Posts Tagged ‘New Hampshire’

Police and prosecution roundup

  • Arkansas: “‘Corruption of Blood’ Amendment Withdrawn After House Supporter Is Reminded What Century It Is” [Above the Law]
  • George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case heads for trial [TalkLeft, Doug Mataconis, and Richard Hornsby via Megan McArdle on evidentiary standards, earlier]
  • Is New Hampshire citizens’ group harassing town parking meter enforcers, or monitoring their work? [Union Leader, ABA Journal, Reason]
  • New York politicos quarrel over Hank Greenberg suit, overbroad Martin Act is to blame [Bainbridge]
  • Enforcement grabs higher-ups in Ralph Lauren Argentine customs bribery case [FCPA Professor, earlier]
  • Who stole the tarts? “Mom has son arrested for stealing Pop-Tarts” [Lowering the Bar; Charlotte, N.C.] Tip from Georgia cops: avoid situations where you might have to cling to hood of moving car [same]
  • “Omaha officers told: Don’t interfere with citizens’ right to record police activity” [Omaha World-Herald via @radleybalko (“Good work, Omaha.”)]

Constitution and Supreme Court roundup

  • Coming up next Tuesday, Sept. 18, in Washington: Cato Constitution Day. Be there! [schedule]
  • In the unlikely event Congress enacts federal limits on state malpractice suits, Prof. Randy Barnett says he expects to help with a court challenge [Andrew Cochran, earlier]
  • Michael Uhlmann reviews Michael Greve’s The Upside-Down Constitution, and Greve responds [Claremont, Liberty and Law] A New Hampshire story: our “cooperative federalism” can’t replace a simple bridge [Mark Steyn]
  • Broad discretionary search of citizens’ private papers? FISA strains Fourth Amendment [Julian Sanchez]
  • Paging Akhil Amar: Romney on Meet the Press says “I am as conservative as the constitution” [Tucson Citizen] Randy Barnett vs. Amar on progressive constitutionalism [WSJ, Volokh]
  • “Constitutional Places: The Carolene Products Factory That Straddled The Border Between Missouri and Oklahoma, But Did Not Engage In Interstate Commerce” [Josh Blackman, with picture and diagram of filled-milk plant]
  • “More thoughts on Justice Sutherland” [Magliocca, ConcurOp]
  • Seize first, compensate later? Cato files amicus in raisin-farmer takings case [Ilya Shapiro]
  • “What Were They Thinking: The Supreme Court in Revue 2011” [John Elwood & Eric White, Green Bag, PDF]

Welcome New York Post readers

I’ve got a piece in today’s New York Post on why doctors and medical providers should be interested in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation “early offers” experiment in malpractice reform. Earlier here, etc. Note also that Christopher Robinette at TortsProf has added to his illuminating series of posts on the idea with new contributions here and here (& Allen McDuffee, Washington Post “Think Tank”.)

N. H. med-mal: “early offers,” with a side of loser-pays

Overriding a veto from Gov. John Lynch, the New Hampshire legislature on June 27 enacted SB 406, establishing the nation’s first “early offer” system for medical malpractice claims. The law establishes incentives for defendants to make offers early in the litigation process that cover plaintiff’s economic losses such as medical bills and lost wages. The early-offer process is at claimants’ option only; claimants are free not to request such an offer. [Kevin Pho; supportive website; trial lawyers’ opposition website]

Importantly, the new procedure also contains pioneering elements of loser-pays in both directions. If a claimant chooses to accept a defendant’s early offer of economic-loss expenses, the defendant will pay an additional sum to reflect a scheduled assessment of pain and suffering, plus the reasonable costs of attorney representation. However, if the claimant invokes the early-offer process but then turns down the offer as inadequate, there is a real risk of a fee shift in the opposite direction:

XII. A claimant who rejects an early offer and who does not prevail in an action for medical injury against the medical care provider by being awarded at least 125 percent of the early offer amount, shall be responsible for paying the medical care provider’s reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred in the proceedings under this chapter. The claimant shall certify to the court that bond or other suitable security for payment of the medical care provider’s reasonable attorney’s fees and costs has been posted before the court shall consider the case.

At TortsProf, Christopher Robinette explains in some detail (contrary to an error-filled screed in a Litigation Lobby outlet) why this adds up to a generally good deal for claimants (who, of course, are free not to trigger the process if they disagree) as well as making the system fairer. “Early-offer” proposals have been championed over the years by Jeffrey O’Connell, the distinguished University of Virginia torts scholar, and by Philip K. Howard of Common Good, among others. More on loser-pays here.

[Research assistance: Cato Institute intern Byron Crowe; cross-posted at Cato at Liberty]

More from John Steele Gordon at Commentary: “This looks like a big step in the right direction.”

Medical roundup

Perfume restrictions in the news

Under a bill introduced by a New Hampshire legislator, “state employees who interact with the public would not be allowed to wear perfume. Rep. Michele Peckham, R-North Hampton, is the prime sponsor of the perfume bill, which she said she put forward after a constituent asked her to do so. She said there are people allergic to fragrances. ‘It may seem silly, but it’s a health issue,’ Peckham said. ‘Many people have violent reactions to strong scents.'” [Union-Leader via Radley Balko, who calls it reductio creep] Similar proposals have surfaced in places like Portland, Ore., and “perfume sensitivity” lawsuits have been reported from Detroit and New Jersey (& welcome WSJ Law Blog readers; day’s “Five Must-Read Stories”).

“Man Charged With Wiretapping for Using Phone During Traffic Stop”

Another twist on the assertion that state laws against wiretapping and unauthorized recording make it unlawful to record the cops: police in the town of Weare, N.H. charged a man with wiretapping after he placed a cellphone call during a traffic stop “because the officer’s voice could be heard in the background of his phone call.” [Lowering the Bar]

“Mount Washington Hotel to businesses: Stop using mountain’s name”

“A state lawmaker tells WMWV-FM that the Mount Washington Hotel and Resort has told other businesses with ‘Mount Washington’ in their name to stop using it or face a legal challenge.” The hotel says it has challenged only three lodging businesses and does not intend to go after other local businesses named after the mountain. [AP, WMUR, Boston Globe]

P.S. Commenter Mannie: “It gets better. The IOC routinely harasses businesses on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula for using the name ‘Olympic.'”