- Self-service arrangement: Pennsylvania judge charged with fixing her own parking tickets [Lancaster Online]
- Economist cover story: “Over-regulated America“. Obama hesitant about heavy-handed regulation? Really? [Veronique de Rugy, NRO]
- Argument for letting money market funds “break the buck” without federal backstop [David Henderson, EconLog]
- Suing apps makers? “Entertainment Lawyers Go Wild for ‘Secondary’ Copyright Lawsuits” [WSJ Law Blog] SWAT raid on Kiwi copyright scofflaw? [Balko] Despite its editor’s views, NYT finds it hard to avoid breaching copyright laws itself [Carly Carioli, Boston Phoenix] “Contempt Sanctions Imposed on Copyright Troll Evan Stone” [Paul Alan Levy] More: “obscene materials can’t be copyrighted” offered as defense in illegal download case [Kerr]
- Tenure terror: “Teacher in Los Angeles molest case reportedly paid $40G to drop appeal of firing” [AP]
- FDA rejects lead-in-lipstick scare campaign [ACSH vs. Environmental Working Group]
- A horror story of eyewitness I.D. [claim of DNA exoneration in Va. rape case; AP via Scott Greenfield]
Pennsylvania: “A York man who pleaded guilty to illegally selling prescription drugs is suing the doctor who prescribed the painkillers to him for medical malpractice and medical negligence.” [York Daily Record]
And from the same state: veteran who broke into a pharmacy to steal drugs sues Veterans Administration for not having given him better mental health counseling. [Times-Leader]
- Spanish government fines filmmaker for movie poster showing “reckless driving” [Lowering the Bar] Siri, distracted driving, and police discretion [Balko]
- Parents taking care of their kids under Michigan program must pay $30/mo. to SEIU for representation [Joel Gehrke, Examiner]
- Stretching the Fifth: Joe Francis bad deposition behavior [Legal Ethics Forum]
- WaPo covers deep split on Consumer Product Safety Commission, left wants fifth seat filled ASAP;
- “Threat to Student Due Process Rights Dropped from Draft of Violence Against Women Act” [FIRE, background; Cathy Young/Reason]
- After $300K donation from Philadelphia trial lawyers, you may call him “Judge Wecht” [AP/WPVI]
- Court reverses $43M Madison County verdict against Ford [AP/Alton Telegraph, some background]
According to a new study by Josh Wright for the International Center for Law and Economics. His “findings are consistent with a conclusion that Philadelphia courts demonstrate a marked and meaningful preference for plaintiffs, consistent with both the Complex Litigation Center’s intention of inviting ‘business’ from other courts and criticisms that Philadelphia’s courts provide a unique combination of advantages for plaintiffs.” [Pennsylvania Record, Point of Law]
The disclosure of a Pennsylvania judge’s email to interested parties in a politically charged redistricting case may have stalled his hopes for advancement to the federal bench. [The Legal Intelligencer]
My new post at Cato at Liberty celebrates investigative journalist Carla Main’s substantial victory at a Texas appeals court against a Dallas developer who didn’t like what she’d written about him in her critique of eminent domain, Bulldozed. Ted at Point of Law rounds up more links and reactions and points out that Texas is fortunate to have a relatively strong “anti-SLAPP” law protecting those who speak out on public issues from intimidation through litigation.
Unfortunately, as Ted writes, “there are dozens of other states where those who criticize the rich face tremendous risk of meritless libel suits to shut down their free speech rights.” For example, to its shame, the state of Pennsylvania has a desperately weak anti-SLAPP law which per Harvard’s Citizen Media Law Project “only applies to those petitioning the government over environmental issues.” It’s past time for lawmakers in Harrisburg and other state capitols to take needed legislative action to protect free speech from the silencing threat of litigation.
P.S. Jacob Sullum has this to say:
In our system of justice, rich people with thin skins don’t need any evidence to drag their critics into an expensive, time-consuming, anxiety-provoking legal process that lasts for years. For any journalist who has ever wondered whether he could be sued over something he wrote that reflected badly on someone (which some of us do several times a day), the answer is yes: You can be sued over anything. The suit may not be legally successful, but if the plaintiff’s goal is to punish you for the offense you caused him and make you (and everyone else) think twice before writing about him again, he wins whether or not he ultimately can prevail in court.
How very true.
- Mayor La Guardia on overlawyering [Lawrence Cunningham, Concur Op]
- Update: “Forever 21 Backs Off On Blogger Lawsuit” [Jezebel via @LawandLit, earlier]
- Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett signs joint and several liability reform [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
- Legislation introduced in Trenton to overturn New Jersey Supreme Court decision OKing suits by drunk drivers against bars that served them [NJLRA, earlier]
- Angelos firm scores $495 million award against Exxon in Baltimore gas leak [Sun]
- How plea bargaining warps justice [Tim Lynch, Reason]
- California considers following New York’s lead in regulating employment of domestic workers [Workplace Prof]
- The appalling reign of California’s prison guards union [Tim Kowal, League of Ordinary Gentlemen via Tim Cavanaugh; Steven Malanga, City Journal; earlier]
- Defense side, including dozens of sued bloggers, begins to respond in “Rakofsky v. Internet” case [Turkewitz, Popehat, earlier]
- Point/counterpoint on class action arbitration clauses [Karlsgodt]
- Group plans to Twitter-fy the novel Ulysses via crowdsourcing in time for Bloomsday, but let’s hope nobody tells litigation-prone Joyce heir [Ulysses Meets Twitter 2011 via BoingBoing]
- Battle over reform of joint and several liability continues in Pennsylvania legislature [Wajert]
- From Miami, latest dramatic tale of cops vs. citizen video-taking [David Rittgers, Cato at Liberty] New Jersey bill would criminalize taking photos of kids in many circumstances [Nicole Ciandella, CEI, see also]
- Australia: “Man Gets Workers’ Comp for Injury Sustained When Punching Customer” [Lowering the Bar]
Federal design standards have changed, so many little-used ADA sidewalk ramps in Berks County, Pa. and elsewhere will be torn up at great expense and replaced with new little-used ramps. “The borough [of Lyons, Pa.] has only a few sidewalks — with most yards running right to the street — so the ramps generally lead to areas that would seem difficult for wheelchairs to cross.” [Reading Eagle, h/t Tad DeHaven] More: Chris Fountain.
In Scranton, Pennsylvania, the police union has filed a grievance with the state collective bargaining board over a drug arrest made by police chief Dan Duffy in March, “because the chief is not a member of the collective bargaining unit and was ‘off duty’ when the March 20 arrest was made. ‘I think it’s absurd. I’m not going to turn my head on crime that takes place,’ Chief Duffy said. ‘I took the same oath (as a police officer) that everyone else took.'” [Times-Tribune via Taranto]