- Activist high court, no-fault PPI auto insurance, assignment-of-benefits (AOB) claims helped Florida win top Judicial Hellhole ranking from American Tort Reform Foundation [Amy O’Connor, Insurance Journal]
- Maybe getting people interested in the age-old ethical dangers of champerty and maintenance would be easier if litigation finance were framed as a Chamber of Commerce vs. Peter Thiel match-up [Jacob Gershman, WSJ] “Prosecutors Investigate Firms That Offer Plaintiffs Early Cash” [Matthew Goldstein and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, New York Times]
- Seventh Circuit: parents, not Starbucks, bore duty of protecting 3-year-old from harm resulting from playing on crowd-control stanchions [Roh v. Starbucks]
- British Columbia is only Canadian province without limits on soft-tissue injury claims after car crashes, and now fiscal implosion at province-owned auto insurer ICBC may force leftist NDP government to reconsider that [Mike Smyth/The Province, Jason Proctor and Karin Larsen, CBC]
- “NYS Exposed: The one law adding $10,000 to the cost of a new home” [WHEC, New York Post editorial on scaffold law and other elements of state liability scene, earlier]
- “Former South Carolina Lawmaker Sentenced for Improperly Using Office to Help Trial Lawyers” [U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; Glenn Smith, Post and Courier; John Monk, The State]
When we last examined Allen v. City of Chicago — a case in which a class of Chicago police officers claimed their employer owed them unpaid overtime for their time spent reading emails off-duty on their smartphones—an Illinois federal court had dismissed the claims, holding that most of the emails were incidental and non-essential to the officers’ work, and, regardless, the employer lacked specific knowledge of non-compensated off-duty work.
[In August] – in what is believed to be the first, and only, federal appellate court decision on whether an employer owes non-exempt employees overtime for time spent off-duty reading emails on a smartphone — the 7th Circuit affirmed [pdf].
While under existing precedent an employer must pay for all off-hours work it knows about even if the work is unwelcome and against its policy, it is evidently not required to pay for work that it never learned about at the time because employees ignored a policy requiring them to report it.
Speaking of the Seventh Circuit, Judge Richard Posner, among the most influential legal thinkers and jurists of the past half-century, is stepping down. He changed my thinking and if you hang out around law or policy probably yours too [our past coverage and tag; Evan Bernick on Twitter; Cass Sunstein (“I have my disagreements with Judge Posner, but let’s give credit where it is due: His influence has made the law much better, and the world is a lot better off as a result.”)]
“In a 7-4 en banc decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the bona fide error defense in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) did not protect a debt collector who complied with then-controlling Seventh Circuit precedent — which was subsequently overruled by that court.” [Stefanie H. Jackman, Inside ARM]
Rejecting the view of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit has ruled that Congress not having enacted a measure such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act banning sexual-orientation discrimination, plaintiffs cannot deduce the existence of such a ban from other elements of federal law. [Chris Geidner, BuzzFeed; Marcia McCormick, Workplace Law Prof] I saw this coming last year when the EEOC declared, on what did not seem strong legal grounds, that the previous federal court consensus that there is no implied ban had been effectively overridden by intervening case law.
“Organized labor is laying the groundwork for an aggressive legal challenge to right-to-work laws, one that essentially would invalidate most state versions of the law.” When unions sought to overturn Indiana’s newly enacted right to work law, the Seventh Circuit upheld it but split 5-5 over rehearing of the case, a surprisingly close outcome. [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner]
- Government as source of product misinformation [David Henderson notes my City Journal discussion of NY AG Eric Schneiderman’s crusade on herbal supplements]
- “Under Armour is suing pretty much every company using the name ‘Armor'” [Washington Post]
- Maryland police unions defend LEOBR (“bill of rights”) tenure laws [my Free State Notes, Ed Krayewski, Scott Greenfield]
- Someone uses an iPhone to transact Islamic State business; could a court find Apple liable for providing material support for terrorism? [Benjamin Wittes, Zoe Bedell, Lawfare]
- Maybe green-lighting a union for tax collecting staff wasn’t such a hot idea in the first place [Washington Post]
- Seventh Circuit: “Appeals court apologizes for literally misplacing case for five years as lawyers wondered what was taking so long” [Jacob Gershman, WSJ Law Blog]
- For the sake of professional dignity, in future employ authorized methods only: “Italian lawyer steals French tourist’s wallet” [The Local, Italy]