Overlawyered » Walter Olson http://overlawyered.com Chronicling the high cost of our legal system Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:09:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 L.A. considers lottery prizes for voters who turn out on Election Day http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/l-considers-lottery-prizes-voters-turn-election-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=l-considers-lottery-prizes-voters-turn-election-day http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/l-considers-lottery-prizes-voters-turn-election-day/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:09:31 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47793 It may sound like satire, but the Los Angeles Ethics Commission is perfectly serious about the idea of handing out random cash as an incentive for apathetic constituents to get to the polls. I take a dim view of that in a Cato post; more from columnist Debra Saunders. Tweet Tags: Los Angeles

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It may sound like satire, but the Los Angeles Ethics Commission is perfectly serious about the idea of handing out random cash as an incentive for apathetic constituents to get to the polls. I take a dim view of that in a Cato post; more from columnist Debra Saunders.

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Judge allows case to proceed arguing that mass theater shooting was foreseeable http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/foreseeability-aurora-theater-shooting/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=foreseeability-aurora-theater-shooting http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/foreseeability-aurora-theater-shooting/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 11:41:09 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47780 A federal judge has declined to award summary judgment to Cinemark Holdings against a claim that it should have foreseen a madman’s mass shooting rampage at its Aurora, Colo. theater two years ago. [Deadline Hollywood] Ken White at Popehat corrects some media misapprehension about the difference between a summary judgment motion and disposition of the […]

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A federal judge has declined to award summary judgment to Cinemark Holdings against a claim that it should have foreseen a madman’s mass shooting rampage at its Aurora, Colo. theater two years ago. [Deadline Hollywood] Ken White at Popehat corrects some media misapprehension about the difference between a summary judgment motion and disposition of the merits, but as a commenter points out, much of the practical damage is indeed done when a judge declines summary judgment in such a case, since the defendant then faces not only the substantial cost of trial but also the unpredictability of a jury faced with very sympathetic plaintiffs and a deep-pocket defendant; there is nothing either unusual or untraditional about judges’ averting these costs by ruling out particular liability theories as a matter of law.

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Boston attack on Padma Lakshmi and crew http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/boston-attack-padma-lakshmi-crew/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=boston-attack-padma-lakshmi-crew http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/boston-attack-padma-lakshmi-crew/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:58:26 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47764 If done by anyone other than unionists, this would by now be a trending national story: The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up […]

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If done by anyone other than unionists, this would by now be a trending national story:

The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up to her car and screamed, “We’re gonna bash that pretty face in, you f*cking wh*re!”

“She was scared,” said a Top Chef crewmember who witnessed the incident.

Bravo had incurred the wrath of Charlestown-based Teamsters Local 25 by using its own production assistants as drivers, reports the Boston Herald:

The picketers lobbed sexist, racist and homophobic slurs at the rest of the cast and crew for most of the day, the website reported, and when production wrapped, the “Top Chef” crew found that tires were slashed on 14 of their cars. Milton police confirmed that the union members were “threatening, heckling and harassing” but said no arrests were made.

The Herald quotes a spokeswoman for Local 25, Melissa Hurley, sounding completely unapologetic: “As far as we’re concerned, nothing happened.” Or to put it differently: Teamsters Will Be Teamsters.

More, including the violent history that makes this incident anything but “isolated,” from the Boston Globe. I’ve posted on the curious exemption of unions from the law of harassment, stalking, hostile environment, etc. here, here (more on Philadelphia Quaker meetinghouse arson), and in various other posts, as well as in my book The Excuse Factory.

