Posts tagged as:

Ben Stein

March 7 roundup

by Walter Olson on March 7, 2012

  • Ray LaHood’s forgotten predecessor: “How One Bureaucrat Almost Succeeded in Banning Car Radios” [Mike Riggs, Reason]
  • “Some Recent Nonsense on Freedom of Religion in the Times” [Paul Horwitz, Prawfs]
  • Choice of Ben Stein as speaker for ABA Tech Show raises eyebrows [Derek Bambauer, InfoLaw]
  • “Oblivion video game ‘Abomb” becomes federal lawsuit” [Abnormal Use]
  • Tort causation: “Probability for thee, mere possibility for me” [David Oliver]
  • Washington state says it won’t pay for “unnecessary” Medicaid ER visits. Can you see the unintended consequences coming? [White Coat]
  • Utah says family can’t fundraise for son’s legal defense without permit [Standard-Examiner via Balko]

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Ben Stein vs. Kyocera

by Walter Olson on January 14, 2012

Maybe his old Milberg pals will rep him? A public personality’s curious lawsuit after missing out on a spokesperson job [Felix Salmon, earlier]

Paul Levy at Consumer Law & Policy reports that a firm called Adaptive Marketing has brought a pre-litigation discovery proceeding seeking to unmask the identity of a pseudonymous blogger who accused the firm and its parent, Vertrue, of improper business practices. The company “ran into controversy a few months ago for using former New York Times columnist Ben Stein in its TV ads for ‘free credit scores.'” More: Felix Salmon, and an update from Levy. Related: new AP story on rash of lawsuits seeking to reveal identity of anonymous bloggers and commenters.

Microblog 2008-10-12

by Walter Olson on October 12, 2008

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Can’t-they-both-please-lose? dept.: Columbia’s Tim Wu is confident that excepting 15 seconds of Lennon’s Imagine for purposes of criticizing it will count as fair use, which one may hope would be true without necessarily predicting that the courts will agree (WSJ law blog, May 20; earlier).

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April 29 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 29, 2008

  • “Dog owners in Switzerland will have to pass a test to prove they can control and care for their animal, or risk losing it, the Swiss government said yesterday.” [Daily Telegraph]
  • 72-year-old mom visits daughter’s Southport, Ct. home, falls down stairs searching for bathroom at night, sues daughter for lack of night light, law firm boasts of her $2.475 million win on its website [Casper & deToledo, scroll to "Jeremy C. Virgil"]
  • Can’t possibly be right: “Every American enjoys a constitutional right to sue any other American in a West Virginia court” [W.V. Record]
  • Video contest for best spoof personal injury attorney ads [Sick of Lawsuits; YouTube]
  • Good profile of Kathleen Seidel, courageous blogger nemesis of autism/vaccine litigation [Concord Monitor*, Orac]. Plus: all three White House hopefuls now pander to anti-vaxers, Dems having matched McCain [Orac]
  • One dollar for every defamed Chinese person amounts to a mighty big lawsuit demand against CNN anchor Jack Cafferty [NYDN link now dead; Independent (U.K.)]
  • Hapless Ben Stein whipped up one side of the street [Salmon on financial regulation] and down the other [Derbyshire on creationism]
  • If only Weimar Germany had Canada-style hate-speech laws to prevent the rise of — wait, you mean they did? [Steyn/Maclean's] Plus: unlawful in Alberta to expose a person to contempt based on his “source of income” [Levant quoting sec. 3 (1)(b) of Human Rights Law]
  • Hey, these coupon settlements are giving all of us class action lawyers a bad name [Leviant/The Complex Litigator]
  • Because patent law is bad enough all by itself? D.C. Circuit tosses out FTC’s antitrust ruling against Rambus [GrokLaw; earlier]
  • “The fell attorney prowls for prey” — who wrote that line, and about which city? [four years ago on Overlawyered]

*Okay, one flaw in the profile: If Prof. Irving Gottesman compares Seidel to Erin Brockovich he probably doesn’t know much about Brockovich.

