ABC takes very seriously a complaint filed by a photographic model that Swedish automaker Volvo improperly degraded her image by allowing play-on-words copy into a promotion. She had signed broadly worded releases. [Good Morning America]
- Eugene Volokh on civil liberties problems with the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization [first, second posts]
- More coverage of the “N.C. vs. diet advice blogger” story we noted in February [Sara Burrows/Carolina Journal, Brian Doherty/Reason]
- A case for an administrative alternative to asbestos litigation [Michael Hiltzik, L.A. Times] More on administered compensation funds [Adam Zimmerman, Prawfs]
- Scuttle-the-boat insurance fraud scheme goes amusingly wrong [Lowering the Bar]
- “To lower prices at the pump, abolish the boutique fuel regime” [Steven Hayward, Weekly Standard]
- Supreme Court denies certiorari in NYC rent control case [Trevor Burrus, Cato; earlier here and here] But it does grant cert in Cato-backed property rights action [Ark. Fish & Game v. U.S.; Shapiro]
- New Zealand’s innovative public policies: left, right or something else? [Eric Crampton] Let’s be more like the Scandinavian countries [Tim Worstall, UK] Don’t forget loser-pays…
- Overseas press excoriates new FATCA tax-Americans’-foreign-earnings law; some foreign banks now turn away American customers [Dan Mitchell, Cato, Reason] “The Fatca story is really kind of insane.” [Caplin & Drysdale’s H. David Rosenbloom, NYT via TaxProf] Will Congress back down? [Peter Spiro/OJ, more]
- Important new book from James Maxeiner (University of Baltimore) and co-authors Gyooho Lee and Armin Weber on what the U.S. can learn from legal procedure overseas: “Failures of American Civil Justice in International Perspective” [TortsProf]
- Don’t do it: British administration mulls further move away from loser-pays rule in search of — what exactly, a yet more Americanized litigation culture? [Guardian, Law Society]
- Apparently in Norway it’s possible to lose one’s kids by feeding them by hand [Shikha Dalmia, Reason]
- Financial transaction tax? Ask the Swedes how that worked out [Mike “Mish” Shedlock, Business Insider]
- Notes from conference on globalization of class actions [Karlsgodt] Related: Adam Zimmerman;
- “Another conviction in Europe for insulting religion” [Volokh; Polish pop star] Campus secularists’ speech under fire in the U.K. as “Jesus and Mo” controversy spreads to LSE [Popehat] British speech prosecution of soccer star [Suneal Bedi and William Marra, NRO]
- Dreadful “Caylee’s Law” proposals continue unabated [Balko and more, Lowering the Bar, Skenazy, Frank, Somin] Confirmed non-members of Nancy Grace fan club include Stephen Bainbridge and Scott Greenfield;
- Swedish heavy metal fan has musical preferences officially classed as disability [Cowen]
- In welcome Goodyear and Nicastro rulings, SCOTUS reins in “stream of commerce” jurisdiction [Yeary, Beck, Wasserman and more, Lahav, Fisher]
- Federal lawsuit alleges polka song infringement [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]
- EPA winning showdown with Texas, power plants may shutter at cost to Lone Star economy [Chron] Don’t dismiss the Texas job creation story — or the role of lawsuit reform [Rick Wartzman, L.A. Times]
- Breyer backs Thomas on recusal ethics [Adler]
- “Clashing Visions of a ‘Living’ Constitution” [William Van Alstyne on SSRN, his Cato lecture last fall]
Since 1979 nineteen countries led by Sweden have banned corporal punishment by parents of kids in the home. A bill scheduled for debate today before the Massachusetts legislature would make that state the first to join the trend. (Laurel Sweet, “Bay State’s going slap-happy”, Boston Herald, Nov. 27; “Anti-spanking bill is folly” (editorial), Nov. 28; Stephen Bainbridge, Nov. 22 (New Zealand)). Earlier: Apr. 19, 2004 (U.K.); Feb. 14 and Feb. 24, 2007 (proposal in California).
Whereas some might think prison is a place to teach inmates valuable lessons (“don’t stab people,” etc.), it appears more Swedish prisoners are learning the value of a good lawyer:
Court Upholds Prisoners’ Right to Porn
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Convicted sex offenders in Sweden are free to read pornography in their cells following a court ruling that has angered the prison service.
The Supreme Administrative Court in Stockholm last week ruled that the Swedish Prison and Probation Service had no right to deny a rape convict access to his porn magazines.
Prison officials had argued that reading porn would interfere with the man’s rehabilitation program. They also said the magazines posed a security problem for staff and other inmates because they could increase the risk of the man relapsing into criminal behavior.
On the bright side, he’ll be blind when he’s finally released.
