A Sixth Circuit panel declines to strike down a state law under which public schools will no longer withhold union dues from teachers’ salaries. The Michigan Education Association had claimed that Public Act 53 interfered with its First Amendment right to speak. [David Shepardson, Detroit News]
- We’re worth it: lawyers in credit card case want judge to award them $720 million [Alison Frankel, Reuters] Johnson & Johnson will fight $181 million payday for private lawyers in Arkansas Risperdal case [Legal NewsLine]
- British Columbia, Canada: “Lawyer Ordered To Pay Costs Personally For ‘Shoddy Piece Of Counsel Work’” [Erik Magraken] Ontario client questions lawyer’s fee [Law Times]
- Sixth Circuit: attorneys fees statute not intended to cover dry cleaning and mini-blinds [Legal Ethics Forum]
- Indiana lawmaker goes back to drawing board on loser-pays bill [Indiana Law Blog]
- ‘Shocked’ by $3M legal fee in fatal car-crash case, judge tells lawyers to pay plaintiff lawyer $50K [ABA Journal]
- Seth Katsuya Endo, “Should Evidence of Settlement Negotiations Affect Attorneys’ Fees Awards?” [SSRN via Legal Ethics Forum]
- In Israel, more of a discretionary loser-pays arrangement [Eisenberg et al, SSRN via @tedfrank]
- British cabbie beats ticket, recovers only some of his legal costs. Still better than he’d do here, right? [Daily Mail]
- Turnaround guru Wilbur Ross: current structure of bankruptcy fees encourages lawyer “hyperactivity” [Reuters]
- Great moments in union contracts: “Many Suburban Cops Allowed To Work ‘Half Drunk'” [NBC Chicago]
- California high court imposes arbitrary damage-splitting rule on mixed-motive firings [Cheryl Miller, The Recorder]
- More tales of much-forgiven Broward County bus drivers [Sun-Sentinel, background]
- Sixth Circuit: SEIU robocalls to harass hospital CEO don’t violate TCPA [Littler]
- Judge rejects EEOC position against alcohol testing of steelworkers in safety-sensitive posts [Paul Mirengoff, PowerLine, Reuters]
- “NYFD made written test impossible to fail, but diversity recruits in Academy can’t meet physical standards either.” [Ted Frank/PoL]
- “The March Toward a Bullying Cause of Action Continues” [Michael Fox, Employer’s Lawyer; TheDenverChannel.com]
- T’wasn’t easy for White House to find a new Labor Secretary to the left of Hilda Solis, but meet Tom Perez [WaPo]
- Court hears oral argument in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, the CAFA evasion case [transcript in PDF, Civil Procedure & Federal Courts Blog rounding up links, Federalist Society podcast with Brian Fitzpatrick, earlier here, here]
- Shelby County case invites SCOTUS to revisit Voting Rights Act [Ilya Shapiro, Cato; Eric Posner and Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Slate] But does Jeffrey Toobin understand the VRA? [Derek Muller, Prawfs]
- Speaking of that New Yorker writer, Toobin’s account of the Heller Second Amendment case is definitely not one for the history books [Tim Lynch, Cato]
- On gay marriage cases, jurisdiction/standing issues could leave Court fractured like Turkish taffy [Art Leonard] Best result for gays, argues Jonathan Rauch, might be narrow or mixed decision [TNR] Beyond the Court, idea of local option could offer national GOP a graceful retreat from its current untenable position [Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle quotes me arguing to that effect]
- SCOTUS asked to consider tribalism-trumps-adoption Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 [NYT]
- Despite amicus urgings from various good guys, Supreme Court declines to review Hettinga, the economic liberty case with the blazing Janice Rogers Brown/David Sentelle concurrence [Ilya Shapiro/Cato, Damon Root, Tim Sandefur/PLF, earlier here and here]
- Is the Sixth Circuit replacing the Ninth as perennial SCOTUS reversee? [Adler]
