September 29 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 29, 2008

  • Watch where you click: “Kentucky (secretly) commandeers world’s most popular gambling sites” [The Register/OUT-LAW]
  • Erin Brockovich enlists as pitchwoman for NYC tort firm Weitz & Luxenberg [PoL roundup]
  • U.K.: “Millionaire Claims Ghosts Caused Him to Flee His Mortgage, I Mean Mansion” [Lowering the Bar]
  • Prosecution of Lori Drew (MySpace imposture followed by victim’s suicide) a “case study in overcriminalization” [Andrew Grossman, Heritage; earlier; some other resources on overcriminalization here, here, and here]
  • Exonerated Marine plans to sue Rep. John Murtha for defamation [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
  • Snooping on jurors’ online profiles? “Everything is fair game” since “this is war”, says one jury consultant [L.A. Times; earlier]
  • Allentown, Pa. attorney John Karoly, known for police-brutality suits, indicted on charges of forging will to obtain large chunk of his brother’s estate; “Charged with the same offenses are J.P. Karoly, 28, who is John Karoly’s son, and John J. Shane, 72, who has served as an expert medical witness in some of John Karoly’s cases.” [Express-Times, AP, Legal Intelligencer]
  • School safety: “What do the teachers think they might do with the Hula-Hoop, choke on it?” [Betsy Hart, Chicago Sun-Times/Common Good]

{ 2 trackbacks }

October 22 roundup
10.22.08 at 8:49 am
No, they’re not “gambling devices”
01.28.09 at 6:00 am

{ 7 comments }

1 Frank 09.29.08 at 10:20 am

Who even knew Hula Hoops were available to today’s children?

Sorry, I can easily see the school’s arguments as to potential dangers.

(The couple of rather severe injuries I received on playgrounds don’t influence me, because in the long run they didn’t really affect me and 45 years down the road I bear only one scar as a reminder)

First, can we all acknowledge that many, if not most schools have banned ‘recreational running’ games on their playgrounds? So running in connection with a Hula Hoop is no more than a ‘restatement’ of anti-running regulations, to ensure that the children understand that running with the hoop is still running. (I think all of us likewise should acknowledge that an explanation of ‘I wasn’t running, I was chasing the hoop.’ is in the script and just waiting a cue.)

More dangerous indeed is the unintended use of a Hula hoop around the neck. Sure, most of us will survive a ‘clothesline’ injury without long term effect, but that’s only most of us. The temptation to grab and yank anything trailing or otherwise attached to and from a fellow student is strong in many lads.

I think this prohibition is fine and well-reasoned.

2 Todd Rogers 09.29.08 at 11:40 am

Murtha Suit:
Someone remind me of the libel/slander standards again?
1)Spoke/wrote false information
2)Knew the information was false
3)Uttered false information with malice
4)Victim incurred injury as a result of utterance

Though I am one for highly liberal speech standards, I think Murtha was so grossly out of line that he needs to be sanctioned or punished in some way.

3 Xmas 09.29.08 at 11:58 am

I’m still wondering if there was a better way to handle the Lori Drew case as a criminal case. Deceitfully befriending and then publicly betraying a minor you know is suicidal just seems wrong.

It’s like leaving a glassful of anti-freeze on a table after you’ve been giving lime-drink to a kid for a week. Sure, the kid should know better and not drink the anti-freeze, but who is responsible for the kid drinking it?

Jack McCoy would totally have Mrs. Drew up for 12 to 25 for depraved indifference.

4 Bill Poser 09.29.08 at 12:36 pm

Kentucky’s attempt to seize the domain names of internet gambling sites raises a bunch of issues both of policy and of law, but there is one issue that I haven’t seen discussed and therefore raised myself over at Language Log, namely that the statute under whose authority the seizure was done appears to be inapplicable. It authorizes the seizure of “gambling records” and “gambling devices”, but domain names are neither. Can anyone explain why the court would not reject Kentucky’s motion out of hand on these grounds?

5 Bill Poser 09.29.08 at 12:39 pm

It is also possible that justice would be served in the Lori Drew case by private means. The parents of the girl who killed herself would seem to have a terrific case for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

6 Deoxy 09.30.08 at 11:03 am

Please tell me Frank isn’t being serious… hard to tell on the internet, but I think he is. Wow.

7 Micah 09.30.08 at 11:26 am

People backing out of real estate deals due to poltergeists is nothing new, nor is it a foreign phenomenon. See Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254, 572 N.Y.S.2d 672 (App. Div., 1st Dep’t 1991).

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