- “Common sense makes a comeback” against zero tolerance in the classroom [USA Today]
- Slip at Massachusetts antiques show leads to lawsuit [Wicked Local Marion]
- Update: Washington Supreme Court takes up horn-honking case [Lowering the Bar, earlier]
- MICRA as model: “California’s Schwarzenegger stumps for medical liability reform” [American Medical News]
- “Inventing a better patent system” [Pozen, NYT]
- Google Books settlement narrowed to countries with “common legal heritage” [Sag, ConcurOp]
- One way to make ends meet: cash-strapped Detroit cops are seizing a lot more stuff [Detroit News via Business Insider]
- What temperatures are hot coffee actually served at? Torts buffs (including our Ted Frank) want to know [TortsProf exchange with Michael Rustad and followup, more and yet more]
- “Jailed Inventor Reveals Details of Patent Troll Settlements” [AmLaw Daily, IP Law and Business]
- Sprinkler law inspired by Great White nightclub disaster could kill off small Seattle music venues [Nicole Brodeur, Seattle Times]
- Court tosses law student’s suit against lawyer who boasted on air he’d pay a million bucks if anyone could prove him wrong about his case [Hoffman, ConcurOp; earlier]
- Baseball-anthem case: “The Boston resident who saw his recent copyright claim against Bon Jovi dismissed is appealing the verdict.” [NME, earlier]
- Man who climbed Mount Rainier while drawing workers’ comp pleads not guilty to fraud charge [KOMO; more on Washington workers’ comp here, here and here]
- Senate committee intends to vote next week on OSHA nomination of David Michaels without holding a hearing to air critics’ concerns [Carter Wood, ShopFloor]
- Blawg Review #237 is at Christian Metcalfe’s U.K. Property Law Blog;
- Are you sure you want to open that high-end restaurant in San Francisco given the city’s regulatory climate? [Crispy on the Outside citing SF Weekly interview with Daniel Patterson]
“The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled that a criminally insane man who murdered his mother should not profit from his crime by pocketing a share of the proceeds from a lawsuit related to her death.” [Heller, OnPoint News; Joshua Hoge, Pamela Kissinger]
Washington state jails are overcrowded, so—presumably to avoid lawsuits over overcrowding—Washington State Patrol policy is to arrest nonviolent offenders without jailing them. In the case of Bellingham resident Janine Parker, drunk driving in the early morning hours of January 4, Trooper Chad Bosman arrested her, and drove her home, telling her not to drive until she was sober. Nevertheless, Parker, an hour later, found a taxi to take her nine miles to her car left by the side of the road, and drove drunk head on into Hailey French’s auto, causing the innocent 22-year-old driver many injuries.
French sued Parker, of course, but also the Washington State Patrol and Whatcom County (the latter apparently failed to put an ignition-interlock device in her car as Parker’s probation from an earlier conviction provided). (Miraculously, she doesn’t seem to have sued the taxi company.) A Skagit County jury found the two governmental entities jointly liable for $5.5 million. According to press accounts, the two defense attorneys each tried to get the jury to blame the other deep pocket: apparently, making the suggestion the person responsible for the drunk driving was the person responsible was beyond either hope or comprehension, though a web commenter to the article claims that Parker testified that the accident was entirely her fault. (Peter Jensen, “Whatcom County woman’s suit against county, State Patrol in jury’s hands”, Bellingham Herald, Apr. 24; May 1 post-trial press release of victorious plaintiff’s attorney).
- Boy fatally shoots stepbrother at home, mom sues school district as well as shooter’s family [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
- Problem gambler sues Ontario lottery for C$3.5 billion [Toronto Star]
- Cop declines training in which he’d be given Taser shock, and sues [Indianapolis Star]
- Ultra-litigious inmate Jonathan Lee Riches scrawls new complaint linking Bernard Madoff, Britney Spears [Kevin LaCroix]
- Just to read this update feels like an invasion of privacy: “Judge to Hear Challenge to $6M Herpes Case Award” [On Point News, earlier]
- “Best criminal strategy: join the Spokane police” [Coyote Blog] More: Greenfield, Brayton.
- Will mommy-bloggers be held liable for freebie product reviews? [Emily Friedman, ABC News, earlier]
- Update: “Fifth Circuit says no bail for Paul Minor” [Freeland]
Fewer options for kids in Santa Rosa, California:
We are sorry to report that Eleven 11 Kids has been forced to close its doors as of February 10, 2009 due to the new federal children’s environmental law, CPSIA, (HR4040) that went into effect on 2/10/09.
And then the store explains in some detail why it felt it had to close. It is too polite, perhaps, to mention that both California senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, played prominent roles in getting CPSIA passed, with Boxer in particular pushing the retroactive phthalates ban that has been notably harmful to resellers.
At ShopFloor, Carter Wood writes that the Senate version of the bill was (even) more extreme in its provisions than the House version, and that the Senate version unfortunately “wound up playing a bigger role in the writing of the final bill”. The Hospice of Amador and Calaveras Thrift Store, in California’s Sierra Nevada, is still operating but has stopped carrying children’s items.
In Ellensburg, Washington, north of Yakima, Cheryl Smith was “living the American dream” with her store Hailina’s Closet, which “opened last April and [sold] gently used children’s clothing and toys.” But it is just a memory now. The Kitsap Sun reported that Perfect Circle, a Bremerton children’s consignment store, also had to go out of business.
Reversing a trial court that had granted summary judgment to the defense, a court of appeals in Washington state has reinstated a suit entitled Strong v. Wright in which
the plaintiff sued her former supervisor because he told “blonde jokes” (apparently plaintiff was blonde), made fun of her house, ridiculed her husband’s job, and referred to her as a “bum mother” because she put her son in therapy. The plaintiff alleged that this treatment “caused her to vomit and to have anxiety attacks, depression, and heart palpitations.” Really. Blonde jokes=heart palpitations.
Just trying to dispose of all the nude cellphone pic lawsuit stories in one weekend, so that we can get back to more seemly litigation topics. (The other one was the case of the couple suing an Arkansas McDonald’s, saying the husband left his cellphone in the restaurant and the nude photos of his wife that were on it wound up on the internet.) In Bothell, Washington, parents of two cheerleaders “have sued the Northshore School District, alleging school officials erred when they suspended the girls from the team this year after nude photos of them circulated throughout the student body via text message.” Cellphone pictures of the two were separately and, it is said, accidentally circulated among fellow students; the lawsuit charges, inter alia, that the school was arbitrary to suspend the two girls while not disciplining students that had seen the pictures. (Jessica Blanchard, “Cheerleaders’ parents sue in nude photos incident”, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Nov. 21).
Janiece Lacross, a drunk-driving defense lawyer in Washington state, has lately run into her own trouble with the law: “Last November she drove drunk with her three young children in the backseat. She hit a boy on his bike in Kitsap County, breaking his leg and sending him into the bushes. But the vehicular assault charge against her was dropped and reduced to just a DUI, which brought Mothers Against Drunk Driving to court to find out why.” Lacross entered rehab and will accept home monitoring and attend victim impact events as part of her plea in Tacoma to DUI and three counts of reckless endangerment; her repentant statements in court even made a relatively favorable impression on MADD, not the easiest thing to do. The passing bit of the story that induced a momentary double take: as part of her penitence, it is said that Lacross “even helped the young victim, Joseph Griffith, with his civil suit for personal injuries”. Against herself? (Keith Eldridge, KOMO, Oct. 1).