- FDA’s costly menu labeling rules set to begin enforcement May 5. Any hope of blocking them? [Baylen Linnekin, earlier]
- “Justice Department Disability Demands Raise Serious Free Speech Issues” [Hans Bader, CEI, earlier on the Berkeley online course takedown]
- Government shouldn’t be entitled to shut down recording of its officers in public places when it doesn’t interfere with law enforcement [Ilya Shapiro and Devin Watkins on Cato Institute brief in 9th Circuit case of Jacobson v. Department of Homeland Security]
- I knew the late Leo Rosten a bit in 1990s NYC. Now Dan Klein has a fun paper on The Joys of Yiddish as an economics text [SSRN via David Henderson]
- Many libertarians diagnose “crony capitalism” as a leading source of American ills. How good are their examples? [Arnold Kling]
- Signs in India proclaiming who owns a given plot of land point to a vulnerability of legal system [Alex Tabarrok] “The Uttar Pradesh Association of Dead People” [Tabarrok on this 2009 Open Magazine piece]
- Federal judge Wolf mulls appointing special master to investigate possible fee fraud in class action against State Street Bank [Boston Globe]
- Two lawyers start fighting on an airplane over a shared armrest, and it makes the papers [New York Post]
- Philly proposes mandatory sensitivity training for owners, employees of 11 gay bars [Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations report via Heat Street]
- Finally, some constraints on Mississippi Attorney General and longtime Overlawyered favorite Jim Hood? [Mississippi Business]
- One view of emergent controversy: “The Case Against National Injunctions, No Matter Who Is President” [Samuel Bray, LawFare, more from same author]
- “Court To Review Target’s $10M Customer Data Breach Settlement” [Consumerist; Minneapolis Star-Tribune; Ted Frank’s Center for Class Action Fairness is objecting]
- In or near Kansas? I’m speaking next week in Topeka at a Washburn University School of Law conference on the future of employment law [Feb. 23, details]
Omaha restaurateur John Horavatinovich tweeted a security cam picture of two 17-year-olds turned away trying to buy beer at his establishment with an accompanying comment that included the word “sting.” Now he’s on trial on misdemeanor charges of obstructing a government operation. His lawyers argue that he had no way of knowing whether the teenagers were working with authorities, since they did not declare themselves. The case is now in the hands of jurors. [WOWT]
P.S.: Compare this 2012 post, “Judge: flashing headlights to warn of speed trap is protected speech [under First Amendment].”
Follow-up: verdict Not Guilty.
- Sugar, fat, and the state’s role in nutritional misinformation: Cato Unbound with Gary Taubes and commenters;
- Montreal authorities ban new restaurants in some neighborhoods, which seems to be just fine with owners of some incumbent eateries [Baylen Linnekin]
- Among other ominous trends for the hip-restaurant sector, including customer burnout and advance of food delivery apps, health insurance and wage mandates sure don’t help [Kevin Alexander, Thrillist]
- Latest slack-fill class action alleges there’s too much air in box of Nestle Raisinets [TMZ] Behind wave of class actions over food/beverage labeling, packaging [Jessica Karmasek, Legal NewsLine]
- What could go wrong? Scotland considers joining Ukraine in enacting a legal right to food [Mental Floss]
- Restaurant in Turin, Italy, asks diners to sign waiver before consuming hot-pepper-laden dish [La Stampa, in Italian]
Loyal patrons of well-known Manhattan restaurant China Fun were surprised by “the restaurant’s sudden Jan. 3 closing,” explained by owners’ son Albert Wu in a goodbye letter citing ten categories of regulation-driven cost including health insurance, insurance, and the minimum wage [New York Daily News]. The “endless paperwork and constant regulation that forced the shutdown accumulated over the years”:
“The climate for small businesses like ours in New York have become such that it’s difficult to justify taking risks and running — nevermind starting — a legitimate mom-and-pop business,” read a letter posted by the owners in the restaurant’s front door.
“The state and municipal governments, with their punishing rules and regulations, seems to believe that we should be their cash machine to pay for all that ails us in society.” …
Wu cited one regulation where the restaurant was required to provide an on-site break room for workers despite its limited space. And he blamed the amount of paperwork now required — an increasingly difficult task for a non-chain businesses.
“In a one-restaurant operation like ours, you’re spending more time on paperwork than you are trying to run your business,”
A spokesman for the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city offered small business free help from compliance advisers.
KFC’s menu states that its “Fill-Up” $20 deal includes eight pieces of chicken plus a variety of sides that it thinks will serve a party of four. A Hudson Valley, N.Y. woman says she was misled by advertising materials that showed an overflowing bucket. The company offered her a coupon in recompense for her disappointment, but she wants $20 million instead in individual (not class) damages. [Nick Farr, Abnormal Use; Fortune] More: Baylen Linnekin rounds up poultry-related litigation.
“Emergency regulations” adopted in 1985 by the District of Columbia sharply restrict where fast-food restaurants may operate, and despite an effort in 2007 to refine the definition of a fast-food place, it remains rigid: any eatery where the utensils are disposable is included, as does any in which cash is paid before the meal is handed over. Now the regulations have come to restrict the operation of popular “fast-casual” restaurants and even one-off ventures launched by noted chefs, like a barbecue sandwich place that had been slated to open in Shaw near the Convention Center. [Tim Carman, Washington Post via Scott Beyer, Forbes]
For those who like judicial puns and wordplay, it’s on display in this Fifth Circuit decision on litigation between competitors in the southern Louisiana frozen confection business. [New Orleans Times-Picayune]