Yes, deaf lifeguard. The Sixth Circuit has ruled in favor of a would-be deaf lifeguard, saying not enough of an individualized inquiry was made into accommodating his possible placement in the life-saving position. Among the arguments the court found persuasive was that drowning persons typically do not call loudly for help, which of course leaves open the possibility that the calls for help might be coming from other persons. Some deaf persons have worked successfully as lifeguards, including Leroy Colombo, a championship swimmer who did rescues at Galveston, Tex. beaches. In the Sixth Circuit case, Oakland County, Mich., had cited safety concerns in not posting the applicant to a public wave pool. [Disability Law]
Related: Voting on ideological lines, the Sixth Circuit declares void the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, suggesting a constitutionalized “right” to racial preferences. Calling SCOTUS! [Jonathan Adler]
- “Battle of the tort reform flicks”: trial-bar-backed “Hot Coffee” documentary said to be more entertaining than U.S. Chamber-backed “InJustice” [TortsProf, Abnormal Use, Daily Caller, Frank/PoL, Above the Law, Fisher, LNL] Memo to liberal studio heads: c’mon, now’s the time to greenlight more business-bashing flicks [Alyssa Rosenberg, TP]
- Interlock makers join forces with MADD to lobby for new federal DUI mandates [Luke Rosiak, Wash Times] More: Greenfield.
- Consumer found liable after posting gripes about driveway contractor on Craigslist [Minneapolis Star-Tribune] P.S.: Default judgment, not merits [h/t ABA Journal]
- Angelos law firm obtains $1 billion+ punitive award in Exxon Baltimore gasoline leak case, bringing total to $1.5 billion+ [AP, earlier]
- Taiwan: “Jail Time (And $7000 Fine) for Saying a Restaurant’s Dishes Were ‘Too Salty'” [Volokh]
- Headed for SCOTUS? Sixth Circuit panel strikes down Michigan law banning discrimination in higher ed admissions and other state activities [Gail Heriot, Daily Caller; Hans Bader, CEI]
- Court in British Columbia includes C$30,000 in damage award for injury plaintiff’s purchase of medical marijuana for pain management [Erik Magraken]
The state of Kentucky enacted a new sales tax on the services of telecommunications companies. It also forbade the companies from breaking the tax out as a line item on customer’s bills — that might get people mad at the legislators, after all. The Sixth Circuit, Sutton, J., ruled that under the intermediate level of First Amendment scrutiny applied to limitations on commercial speech, the “no-stating-the-tax” provision was unconstitutional. (BellSouth v. Farris, Sept. 9).
“Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued” was originally called, “My Name is David Ruffin and These Are the Temptations,” Wentz says. After Ruffin broke with the famed Motown group, he kept attending shows and would steal the microphones away from his former bandmembers, unable to wean himself from the limelight. Wentz says his original song title, “was a play on Ruffin’s egomania and general narcissism.” Here are the song’s lyrics.
Wentz’s father advised his son against using the song title, for fear that the group would be sued. Did the younger Wentz listen? “No, because he was my dad. He advised me against a lot of things that I do,” he said with a playful hint of mischief in his voice. According to Wentz the Younger, the band’s lawyers also told them they’d be slapped with a hefty lawsuit, and offered up a few options — they could sign a waiver; include a reference to Ruffin in the song (which somehow would shield against a lawsuit); or change the name of the song.
Lattman wonders why including Ruffin’s name in the song would shield against a lawsuit, and the answer comes from the Sixth Circuit’s deplorable decision in the Rosa Parks case, which we covered Apr. 15, 2005:
The Sixth Circuit held that the rappers did not have a first amendment right to name their song “Rosa Parks” because they could have called it “Back of the Bus” rather than use an allusive title. One looks forward to more federal court diktats over song titles. (Parks v. LaFace Records (6th Cir. 2003)).
Lattman reports that Wentz says the band is hit with a lawsuit a day and has to retain an attorney half-time.