October 13 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 13, 2011

  • Behind the antitrust assault on Google [Jerry Brito, Josh Wright, more]
  • Rapid rise of lawsuit lenders [WSJ] And a Searle Civil Justice Institute conference on third party financing of litigation;
  • More law firms muscle into class action against e-book publishers [PaidContent] Fifth Circuit questions cy pres [Trask] And a new edition of the Federalist Society’s Class Action Watch is out;
  • When the house painters announce they’re not leaving: “Britain plans to tighten anti-squatter laws” [NYT]
  • “Courts Call Out Copyright Trolls’ Coercive Business Model, Threaten Sanctions” [EFF] “Righthaven’s Copyright Trolling is a Bankrupt Idea” [Cit Media Law] More: Vegas Inc.
  • “Twombly is the Logical Extension of the Mathews v. Eldridge Test to Discovery” [Andrew Blair-Stanek via Volokh, Frank] “Four more reasons to love TwIqbal” [Beck] “O’Scannlain says 9th Circ has adopted ‘Iqbal lite’ pleading standard, ‘Same insufficient complaints, fewer dismissals!'” [@ScottKGraham on dissent in Starr v. County of Los Angeles, PDF]
  • Florida farms sell raw milk as (wink) “pet food” [Sun-Sentinel]

{ 1 comment }

1 asdfasdf 10.13.11 at 7:04 am

On the one hand, the harassment of raw milk farmers is sad. But it’s typically a dubious (albeit fully understandable) legal strategy to engage in this kind of transparent subterfuge to try and work around a regulation or ruling with whose legality one disagrees. I know of a number of cases in different fields where angry defendants would try and use some kind of ploy like this, and the problem with it is that it looks bad to a jury and to a judge, and it harms the credibility of the defendant.

I don’t have a better suggestion, of course. I’ve almost never heard of a case of a small business or group of businesses defeating a federal agency in this sort of case – the best that can usually be hoped for is some indignant blog posts, witness the CPSIA posts for instance. The problem with the raw milk producers is that the legal costs of defending themselves, right or wrong, would swamp their profits for years; federal agencies, by contrast, have huge legal teams they can put on these kinds of cases forever.

I don’t mean to sound like an expert in this area of law, I’m not, and of course the raw milk producers should heed the advice of their own lawyers. That said, it still strikes me that for a bunch of farmers to believe they can legally out-maneuver the FDA strikes me as idealistic, if not quixotic. Of course, it’s probably idealists who get into farming in the first place.

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