

The Associated Press claims, on evidence whose strength readers may assess for themselves, that advocates of slavery reparations now constitute a “sophisticated, mainstream movement” which is “quietly chalking up victories and gaining momentum”. Amid all its cheerleading for the concept, the article brings in my Manhattan Institute colleague John McWhorter for token balance (Erin Texeira, “Slavery reparations gaining momentum”, AP/Boston Globe, Jun. 9).

“Making Civil Justice Sane”

In the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, Philip K. Howard, president of Common Good and a longtime friend of this site, contributes an essay on fixing our litigation system. Among his topics: the need for a robust principle of assumption of risk; lessons from the U.K., where a “compensation culture” has spread despite a set of legal procedures that is the dream of reformers on this side of the Atlantic; the role of summary judgment and Daubert review; and the role of predictable law in maintaining the principle of the rule of law (Spring).

Michigan drug liability law

Trial lawyers in Michigan continue to agitate for repeal of the law, which, uniquely among the 50 states, affords manufacturers a defense in product liability actions for pharmaceuticals marketed in compliance with FDA regulation. At the Manhattan Institute (with which I’m associated), a new report from the Trial Lawyers Inc. project defends the law (“The Move to Reverse Michigan’s Model Reforms”, June). Also see Point of Law, Apr. 11.