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Why one New Jersey man doesn’t fight http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/one-new-jersey-man-doesnt-fight/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=one-new-jersey-man-doesnt-fight http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/one-new-jersey-man-doesnt-fight/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 04:26:36 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47761 A successful whistleblower, he’s featured on the reality-TV show “Real Housewives of New Jersey” and one can only commend his pacific spirit, at least as regards physical combat: I don’t fight. I think it’s stupid. I’m trained as an attorney. If I want to hurt you, I’m going to sue you. I’m going to leverage […]

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A successful whistleblower, he’s featured on the reality-TV show “Real Housewives of New Jersey” and one can only commend his pacific spirit, at least as regards physical combat:

I don’t fight. I think it’s stupid. I’m trained as an attorney. If I want to hurt you, I’m going to sue you. I’m going to leverage your house. I’m gonna give you three years of hell in a courtroom. I’m going to bleed you dry financially, and I’m going to humiliate you as I depose you for eight hours and make you my bitch.

[Newark Star-Ledger via Above the Law]

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Alcohol roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/alcohol-roundup/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=alcohol-roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/alcohol-roundup/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 04:05:43 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47749 David Henderson has been blogging excerpts from Dan Okrent’s book on Prohibition, Last Call, including one on the origins of “Raines Law hotels” [Econlog] Also, the “law-abiding” kind of speakeasy; and would polite opinion today, as it did in the 1920s, assail Prohibition enforcement as draconian and intrusive? Obstacles to craft brewing [Matthew Mitchell, Christopher […]

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  • David Henderson has been blogging excerpts from Dan Okrent’s book on Prohibition, Last Call, including one on the origins of “Raines Law hotels” [Econlog] Also, the “law-abiding” kind of speakeasy; and would polite opinion today, as it did in the 1920s, assail Prohibition enforcement as draconian and intrusive?
  • Obstacles to craft brewing [Matthew Mitchell, Christopher Koopman, Mercatus; Michelle Minton/DC Beer]
  • SwissBeerCoasterFlickr

  • Brown U. professor Dwight Heath on why drinking age should be lowered [WJAR]
  • Feds go after hobby distillers [Jacob Sullum]
  • When a liquor license sells for $425,000, as happened in Boston recently, it’s become virtually a taxi medallion [Ira Stoll]
  • Maryland grain alcohol ban tripped up violin restorers, cake pros, craft bitters folk. Gee thanks, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health [WaPo] Much more about the center’s anti-alcohol crusader, David Jernigan [my Free State Notes] Tax dollars have enabled his crusades [Michelle Minton, Baltimore Sun]
  • Profile of obscure Treasury Department official who “approves essentially every beer label in the United States” [Tim Mak, Daily Beast; coaster image, Flickr user Roger Wollstadt]
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    For federal contractors, a hundred little compliance plans http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/federal-contractors-hundred-little-compliance-plans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=federal-contractors-hundred-little-compliance-plans http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/federal-contractors-hundred-little-compliance-plans/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:35:59 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47738 Coyote, updated, and Hans Bader write about yet another new burden loaded on federal contractors, involving the creation of separate affirmative action plans for each installation, including those that do no federal contract business. One result will be to pressure some firms that do only a little federal work to get out of the government […]

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    Coyote, updated, and Hans Bader write about yet another new burden loaded on federal contractors, involving the creation of separate affirmative action plans for each installation, including those that do no federal contract business. One result will be to pressure some firms that do only a little federal work to get out of the government contracting business entirely, rather than submit to escalating cost and open-ended legal consequences.

    Meanwhile, notes Bader, another part of the Obama administration’s rapidly proliferating “pen and phone” regulation of the workplace “will make it very costly for employers to challenge dubious allegations of wrongdoing against them,” by “[allowing] the government to cut off the contracts of contractors and subcontractors that do not ‘consistently adhere’ to a multitude of complex federal labor, antidiscrimination, harassment, and disabilities-rights laws.” Even more damaging, it will forbid many applications of pre-dispute arbitration to workplace disputes, thus shunting grievances into courtroom litigation. “It will allow trial lawyers to extort larger settlements from companies, and enable bureaucratic agencies to extract costly settlements over conduct that may have been perfectly legal.”

    Earlier on regulation of federal contractors, a program driven by executive orders and particularly at the mercy of White House discretion, here and here, here, here, here, and generally at this new tag.