- Litigation as foreign policy? Bill authorizing U.S. government to sue OPEC passes House, and is already contributing to friction with Russia [AP; Reuters; Steffy, Houston Chronicle; earlier here, here, and here]
- Albany prosecutors charge boxing champion’s family with staging 23 car crashes, but a jury acquits [Obscure Store; Times-Union; North Country Gazette]
- New at Point of Law: Bill Lerach may retire; Abe Lincoln’s legal practice; Philip Howard on getting weak cases thrown out; “Year of the Trial Lawyer” in Colorado; and much more;
- Multiple partygoers bouncing on a trampoline not an “open and obvious” risk, says Ohio appeals court approving suit [Wilmington News-Journal]
- Skadden and its allies were said to be representing Chinatown restaurant workers pro bono — then came the successful $1 million fee request, bigger than the damages themselves [NYLJ]
- Who will cure the epidemic of public health meddling? [Sullum, Reason]
- Turn those credit slips into gold, cont’d: lawsuits burgeon over retail receipts that print out too much data [NJLJ; earlier]
- Lawprof Howard Wasserman has further discussion of the Josh Hancock case (Cardinals baseball player crashes while speeding, drunk and using cellphone) [Sports Law Blog; earlier]
- “Women prisoners in a Swedish jail are demanding the ‘human right’ to wear bikinis so they can get a decent tan.” [Telegraph, U.K.]
- Disbarred Miami lawyer Louis Robles, who prosecutors say stole at least $13 million from clients, detained as flight risk after mysterious “Ms. Wiki” informs [DBR; earlier at PoL]
- Indiana courts reject motorist’s claim that Cingular should pay for crash because its customer was talking on cellphone while driving [three years ago on Overlawyered]
- We’re among the “favorite recent discoveries” of blogging technology pioneer Dave Winer (Scripting News); his own recent brush with legal unpleasantness may have primed him for the subject (Update: and more);
- ER doc: “Her vocabulary was laced with too much plaintiffese” [Time mag via KevinMD]
- Is Spain really “overlawyered”, and if so, compared with what? [The Recorder]
- Debate kicks off between lawprofs David Wagner and Michael Krauss over Supreme Court’s recent Williams decision on punitive damages [Point of Law]
- A five year old? Doing motocross? And his parents are blaming the park? [Charlotte Observer]
- Lawyers leaking court documents to reporters from improper motives? Imagine that [Wasserman/Miami Herald]
- EU consumer law might ban sock-puppet blogs [Slashdot]
- Local paper prints full trial transcript in case of Connecticut teacher Julie Amero (Jan. 20, Feb. 15), convicted after her computer caught smutware bug [Norwich (Ct.) Bulletin via Pattis]
- Swedish woman sued by lawyer-neighbor for smoking in her own garden [UPI]
- American conservatism dead set against modernity, individual liberty, secularism? Let’s hope not [Sullivan blasts D’Souza @ New Republic]
- Car dealers didn’t warn of exhaust and oil fumes, so enterprising California lawyer wants $7500 from each of them, mostly payable to, well, guess. [Five years ago on Overlawyered]
- In “State of the Economy” speech, Bush says litigation and regulation harm U.S. financial competitiveness, praises enactment of Class Action Fairness Act [Reuters; his remarks]
- How many California legislators does it take to ban the conventional lightbulb in favor of those odd-looking compact fluorescents? [Reuters, Postrel, McArdle first and second posts]
- Levi’s, no longer a juggernaut in the jeans world, keeps lawyers busy suing competitors whose pocket design is allegedly too similar [NYTimes]
- Clinics in some parts of Sweden won’t let women request a female gynecologist, saying it discriminates against male GYNs [UPI, Salon]
- Is the new Congress open to litigation reform? Choose from among dueling headlines [Childs]
- Anti-SLAPP motion filed against Santa Barbara newspaper owner McCaw [SB Ind’t via Romenesko]
- Uncritical look at Holocaust-reparations suits against French national railway [Phila. Inquirer]
- Deep pockets dept.: court rules mfr. had duty to warn about asbestos in other companies’ products, though its own product contained none [Ted at Point of Law]
- Lawyering up for expected business-bashing oversight hearings on Capitol Hill [Plumer, The New Republic]
- “King of vexatious litigants” in Ontario restrained after 73 filings in 10 years, though he says he did quite well at winning the actions [Globe and Mail, Giacalone’s self-help law blog]
- Sen. Schumer can’t seem to catch a break from WSJ editorialists [me at PoL]
- South Carolina gynecological nurse misses case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever — that’ll be $2.45 million, please [Greenville News via KevinMD]
- Five years ago on Overlawyered: we passed the milestone of one million pages served. By now, though our primitive stats make it hard to know for sure, the cumulative figure probably exceeds ten million. Thanks for your support!
[David H. Baker, the Lighter Association’s general counsel] said association members want mandatory standards to help reduce their legal liability. He explained that members often get sued for fires resulting from malfunctioning lighters. In many cases, he said, the lighter was destroyed in the fire, so there’s no proof of who made the lighter. But the easiest targets are the well-known brands such as Bic, Scripto and Swedish Match — companies that are members of the association, Baker explained.
Chinese off-brand import lighters are only 30% likely to meet voluntary industry safety standards, and manufacturers are not just facing the cheaper competition from the imports, but apparently also having to swallow liability from accidents caused by the more dangerous imports.