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April 17 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 17, 2008

  • “I did not know what kind of monster we were dealing with”: dramatic testimony from Judge Lackey on Scruggs corruption [Folo; and repercussions too]
  • New at Point of Law: Pork-barreling Albany lawmakers shell out for just what NY needs, three more law schools; Sarbanes-Oxley unconstitutional? Ted goes after JAMA on Vioxx; sadly, appeals court overturns Santa Clara opinion that nailed ethical problems with govt.-paid contingency fee; legal aid lawyers, to subprime borrowers’ rescue? and much more;
  • Cadbury claim: we own the color purple as it relates to chocolate [Coleman]
  • A world gone mad: Innocence Project directors include… Janet Reno? [Bernstein @ Volokh]
  • Not unrelatedly: Can a California prosecutor be held liable for wrongful murder conviction of man freed after 24 years? [Van de Kamp versus Goldstein, L.A. Times via Greenfield]
  • With all his lawyer chums from Milberg-witness days, you’d think Ben Stein could have saved the makers of his creationist movie from stumbling into textbook IP infringements [Myers, again, WSJ law blog]
  • Groggy from dental anesthesia, plus a half a glass to drink: then came the three felony DUI counts [Phoenix New Times, Balko via Reynolds]
  • Shell says boaters had years of notice that mandated ethanol in fuel was incompatible with fiberglass marine gas tanks, which hasn’t stopped the filing of a class action [L.A. Times via ABA Journal]
  • Terrorism asymmetry: “They say ‘Allahu Akbar!’ we say ‘Imagine the liability!'” [McCarthy/Lopez, NRO]
  • Deborah Jeane Palfrey convicted [WaPo; earlier]
  • David Neiwert truly born yesterday if he thinks Kevin Phillips is noteworthy for his record of being right [Firedoglake; some correctives]

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“A prominent class-action lawyer facing sentencing today for secretly paying plaintiffs to file securities lawsuits, William Lerach, is suggesting that the under-the-table practice was widespread and was not isolated to the firm he helped run for decades, Milberg Weiss. … Despite the highly publicized travails of what was once America’s leading class-action law firm, there has been little public discussion of whether other firms may have emulated the secret payment scheme Lerach and other Milberg lawyers devised.” Notwithstanding a request by Lerach’s lawyers that the letters from his friends and supporters asking clemency be sealed from public inspection, most of the letters have become public, revealing the identities of such entirely unsurprising Lerach backers as Ralph Nader (who in this one particular case did not favor prison for white-collar criminality) and Ben Stein, known to readers of these pages (though apparently not to many readers of his New York Times column) as an expert witness hired repeatedly by Lerach to help portray sued companies’ conduct in the harshest possible light. (Josh Gerstein, “Lerach Says Payoffs Were Widespread”, New York Sun, Feb. 11). Another letter writer: Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) And the list of letter-writers (PDF) includes “two redacted names in between Gordon Churchill and Charles Cohen”, leading to speculation that one or both surnames might be “Clinton”. It seems unlikely, though, that either prominent ex-White House resident would have risked the sort of negative publicity involved even as a gesture to acknowledge Lerach’s past favors. (CalLaw “Legal Pad”, Feb. 8)(corrected shortly after posting to reflect release of most letters by stipulation of parties, not judicial order). Update 4 p.m. EST: sentence is 24 months.

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November 7 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 7, 2007

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Larry Ribstein has some advice for Times business columnist and not always intentional comedian Ben Stein (Sept. 3).

Los Angeles Times reporter Molly Selvin wanted my opinion of class-actioneer Bill Lerach for this profile, so I gave it. Holding up the other end of the discussion are Lerach fans Jamie Court, of Harvey Rosenfield’s outfit, and actor/humorist/ expert-economic-witness-in-Milberg-cases Ben Stein (“Unsettling Days for King of Class Actions”, Jul. 23)(cross-posted at Point of Law).