“Charles W. Silveira, in a lawsuit filed in Morristown on Monday, claims Ava T. Miller of Mendham required large cash payments to buy enough gold to make a statue that would ward off the negativity allegedly surrounding him.” [Morristown, N.J. Daily Record via Obscure Store, Newark Star-Ledger] For another New Jersey lawsuit over disappointment with psychic services with even more colorful facts, see Jun. 20, 2001.
“The [New Jersey appellate] panel declined to adopt a best-interests-of-the-pet standard as urged by amici in the case.” Judge Jane Grall wrote that in the absence of legally cognizable abuse or neglect to an animal, there might not be “judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving questions of possession from the perspective of a pet”. [New Jersey Law Journal]
Reading from the weekend:
- At the American Spectator, Quin Hillyer says his co-thinkers “need to really get up in arms about” changing the law, and has kind words for a certain website that is “the single best place to track all its devastation”. At The New Criterion, Roger Kimball finds that the threat to vintage children’s books provides a good instance of the dangers of “safety”. And commentator Hugh Hewitt is back with another column, “The Congress Should Fix CPSIA Now“.
- Numerous disparaging things have been said of the “mommy bloggers” who’ve done so much to raise alarms about this law. Because, as one of Deputy Headmistress’s commenters points out, it’s already been decided that this law is needed to “protect the children”, and it’s not as if mere mothers might have anything special to contribute about that.
- Plenty of continuing coverage out there on the minibike/ATV debacle, including Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (office of local Congressman Mike Doyle, D-Pa., says most members think, dubiously, that ban “can be fixed without new legislation”); Lebanon, Pa. (“Ridiculous… It’s closed an entire market for us”), Waterbury, Ct. (“The government does stupid things sometimes without thinking”), and, slightly less recent, Atlantic City, N.J. (“I would’ve had three sales this weekend, so they stomped us”). Some background: Off-Road (agency guidance in mid-February told dealers to get youth models “off their showfloors and back into holding areas”); Motorcycle USA (“With right-size models being unavailable to families, we may see more kids out on adult ATVs and we know that this leads to crashes”). To which illustrator Meredith Dillman on Twitter adds: “Just wait until someone gets hurt riding a broken bike they couldn’t get replacement parts for.”
- One result of CPSIA is that a much wider range of goods are apt to be subject to recalls, but not to worry, because the CPSC recall process is so easy and straightforward.
- Court declines to dismiss stripper’s suit blaming her DUI crash on club that made her drink with customers [Heller/OnPoint News, earlier]
- Served 23 years in Wisconsin prison, then cleared by DNA evidence [Innocence Project]
- Headlines we didn’t make up: “Grad Student Threatens to Sue Over Destruction of Rare Lizard Dung” [ABA Journal, U.K. case]
- Wisconsin middle school suspends teacher Betsy Ramsdale because her Facebook photo shows her with gun [Never Yet Melted] http://is.gd/iQaj
- David Ogden, now up for a high Department of Justice post, assisted in Clinton-Reno era’s ghastly RICO suit against tobacco companies (maybe on-orders-from-superiors, given the extent to which the whole thing was wired by hotshot outside lawyers suing the industry) [Carrie Johnson, WaPo]
- You’d think they’d learn: appliance energy-use mandates led to lousy clothes-washer and dishwasher designs, but more of the same on the horizon [Kazman, CEI “Open Market”]
- Walks out of psychiatric hospital and kills himself, state of New Jersey ordered to pay $600K to survivors [Newark Star-Ledger]
- Why there was a market for burned out light bulbs in the former Soviet Union [Tyler Cowen]
You might think Doris Sexton’s main problem is the chronic lung condition she’s got from smoking a pack a day for 43 years. The smell of the co-worker’s perfume, however, she argues, exacerbated that ailment. A New Jersey court has allowed her workers’ compensation lawsuit to go forward. [Insurance Journal] For ADA lawsuits involving perfume, follow links from here.
- Disturbing implications from Lori Drew case of criminalizing website “terms of service” [Kerr @ Volokh and more; earlier]
- Not quite what lawprof proponents of the class action format had in mind? Proposed law in South Korea “would allow businesses who suffer financial losses due to violent public protests to file class actions” against protesters [Korea Times via Karlsgodt, Class Action Blawg]
- BlockShopper retains high-powered First Amendment attorney to fend off Jones Day’s don’t-blog-about-us suit [Ambrogi; earlier here, etc.]
- New filings in pro wrestlers’ labor suit against WWE [Schwartz; earlier here and here]
- “Brits Propose Potential Life Sentence for Johns” [Balko, Reason “Hit and Run”]
- Narrowing “fair report” privilege, N.J. appeals court decides reporters can be liable for publishing defamatory allegations in court filing, while lawyers still immunized when they put those allegations there [Feral Child, Media Law, CT Blue; Salzano v. North Jersey Media Group, PDF]
- It’ll be hard to live up to some of the high praise for my new web project with Heather Mac Donald, John Derbyshire, Razib Khan et al, Secular Right [D.R. Tucker, Human Events “Right Angle”; some other reactions]
- Late in catching up on this, but Target in August agreed to pay $6 million to settle the big lawsuit over accessibility of its website to blind users [The Recorder; Ben Duranske discusses implications for virtual online worlds]
I’m scheduled to discuss the eHarmony settlement and litigation between 3 and 3:30 Central on the PrimeTime Chicago show on WMBI Friday.
The latest issue of the Federalist Society’s Class Action Watch has many articles of interest to Overlawyered readers:
- William E. Thomson & Kahn A. Scolnick on the Exxon Shipping case;
- Jimmy Cline on Arkansas’s disregard for class action certification standards;
- Jim Copland on the “Colossus” class action;
- Laurel Harbour on the New Jersey Supreme Court decision on medical monitoring class actions;
- Lyle Roberts on lead-counsel selection in securities class actions;
- Mark A. Behrens & Frank Cruz-Alvarez on the lead paint public nuisance decision by the Rhode Island Supreme Court; and
- Andrew Grossman, extensively citing to Overlawyered and my brief in discussing the Grand Theft Auto class action settlement rejection.
“Online dating service eHarmony has agreed to create a new website for gays and lesbians as part of a settlement with a gay man in New Jersey, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General said on Wednesday.” (Reuters, Nov. 19, FoxNews.com)(via Friedersdorf, see also Mataconis, Sullum, Balko). Earlier coverage: Jun. 1 and Jun. 8, 2007; Mar. 26, 2006 (married man wants listing). More: lawyer in parallel California suit against eHarmony says it isn’t moot despite policy change because they still want money.
Note: headline changed 11/21 to reflect commenter’s observation that despite the usage in the news articles, the civil rights proceedings in question had not reached the formal status of a lawsuit.
“If any practical legal principle can be extracted from the gnarled facts of Bayne v. Johnson v. Johnson, it is probably this: You can’t get palimony if you cohabit with a married man and his wealthy, elderly wife and then leave him because he won’t leave her.” (Michael Booth, “When Palimony’s at Stake, Three’s a Crowd”, New Jersey Law Journal, Oct. 28).