- Other motorist in fatal crash should have been detained after earlier traffic stop, says widow in suit against Kane County, Ill. sheriff’s office [Chicago Tribune]
- Now with flashing graphic: recap of Demi Moore skinny-thigh Photoshop nastygram flap [Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing, Kennerly]
- Blawg Review #245 is hosted by Charon QC;
- Expensive, unproven, and soon on your insurance bill? State lawmakers mull mandate for autism therapy coverage [KY3.com, Springfield, Missouri]
- “NBC airs segment on Ford settlement: Lawyers get $25 million, plaintiffs get a coupon” [NJLRA]
- “Drawing on emotion”: high-profile patent plaintiff’s lawyer Niro writes book on how to win trials [Legal Blog Watch]
- “Virginia Tech faces lawsuit over student’s suicide” [AP/WaPo]
- Maryland lawmaker’s Howard-Dean-style candor: “you take care of your base… It’s labor and trial lawyers that get Democrats in office” [Wood, ShopFloor]
- Another compilation of the hundred best law blogs, with a familiar name among the nine “general” picks, so thanks for that [“Criminal Justice Degrees Guide” via ABA Journal]
- Europe has a transnational association of personal injury lawyers, funded by the EU, but with no wheeler-dealer, masters-of-the-universe vibe in evidence [PoL]
- Delta wasn’t liable in Kentucky Comair crash, but some plaintiffs sued it anyway in what their lawyer describes as an “abundance of caution” — that’s a diplomatic way to put it [Aero-News Net; link fixed now]
- U.K.: Mom told she’d need to pass criminal record check before being allowed to take her own son to school [Telegraph]
- Regular coverage of the litigious exploits of delusional inmate Jonathan Lee Riches, if you’ve got the stomach for them [Dreadnaught blog]
- Federal Circuit reverses $85 million infringement verdict won by Raymond Niro, blasted by critics as original “patent troll” [AmLaw Daily]
- “Determined to defeat lawsuits over addiction, the casino industry is funding research at a Harvard-affiliated lab.” [Salon]
- Hired through nepotism by in-laws, then fired after divorce, sues on grounds of “marital status discrimination” [eight years ago on Overlawyered]
Just as I was about to say I needed to revise my top-ten blog list to include the excellent anony-blogger Patent Troll-Tracker, I learned from today’s Recorder and WSJ that he has revealed himself as Rick Frenkel, Cisco IP attorney.
When I started the blog, I did so mainly out of frustration. I was shocked to learn that a huge portion of the tech industry’s patent disputes were with companies that were shells, with little cash and assets other than patents and a desire to litigate, and did not make and had never made any products. Yet when I would search the Internet for information about these putative licensors, I could find nothing. I was frustrated by the lack of information, and also by the vast array of anti-patent-reform bloggers out there, without a voice supporting what I did believe and still believe is meaningful reform.
(For the record, I liked the blog even before they praised me.) Plaintiffs’ attorney Ray Niro had put a bounty on the identity of the Troll Tracker, who had been critical of Niro’s tactics (as have Walter and I). Frenkel is considering shutting down his blog now that he is out of the closet; one hopes someone else picks up the torch, because he was performing a valuable service, to the extent that I had limited my blogging about it because he had the subject-area covered so well.
I missed the debate in November among Dennis Crouch, Michael Smith, and Frenkel on whether the Eastern District of Texas is “waning” as a magnet jurisdiction for patent plaintiffs (May 2006, Dec. 2005, Jan. 2005), or I might have made reference to it in my latest Liability Outlook on patent reform. Frenkel seems to have the best of that debate, and follows up:
Let’s highlight one really outstanding statistic from November: The number of defendants sued in the Eastern District of Texas in November 2007: 244. The number of defendants sued in Los Angeles, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, New York City, Chicago, Delaware, and New Jersey combined in November 2007: 162.
Patent lawyers often seem to be of a different stripe than other lawyers, and there is a similar patent-law-blogging community largely separate from the other law-bloggers. The commenters go mad at Crouch’s blog over the Frenkel revelation because Cisco is a strong patent reform supporter. Elsewhere: IPBiz; TechDailyDose; NetworkWorld; 271Blog; Mises Blog; and the anti-reform Patent Prospector.