- Event barns booming as wedding venues, but some owners of traditional banquet halls want them to be subject to heavier regulation, as by requiring use of licensed bartenders [Stephanie Morse, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]
- Protectionism and smuggling in ancien regime France: “Before Drug Prohibition, There Was the War on Calico” [Virginia Postrel]
- Thread unpacks “Big Ag bad, family farms good” platitudes [Sarah Taber]
- “An Oklahoma judge has agreed to resign after he was accused of using his contempt powers to jail people for infractions such as leaving sunflower seeds in his courtroom and talking in court” [ABA Journal]
- Update: North Carolina gerrymandering plaintiffs back off, concede impracticality of using new maps in time for upcoming election [Robert Barnes, Washington Post, earlier]
- “Aretha Franklin Died Without a Will, Bequeathing Estate Issues To Her Heirs” [Caron/TaxProf]
- Protected class designation as departure from viewpoint neutrality: D.C. council proposal would make support for (but not opposition to) abortion a discrimination-law protected category in health care employment [Abortion Provider Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2017, Bill 22-0571, via Katie Glenn, Washington Examiner]
- You’ve heard of space junk, here’s statutory junk [David Schoenbrod, Cato Regulation magazine]
- “The Regulation of Language”: “countries that adopt a planned order approach to language, also do so in their law, and similarly rely on a planned order approach in their economy” [Yehonatan Givati, Journal of Law and Economics forthcoming/SSRN]
- “You typically don’t think of pizza chains as being recipients of government bailouts, but in a sense, that’s what happened here.” [Dan Lewis, Now I Know, cheese promotion]
- Federal judge in Southern District of Mississippi wants race and gender hiring set-asides for legal work in receivership case, which is not fair to victims of Ponzi scheme whose interests are under care [Scott Greenfield]
- Trademark claims on “Ruby Tuesday,” who can hang a name on you? [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
“Prince’s heirs have sued Walgreens and the Illinois hospital that treated the music superstar after he suffered from an opioid overdose, alleging that a doctor and various pharmacists failed to provide Prince with reasonable care, contributing to his death.” [Amy Forliti, AP/St. Paul Pioneer-Press]
- New suits claim lack of web accessibility features in online employment applications violates California’s ADA equivalent law [Kristina M. Launey & Myra Villamor, Seyfarth Shaw]
- Sugar in candy? Who knew? [John O’Brien and John Breslin, Legal Newsline/Forbes] Slack-fill lawsuits reveal nonfunctional void within class-action industry [Baylen Linnekin]
- Musical instruments in court: the stories behind six famous gear disputes [Jay Laughton, Reverb last year]
- “Secret of David Copperfield’s signature trick revealed in slip-and-fall suit by audience volunteer” [ABA Journal]
- Given Congressional presence in area, California not entitled to use foie gras regulation to impose its views of duck and goose husbandry on producers outside state [Ilya Shapiro and Reilly Stephens on Cato cert amicus in Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Quebec v. Becerra]
- “The earliest versions of the “People’s Court” TV show used law professors as the judges. They were picked because they were articulate and looked like judges but weren’t state bar members; for bar members, being on the show was seen as unlawful advertising.” [@OrinKerr linking Roger M. Grace, Metropolitan News-Enterprise in 2003]
Noting that Britain’s 2006 Noise at Work Regulations “recognize no distinction as between a factory and an opera house,” a British judge has approved the claim of a violist for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden who says he suffered hearing loss from the loudness of the close-by brass section during a rehearsal of Die Walküre, part of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Damages are yet to be determined; he is seeking £750,000. [Mark Savage, BBC] The opera house argued that it had gone as far as a reasonable employer to reduce the risks of loudness, including issuing ear protection which he was using, and that his condition “had in fact been the result of his coincidentally developing Meniere’s disease at around the same time.” [Damien Gayle, Guardian] Earlier on the United Kingdom regulations on sound in the workplace here (police dogs’ barking, with links to many other posts), etc., and related here and here on European orchestra noise regs.
“The Alabama Supreme Court says a man can’t go forward with his lawsuit against a company involved in booking a death metal concert where he was injured.” The plaintiff said he was thrown to the ground during the Mobile event and suffered serious spinal injuries. “The decision says ICM Partners received a $250 commission for booking the band but had no other involvement.” [Insurance Journal; compare successful claims against advertisers, broadcasters, and others following the 2003 Rhode Island Station Nightclub fire]
- New regulations on international movement of rosewood create major hassles and risks for musicians, instrument makers [Robert Benincasa, NPR, earlier on exotic woods]
- “Argentinian geoscientist faces criminal charges over glacier survey” [Jeff Tollefson and Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, Nature]
- “The Progressive Roots of Zoning” [Samuel Staley, Market Urbanism]
- “Water Rights, Water Fights in the American West” [Reed Watson and Caleb Brown, Cato podcast]
- “Los Angeles Wants to Make Housing Affordable by Making it More Expensive” [Christian Britschgi, Reason]
- “Private Property Rights Collide With Invisible Frog” [Chris Bennett, Farm Journal, on cert petition in Markle Interests v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Chamber, earlier]
Two years after the Blurred Lines copyright verdict, lawyerly caution is making itself felt: “According to a BBC report last week, recording artists are now being instructed not to talk publicly about their musical influences for fear of exposure to copyright infringement claims.” [Brink Lindsey, Cato] From the BBC report:
According to forensic musicologist Peter Oxendale “everyone’s concerned that inspiration can [now be interpreted as] a catalyst for infringement.
“All of these companies are worried that if a track is referenced on another at all, there may be a claim being brought,” he explains.
In a First Amendment win with many future implications — most immediately for the Washington Redskins football team — the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment does not allow the Patent and Trademark Office to withhold trademark protection from a rock band because it considers its name to be possibly racially disparaging (or self-disparaging). The holding was unanimous, although the Justices divided on rationale. [Ilya Shapiro/Cato, Betsy Gomez/CBLDF, Eugene Volokh and more (“Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment”)] Earlier here (“Did Cato just file the most not-safe-for-work amicus brief in Supreme Court history?”), here, etc.