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Alex Kozinski

On July 24 Cato held a book forum on Sidney Powell’s new book, “Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice” (earlier). Participants included the author Sidney Powell, with comments by Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and Ronald Weich, Dean, University of Baltimore Law School. My colleague Tim Lynch, who directs Cato’s work on criminal justice issues, moderated. From the description:

In Licensed to Lie, attorney Sidney Powell takes readers through a series of disturbing events, missteps, and cover-ups in our federal criminal justice system. According to Powell, the malfeasance stretches across all three branches of our government — from the White House to the U.S. Senate, to members of the judiciary. Even worse, the law itself is becoming pernicious. Americans can now be prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned for actions that are not crimes. And if acquitted, there is no recourse against prosecutors who hid evidence vital to the defense.

Powell gives a detailed account of the prosecution and imprisonment of individual executives of well-known firms such as Merrill Lynch based on creative new theories of criminal liability, following dubious prosecutorial conduct including the withholding of evidence favorable to the defense, so-called Brady violations.

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July 29 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 29, 2014

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  • Follow the federal funding: “Stop giving out awards for arrests” [Andrew Sullivan]
  • NYC cops shoot at mentally disturbed man, hit bystanders instead, charge him with their injuries [Scott Shackford, Popehat]
  • Electric car owner charged with stealing 5 cents worth of power [Chamblee, Ga.: WXIA, auto-plays]
  • Claims re: sex trafficking in US fast spiraling into absurdity. Keep going [Maggie McNeill, earlier] “Perverse Incentives: Sex Work and the Law” [Cato Unbound symposium] “California to Open Victim Compensation Funds to Prostitutes” [Shackford]
  • Illegal ticket quotas at the LAPD, inmate beatings at the county sheriff’s jail: Los Angeles policing hit by multiple scandals [L.A. Times: editorial on charges against 18 sheriff's deputies, LAPD ticket quota]
  • Massachusetts crime lab test faker Annie Dookhan gets 3-5 year sentence [ABA Journal]
  • “Overcriminalization in the states” [Vikrant Reddy, Texas Public Policy Foundation, draft; related Mother Jones] Conservatives call for reforms in New Mexico justice system [Rio Grande Foundation via @PatNolanPFM]
  • Also: “Chief Judge For 9th Circuit [Alex Kozinski] Cites ‘Epidemic’ Of Prosecutor Misconduct” [Radley Balko]

Judge Kozinski catalogues the reasons people fib [Bruce Schneier]

Environment roundup

by Walter Olson on March 1, 2013

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January 6 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 6, 2013

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Disabled rights roundup

by Walter Olson on December 18, 2012

  • More reactions, besides mine, to Senate’s non-ratification of U.N. disabled-rights treaty [Hans Bader, NYT Room for Debate including notably David Kopel's, Julian Ku ("Support Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Because It Doesn’t Do Anything!"), Tyler Cowen (keep powder dry for bigger ratification battles), Peter Spiro (proposes end run around Senate)] More, Sept. 2013: Eric Voeten, Monkey Cage and more (dismissing as insignificant U.N. committee reports criticizing countries for alleged violations because “these reports can be and often are ignored,” and accusing treaty critics of being mere “conservative fantasists” because they take at their word their counterpart “liberal fantasists” who expect and welcome erosion of U.S. autonomy in domestic policy.)
  • As Department of Justice rolls out Olmstead settlements to more states, battles continue between disabled rights advocates seeking closure of large congregate facilities and family members who fear mentally disabled loved ones will fare worse in “community” settings [Philadelphia City Paper via Bagenstos, NYT on Georgia, earlier, more background] More, Sept. 2013: And here’s someone claiming that I’ve got it all wrong, Olmstead has already pre-settled whatever claims to a right-to-care might reasonably be asserted under CRPD. I don’t think so.
  • “Utilityman can’t climb utility poles, but has ADA claim against utility company” [Eric Meyer]
  • Kozinski: Disney “obviously mistaken” in arguing against use of Segway by disabled visitors [Sam Bagenstos; related, Walt Disney World, Eleventh Circuit]
  • Wendy’s franchisee agrees to pay $41,500 in EEOC settlement after turning away hearing-impaired cook applicant [EEOC]
  • California enacts compromise bill aimed at curtailing ADA filing mills [Sacramento Bee, LNL]
  • “Train your managers and supervisors never to discuss employees’ medical issues.” [Jon Hyman]

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A new type of Ninth Circuit opinion. [Joe Palazzolo, WSJ Law Blog]

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Very funny lines

by Walter Olson on June 16, 2012

“I would say that Judge Kozinski doesn’t have an ideology so much as a Dungeons & Dragons alignment: Chaotic Neutral.” [Kyle Graham]

Many will breathe a sigh of relief following Judge Alex Kozinski’s new opinion for an en banc Ninth Circuit in United States v. Nosal, establishing that (contrary to some fears) the “anti-hacking” provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act do not penalize broad swaths of computer usage that exceed “authorized” use. A ruling the other way might have criminalized many instances of employee goofing-off as well as common user violations of website terms-of-service. [Orin Kerr, Volokh Conspiracy, Ken at Popehat] Earlier here, here, here, etc.