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    Ferguson, Mo.’s “culture of petty fines” http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/ferguson-mo-s-culture-petty-fines/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ferguson-mo-s-culture-petty-fines http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/ferguson-mo-s-culture-petty-fines/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:00:35 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47736 Race is one reason for constant police hassle in towns like Ferguson. Revenue is another. In a Cato post yesterday, I note that court fees are the second biggest source of revenue for the small city, and that the Ferguson municipal court last year issued three arrest warrants and presided over 1.5 cases per household. […]

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    Race is one reason for constant police hassle in towns like Ferguson. Revenue is another. In a Cato post yesterday, I note that court fees are the second biggest source of revenue for the small city, and that the Ferguson municipal court last year issued three arrest warrants and presided over 1.5 cases per household. As a result, many residents of the town “wind up interacting constantly with law enforcement because of a culture of petty fines” — enough to make for tense relations between the community and the police even aside from the racial divide. Similarly: Alex Tabarrok, who wrote on related issues two years ago. More: Amy Alkon; Brian Doherty at Reason says his colleague Scott Shackford reaches a lower estimate of the importance of fines in the Ferguson budget.

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    August 21 roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/august-21-roundup-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=august-21-roundup-2 http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/august-21-roundup-2/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 04:05:30 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47394 “Brady Campaign loses lawsuit against Armslist (a gun classified ad site)” [Volokh] Train for your bright future in federal employment as a FOIA Denial Officer [Katherine Mangu-Ward] Chamber of Commerce alarmed at rise of class actions in Latin America [Kevin LaCroix/D & O Diary, Chamber report and Brazil sidebar] Dear CBS Los Angeles: it’s okay […]

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  • “Brady Campaign loses lawsuit against Armslist (a gun classified ad site)” [Volokh]
  • Train for your bright future in federal employment as a FOIA Denial Officer [Katherine Mangu-Ward]
  • Chamber of Commerce alarmed at rise of class actions in Latin America [Kevin LaCroix/D & O Diary, Chamber report and Brazil sidebar]
  • Dear CBS Los Angeles: it’s okay to show a little skepticism regarding creationist’s claims in employment lawsuit [Skeptical Libertarian]
  • Historic role of guns in black civil rights struggle departs from polite conventional account [Charles E. Cobb, Jr., guestblogging on new book at Volokh: samples one, two, three, four]
  • Ranking law blogs based on their number of Feedly subscribers [Derek Muller; only a few single-author blogs score higher]
  • At the height of county fair season, it’s depressing to read about 4-H suits [Legal Geeks]
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    Feta-compli? http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/feta-compli/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feta-compli http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/feta-compli/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:20:59 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47715 The remorselessly paternalistic British Medical Journal now prints an article urging that government take action against salty varieties of cheese such as Roquefort and Halloumi [Guardian; picture credit Wikimedia] Tweet Tags: eat drink and be merry, salt

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    RoquefortWikimediaThe remorselessly paternalistic British Medical Journal now prints an article urging that government take action against salty varieties of cheese such as Roquefort and Halloumi [Guardian; picture credit Wikimedia]

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    Anti-discrimination law vs. associational freedom, again http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/anti-discrimination-law-vs-associational-freedom/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=anti-discrimination-law-vs-associational-freedom http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/anti-discrimination-law-vs-associational-freedom/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 04:24:35 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47705 Robert and Cynthia Gifford offer their Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, N.Y. as a wedding venue. New York has now fined them $13,000 for politely declining to host a gay wedding. They’ll also have to train their employees in compliance. [LGBTQ Nation, WNYT, Village Voice] Earlier on cakes and more cakes, flowers, photographers, etc. etc. […]

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    Robert and Cynthia Gifford offer their Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, N.Y. as a wedding venue. New York has now fined them $13,000 for politely declining to host a gay wedding. They’ll also have to train their employees in compliance. [LGBTQ Nation, WNYT, Village Voice] Earlier on cakes and more cakes, flowers, photographers, etc. etc. More on this topic: Scott Shackford, Reason.

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