- One-woman false-accusation machine induced Pittsburgh police to file eight criminal cases against couple; one was jailed for six days and the other for six months before she admitted making it up [Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
- Regulation is the bane of a great many California small businesses, and that goes for Humboldt County marijuana growers too [David Boaz, Cato]
- One Billy Goat might have cause to regret picking trademark fight with another [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
- “Antitrust Jurisprudence Is the Right’s Greatest Legal Success” [John McGinnis, Law and Liberty]
- State Attorney General Election Tracker is a new resource from law firm Cozen O’Connor tracking campaign and election news from state attorney general elections across the country;
- “Iowa judge admits hundreds of his rulings were ghost-written by attorneys” [Clark Kauffman, Des Moines Register]
Pittsburgh and Indiana readers! I will be giving talks about gerrymandering and redistricting reform this Thursday (Pittsburgh) and Mar. 20 (Bloomington, Ind.). Details of the lunchtime talks:
Feb. 15: Pitt Law School Federalist Society chapter, with Duquesne Law Prof. Will Huhn.
If you’re a longtime reader and would like to see if we could grab coffee, email editor at overlawyered dot com.
Relatedly, I’m pleased to report that my piece on politicians, voters, and gerrymandering is the lead essay in the latest Cato Policy Report, and that it’s now online.
My new op-ed, at column syndicator Inside Sources, on why Trump’s “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” is a powerful slogan critics underestimate at their peril. On the objection that the city of Pittsburgh voted heavily against Donald Trump, I write, “it seems to me it is Trump’s speechwriters rather than his critics who are showing the sounder grasp of what ‘elected to represent’ means. It is not supposed to mean ‘elected by one faction of the country to advance its interests as distinct from the interests of the other faction.’ In fact, we specifically shouldn’t want presidents to feel that they have no responsibility to represent the interests and rights of voters or regions that went strongly against them.”
Yes, mass production of web accessibility suits is under way: “A partner of [Pittsburgh-based] Carlson Lynch Sweet Kilpela & Carpenter, which represents plaintiffs in such cases, tells the [Chicago] Tribune that it sent out about 25 demand letters to real estate companies in recent months.” [ABA Journal; Kenneth Harney; our 15+ years of coverage of the slow-motion legal disaster that is web accessibility]
The great thing about discrimination-in-public-accommodations law is all the social harmony: barber near Pittsburgh fined $750 by state of Pennsylvania for declining to cut women’s hair [Scott Shackford, Reason]
- “Emails show feds asking Florida cops to deceive judges by calling Stingrays ‘confidential sources.'” [Wired]
- Trial penalty: mortgage fraud defendants in study fared far worse if they insisted on process of law to which they are notionally entitled under Constitution [Wes Oliver at Daniel Fisher’s; more on joint Duquesne Law/Pittsburgh Post Gazette study from reporter Rich Lord, first, second]
- “‘Florida’s Worst Cop’ Finally Convicted of Something, May Be Headed to Jail” [Ed Krayewski, Reason, earlier]
- “Plans to expand scope of license-plate readers alarm privacy advocates” [Center for Investigative Reporting, earlier here, here, here, here, here] But at least our sensitive personal information will be safe with the government! [Lowering the Bar]
- “Challenges to ‘shaken baby’ convictions mounting” [Wisconsin State Journal, earlier]
- A Pavlik Morozov for the Drug War? “Brave” Minnesota 9-year-old hailed for turning in parents on pot rap [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, background on Soviet youth hero]
- “Police SWAT teams in Massachusetts form private corporations, then claim immunity from disclosure laws” [Radley Balko via @gabrielroth, more from ACLU report on police militarization]
The parents of a man killed in a 3 a.m. altercation outside the Original Hot Dog Shop in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood have sued the shop’s owners, saying the failure to provide security personnel “was an outrageous, reckless and callous act, in disregard for the safety of its patrons.” [Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
- “Class counsel in Facebook ‘Sponsored Stories’ case seeks to impose $32,000 appeal bond on class-action objectors” [Public Citizen, Center for Class Action Fairness]
- The best piece on bar fight litigation I’ve ever read [Burt Likko, Ordinary Gentlemen]
- Casino mogul Adelson campaigns to suppress online gaming; is your state attorney general among those who’ve signed on? [PPA, The Hill]
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): “Anyone who values the rule of law should be alarmed by the ADM enforcement action.” [Mike Koehler]
- New FMCSA rules on length of workweek make life difficult for long-haul truckers [Betsy Morris, WSJ via Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven, National Review and more]
- “It takes a remarkable amount of nerve to cobble together publicly available facts, claim you’ve uncovered a fraud on the government, and file a lawsuit from which you could earn substantial financial benefits.” [Richard Samp, WLF] Whistleblower-law lobby tries to get its business model established in West Virginia [W.V. Record]
- Pittsburgh readers, hope to see you tomorrow at Duquesne [law school Federalist Society]
I’ll be speaking at Duquesne Law.