Overlawyered » Walter Olson http://overlawyered.com Chronicling the high cost of our legal system Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:29:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 “Let’s have a national conversation about race…” http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/lets-national-conversation-race/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/lets-national-conversation-race/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:29:24 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=50206 “…so we can figure out whom to fire” [Eugene Volokh, on the employment-law dangers of conversation] Related: “Marquette University tells employees: ‘Opposition to same-sex marriage’ could be ‘unlawful harassment'” [same] Tweet Tags: harassment law, workplace

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“…so we can figure out whom to fire” [Eugene Volokh, on the employment-law dangers of conversation] Related: “Marquette University tells employees: ‘Opposition to same-sex marriage’ could be ‘unlawful harassment'” [same]

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NYC’s expediters http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/nycs-expediters/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/nycs-expediters/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 05:15:34 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=50266 Can New York City really support an army of an estimated 8,300 “expediters” who run paperwork around to city offices, wait in line, haggle with officials, and generally navigate the bureaucracy on behalf of those who need permits, licenses and other municipal decisions? It’s a testimony to the dysfunction of the city’s governance [Kanner, Renn/Urbanophile] […]

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Can New York City really support an army of an estimated 8,300 “expediters” who run paperwork around to city offices, wait in line, haggle with officials, and generally navigate the bureaucracy on behalf of those who need permits, licenses and other municipal decisions? It’s a testimony to the dysfunction of the city’s governance [Kanner, Renn/Urbanophile]

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Best of Overlawyered — March 2014 http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/best-overlawyered-march-2014/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/best-overlawyered-march-2014/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 05:05:19 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=50241 More from the archives: Described as funniest Supreme Court amicus brief ever, and it prevailed in the Ohio campaign-law case [Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus and Gabriel Latner for P.J. O’Rourke, via our post] Mardi Gras time: “Caution! Non-edible baby inside this cake” Most outrageous video lawyer ad ever? Lenore Skenazy (Free-Range Kids) spoke at Cato […]

Best of Overlawyered — March 2014 is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

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More from the archives:

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Best of Overlawyered — March 2014 is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

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Update: “I’ll pay them a million dollars if they can do it.” http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/million-dollar-promise/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/million-dollar-promise/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:05:22 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=50178 We reported five years ago on a contract-law hypothetical come to life: a criminal defense lawyer went on TV and said he’d give a million dollars if anyone could prove the prosecutor’s timeline was consistent with the known facts, whereupon an enterprising law student proceeded to do just that. The Eleventh Circuit said the proper […]

Update: “I’ll pay them a million dollars if they can do it.” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

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We reported five years ago on a contract-law hypothetical come to life: a criminal defense lawyer went on TV and said he’d give a million dollars if anyone could prove the prosecutor’s timeline was consistent with the known facts, whereupon an enterprising law student proceeded to do just that. The Eleventh Circuit said the proper test under Florida law was whether “a reasonable, objective person would have understood [the lawyer's words] to be an invitation to contract.” And: “The exaggerated amount of ‘a million dollars’ – the common choice of movie villains and schoolyard wagerers alike — indicates that this was hyperbole.” And yet more: “we find it neither prudent nor permissible to impose contractual liability for offhand remarks or grandstanding.” [Ann Althouse, Lawrence Cunningham]

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New York Times on bake-my-cake cases http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/new-york-times-bake-cake-cases/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/new-york-times-bake-cake-cases/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:03:18 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=50274 A more balanced treatment than some we’ve seen in the press, including a video interview with Colorado baker Jack Phillips. [New York Times; earlier on forcing small business owners to service weddings against their beliefs here and here]. Tweet Tags: Colorado, discrimination law, same-sex marriage

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A more balanced treatment than some we’ve seen in the press, including a video interview with Colorado baker Jack Phillips. [New York Times; earlier on forcing small business owners to service weddings against their beliefs here and here].

