Posts Tagged ‘Alaska’

Police and prosecution roundup

  • After criticism of heavy-handed Ankeny, Iowa police raid on persons suspected of credit card fraud, not actually reassuring to be told militarized methods needed because one house occupant had firearms carry permit [Radley Balko, more, more]
  • Advocates strain mightily to fit unpopular Dunn verdict into Stand Your Ground theme [David Kopel, Jacob Sullum] More: sorry, pundits, but Rasmussen poll shows public’s plurality SYG support unshaken [Althouse]
  • “‘Drop the Cabbage, Bullwinkle!': Alaskan Man Faces Prison for the Crime of Moose-Feeding” [Evan Bernick, Heritage] “Criminalizing America: How Big Government Makes A Criminal of Every American” [ALEC “State Factor”]
  • “We’ve also bred into dogs … an eagerness to please us.” Bad news for K-9 forensics [Balko]
  • “Has overcharging killed the criminal trial?” [Legal Ethics Forum] Is the “trial penalty” a myth? [David Abrams via Dan Markel, Scott Greenfield]
  • What if cops, as opposed to, say, gun owners, were obliged by law to purchase liability insurance? [Popehat]
  • That’s productivity: North Carolina grand jury managed to crank out roughly one indictment every 52 seconds [Tim Cushing, TechDirt]

Iditarod musher sues knife maker

Product liability reaches the famed Alaskan dogsled race:

Iditarod mushers are known for missing digits. …

When Mitch Seavey nearly lost his index finger last year in Ophir, however, his Iditarod was over. In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, the former champion now says the blame lies with the Oregon company that made the knife he sliced his finger with, and Sportsman’s Warehouse, which sold it to him.

[Anchorage Daily News, more]

Food and agriculture law roundup

  • Just as FDA begins laying groundwork for mandatory salt reduction in prepared food, research raises new doubts about the science [Reuters, Atlantic Wire, Alkon]
  • Feds now scrutinizing “everything about kids’ food” [Star-Tribune] Top-down remake of school lunches runs into trouble in Congress [AP]
  • “Christmas tree tax”: blame big growers and GOP lawmakers, not White House [Tad DeHaven, , Mark Perry]
  • Living right by a USDA-designated “food desert,” she’s “never had better access to food in my life.” [Angie Schmitt, Urbanophile] “As income rises, so does fast-food consumption, study finds” [L.A. Times, Sullum] “You can eat local, or you can eat organic, but it’s very hard to do both.” [Felix Salmon]
  • Bloomberg News (not Bloomberg Hizzoner) hypes food-as-addiction, child obesity figuring in more custody battles [WSJ] Michelle Obama on the role of personal responsibility, alas not in this realm of life [Andrew Coulson, Cato]
  • Private bed-leasing law is finally restoring Maryland’s depleted oyster stocks [Rona Kobell, Reason] Catch shares for Alaskan king crab might even be saving human lives [Adler]
  • Why bother cooking for your kids at all? Feds ramp up program that serves them dinner as well as breakfast, lunch [Stoll]

“Legal Bills Swayed Palin, Official Says”

High cost of the ethics wars? Today’s New York Times quotes Alaska’s lieutenant governor on the reasons for the governor’s surprise departure:

At the news conference, Ms. Palin cited numerous reasons for quitting, including more than $500,000 in legal fees that she and her husband, Todd, have incurred because of 15 ethics complaints filed against her during her two and a half years as governor. She said all of the complaints had been dismissed, but she still had to pay lawyers to defend her.

More: Lawrence Wood/Examiner, Anchorage Daily News and earlier.

Further: WSJ Law Blog with letter from Palin lawyer Thomas Van Flein (outlining possible after-the-fact state indemnification of cost of officials’ legal counsel when complaints are found without merit).

“‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’ student nets $45,000″

“The Juneau-Douglas (Alaska) School District and former student Joseph Frederick have reached a settlement in the ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’ case …. The school district will pay Frederick $45,000, [and] it is ‘required to hire a neutral constitutional law expert to chair a forum on student speech’ at its high school at a cost of up to $5,000.” (DRJ @ Patterico, Nov. 6; earlier).

P.S. And, yes, to clarify in response to commenter Melvin, the student lost his high-profile case last year before the U.S. Supreme Court. Imagine what the school would have had to pay if he’d won.

“Common-sense justice in Alaska”

Manhattan Institute fellow Marie Gryphon, in National Review, on the state’s loser-pays rule:

Alaska’s unique rule is a product of its history. When the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, the icy wilderness had so few inhabitants that the U.S. neglected to establish immediately any civil law there at all. Congress instituted a civil legal system for Alaska in 1884 through an Act that borrowed from Oregon’s civil code and applied it to the new territory virtually wholesale. At that time, an Oregon statute allowed the prevailing party in a civil suit to recover attorney’s fees from the loser. While Oregon unwisely dumped its loser-pays rule eventually, Alaska embraced loser pays and stuck with it. …

The Alaska Judicial Council conducted a review of Alaska’s loser-pays rule in 1989 and found that, while the law could not deter filings by irrational plaintiffs, it did reduce the number of low-merit lawsuits in Alaskan courts. The Council also found that a majority of Alaskan attorneys liked the system and believed that it functioned well.

(cross-posted from Point of Law).