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Because it’s fun [James Mitchell via Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing]

January 21 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 21, 2012

  • Because judges should decide cases the way clamoring crowds want them to: “Occupy the Courts” [Althouse, Somin, earlier] Pittsburgh lawprof: bank’s office park has become public forum and is ours to seize [Daily Caller]
  • Some reactions to Megaupload indictment [Julian Sanchez, Ken at Popehat]
  • Kozinski, others trade quips at oral argument in Disneyland Segway ADA case [Courthouse News via Disabilities Law, earlier] “Ouch! Judge Posner eviscerates both a damages expert and the trial judge who let him testify against FedEx” [Technology Law Notes]
  • Victim of NYC gun laws: “Free Meredith Graves” [NRO] “NYC Business Bled To Death Over Toy Guns” [Moonbattery]
  • “Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Swipe: A Critique of the Infancy Rule in the Federal Credit Card Act” [Andrew Schwartz (Colorado), SSRN, via Ted Frank]
  • Federal drug cops unapologetic about role in Adderall shortage [Rob Port] A failure of central planning [Reuters, Jacob Sullum and more ("Does the DEA know what 'quota' means?")] Some trial lawyers pushing to ban the drug [via Ted Frank].
  • Go, my child, and steal no more: TSA agents who pilfered $40K from luggage get six months [AP via Balko]

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January 5 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 5, 2012

  • Big business vs. free markets again: light bulb makers “fuming” over GOP effort to restore consumer choice [Sullum] Large grocery chains like DC’s bag tax [Tim Carney]
  • Eeeuw! Bystander can sue train fatality victim whose body part flew through air and hit her [Chicago Tribune]
  • “Recommended Cell-Phone Ban Comes as ‘Shocking,’ ‘Heavy-Handed’ To Some” [Josh Long, V2M]
  • “Exploding churros are newspaper’s fault, Chilean court rules” [AP]
  • In New Jersey and North Carolina, GOP friends of trial bar block legal reform bills [Armstrong Williams, Washington Times]
  • Kozinski vs. ill-prepared lawyer in case of Sheriff Arpaio vs. newspaper that covered him [The Recorder; Phoenix New Times case]
  • Federal judges block cuts to in-home personal care services in California, Washington [Disability Law, San Francisco Chronicle, KQED]

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Ninth Circuit chief judge and libertarian favorite Alex Kozinski gave the annual B. Kenneth Simon lecture earlier this month at Cato’s annual Constitution Day Conference. [YouTube]

May 16 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 16, 2011

  • The Economist on the future of the legal business;
  • Hairpin reversals of fortune in long-running Barbie v. Bratz doll fight [Cal Biz Lit, earlier]
  • As I note in Schools for Misrule, institutional reform litigation is alive and well: Reinhardt says 9th Circuit should take over VA’s mental health efforts, Kozinski dissents [LAT, AP, The Recorder]
  • Court rejects Koch suit over spoof website posing as Koch’s to make political points [EFF, earlier]
  • “Romeo and Juliet” amendment could soften harsh Texas sex-offense laws [Lenore Skenazy] Law isn’t especially protective of teen boys persuaded to sign paternity declarations [Amy Alkon]
  • “Disney Trademarks ‘Seal Team 6′” [Atlantic Wire]
  • Great moments in human rights law: UK high court rules airplane hijackers should have been admitted to country as refugees [five years ago on Overlawyered]

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April 4 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 4, 2011

  • Verbal fireworks from Judge Kozinski in Ninth Circuit “stolen valor” case [Above the Law]
  • Measure of artificially contrived scarcity: “NYC Taxi Medallions Approach $1 Million.” Would officials in Washington, D.C. really consider introducing such a destructive system? [Perry, more]
  • Workers’ comp OK’d in case where simulated chicken head blamed for subsequent emotional disability [Lowering the Bar]
  • “NBA referee sues sports writer over tweet” [Siouxsie Law] “Lessons from Dan Snyder’s Libel Suit” [Paul Alan Levy/CL&P, earlier]
  • Litigation rates similar for poor and good nursing homes, researchers find [US News] Effects of medical liability reform in Texas [White Coat, scroll] New York’s Cuomo caves on medical liability plan [Heritage] Sued if you do, sued if you don’t in the emergency room [same]
  • “Federal Government Wants to Bully School Bullies, and Demands School Help” [Doherty, Bader, Popehat, Bernstein] New York law firm launches school-bullying practice [Constitutional Daily]
  • Mass tort settlements: “The market for specious claims” [S. Todd Brown, Buffalo, SSRN]
  • Could Gene McCarthy’s candidacy have survived Arizona elections law? [Trevor Burrus, HuffPo]

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December 16 roundup

by Walter Olson on December 16, 2010

July 24 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 24, 2010

  • San Francisco considers, then tables, ban on pet sales at stores [Amy Alkon]
  • Florida: we’ll pull you into our courts as an online-defamation defendant even if you’ve never set foot here [CBS4.com]
  • Bratz case: “Alex Kozinski gives Barbie a spanking” [AtL]
  • GEICO launches counterattack against crash fraud in New York [PoL]
  • When a lawyer sues the wrong doctor: hey, isn’t everyone entitled to mistakes now and then? [American Medical News, sanctions affirmed in Virginia case]
  • “[Congressman Alan] Grayson’s shakedown lawsuit threatens D.C. business” [LaFetra, PLF/Examiner]
  • Asbestos: Do component makers have a duty to warn about other manufacturers’ hazardous products? [Cal Biz Lit and two followups on California decisions, NAM and Levy Phillips & Konigsberg on a since-settled New York case against Foster Wheeler]
  • Subsidies for durum wheat flowed in happy circle for everyone but taxpayer and consumer [Mark Perry]

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