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“When We Tell You to Do Something, Do It” http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/tell-something/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/tell-something/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 17:16:00 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=50210 No need for reformers like Will Wilkinson to make the case against police unions when guys like this make it so eloquently. More: Radley Balko (MSNBC on video versus police-union account of Tamir Rice shooting in Cleveland); Cleveland Plain Dealer (woes of officer in earlier police job). “If you work in private sector, it can […]

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No need for reformers like Will Wilkinson to make the case against police unions when guys like this make it so eloquently. More: Radley Balko (MSNBC on video versus police-union account of Tamir Rice shooting in Cleveland); Cleveland Plain Dealer (woes of officer in earlier police job). “If you work in private sector, it can be mind-blowing to see mistakes you can make and still be employed as a cop” [@conor64]

Just one more story for now, from the Akai Gurley case in New York: “Instead of calling for help for the dying man, [sources told the newspaper, the NYPD officer who fired the shot] was texting his union representative.” [New York Daily News] “If there’s one thing that will turn liberals against public sector unions, it’ll be stuff like this.” [@timfernholz]

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Liability roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/liability-roundup-6/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/liability-roundup-6/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 13:58:28 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=50102 From the Manhattan Institute “Trial Lawyers Inc.” project, “Wheels of Fortune” (PDF), twin report on lawyers’ exploitation of SSDI (Social Security Disability) and ADA cases; Theodore Dalrymple on the flaws of the US litigation system [Liberty and Law] Testimony: “after he inquired about the 40 percent fee charged by [co-counsel] Chestnut, [Willie] Gary threatened to […]

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  • From the Manhattan Institute “Trial Lawyers Inc.” project, “Wheels of Fortune” (PDF), twin report on lawyers’ exploitation of SSDI (Social Security Disability) and ADA cases;
  • Theodore Dalrymple on the flaws of the US litigation system [Liberty and Law]
  • Testimony: “after he inquired about the 40 percent fee charged by [co-counsel] Chestnut, [Willie] Gary threatened to ‘tie up [client] Baker’s money in the courts for years so he would never live to see it.'” [Gainesville Sun]
  • ATRA takes aim at rise of asbestos litigation in NYC ["Judicial Hellholes" series, Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine, New York Daily News ("national scandal")]
  • Another reminder that while plaintiff’s lawyers conventionally assail pre-dispute employment arbitration agreements, they routinely use them themselves [LNL]
  • New U.S. Chamber papers on litigation trends: “Lawsuit Ecosystem II“; state supreme courts review;
  • Changes ahead for class action rules? [Andrew Trask]
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    Eminent domain to seize “The Interview”? http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/eminent-domain-seize-interview/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/eminent-domain-seize-interview/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 23:03:47 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=50223 It’s being suggested, in the wake of widespread outrage over the yanking of the film under threat, but please: let’s not run the whole country like the state of Maryland. Also on the Sony affair, from @conor64: “Failure to release The Interview is less a sign of corporate cowardice than overbroad liability laws that would […]

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    It’s being suggested, in the wake of widespread outrage over the yanking of the film under threat, but please: let’s not run the whole country like the state of Maryland.

    Also on the Sony affair, from @conor64: “Failure to release The Interview is less a sign of corporate cowardice than overbroad liability laws that would let people sue after attack.”

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    “New York Woman Sues Police for Not Arresting Son” http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/new-york-woman-sues-police-not-arresting-son/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/new-york-woman-sues-police-not-arresting-son/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:37:41 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=50194 “A Long Island woman says in a lawsuit that her 29-year-old son died in a drunken driving crash because police decided not to arrest him on DWI charges earlier that night…. Restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday’s is also named in the lawsuit, because [the late Peter] Fedden was drinking there before the two crashes, according to […]

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    “A Long Island woman says in a lawsuit that her 29-year-old son died in a drunken driving crash because police decided not to arrest him on DWI charges earlier that night…. Restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday’s is also named in the lawsuit, because [the late Peter] Fedden was drinking there before the two crashes, according to [Fedden family lawyer Harry] Thomasson.” [NBC New York, auto-plays]

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    Update: Social Security still trying to collect decades-old parental debts http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/update-social-security-still-trying-collect-decades-old-parental-debts/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/update-social-security-still-trying-collect-decades-old-parental-debts/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:17:32 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=50184 “The Social Security Administration, which announced in April that it would stop trying to collect debts from the children of people who were allegedly overpaid benefits decades ago, has continued to demand such payments and now defends that practice in court documents.” Robert Vogel, an attorney for clients whose refunds were seized, charges: “Their intention […]

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    “The Social Security Administration, which announced in April that it would stop trying to collect debts from the children of people who were allegedly overpaid benefits decades ago, has continued to demand such payments and now defends that practice in court documents.” Robert Vogel, an attorney for clients whose refunds were seized, charges: “Their intention was to get the press off their backs and then go back to collecting their money. It’s just shocking that they believe that when someone turns 18, they automatically assume a crushing debt that was incurred by someone else.” [Marc Fisher, Washington Post; earlier here and here]

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