- New Yorker legal correspondent Jeffrey Toobin as unreliable narrator, part 483 [Damon Root, Pejman Yousefzadeh re: attack on Justice Clarence Thomas]
- Background of Halliburton case: Lerach used Milwaukee Archdiocese to pursue Dick Cheney grudge [Paul Barrett, Business Week] More/related: Alison Frankel, Stephen Bainbridge (rolling out professorial “big guns”), Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (paper, “What’s Wrong With Securities Class Action Lawsuits?”)] & update: new Chamber paper on extent of consumer losses;
- Roger Pilon on NLRB v. Canning recess-appointments case [Cato]
- States’ efforts to tax citizens of other states stretch Commerce Clause to breaking point [Steve Malanga]
- Richard Epstein on his new book The Classical Liberal Constitution [Hoover, more; yet more on why Epstein considers himself a classical liberal rather than hard-core libertarian]
- Corporate law and the Hobby Lobby case [Bainbridge]
- Some state supreme courts including California’s interpret “impairment of contracts” language as constitutional bar to curbing even future accruals in public employee pension reform. A sound approach? [Sasha Volokh first, second, third, fourth, fifth posts, related Fed Soc white paper]
Bill Lerach is a big cheese again and doesn’t mind who knows it. [Examiner]
- “Convicted King of Class Actions Builds Aviary, Regrets Nothing” [Lerach, Bloomberg profile]
- Teva/Baxter suits: Latest Nevada you-made-the-vials-too-big propofol verdict makes no more sense than first [Glenn Lammi, Forbes; Ted at PoL]
- EPA malicious prosecution in Hubert Vidrine case won’t be “isolated” unless we change our thinking [Ken at Popehat]
- Title IX coordinator training: “How federal regulations are making college ‘risk management’ lawyers rich” [Robert Shibley, Daily Caller] A lawyer spots more problems with Department of Education regulations on campus sexual assault [Robert Smith, RCP]
- Time to admit: on consequences of protecting big banks from capitalism, “Occupy” has a point [Nicole Gelinas, City Journal]
- Lawsuits accuse Boeing of engine-air-in-cabin “fume events” [MSNBC]
- About those “Topeka decriminalizes domestic violence” stories [Lowering the Bar]
- Supreme Court disbars Bill Lerach [Richard Samp, WLF] And check out the byline of the former class-action king’s recent contribution to The Nation; do you think it omits anything material? [h/t Bob Lenzner]
- Ted Frank guessed right on outcome of Wal-Mart case but still lost big betting on it [PoL]
- After feds seize online bettors’ money, Anne Arundel County, Maryland police department crows over windfall [CEI] And c’mon Maryland, surely we in the home state of H.L. Mencken and Frederick Douglass can do better in the liberty rankings than this;
- “Wrongful-Death Lawsuit Filed After Man Killed by Rooster” [Lowering the Bar]
- Hotel union behind California bill mandating fitted sheets [Daily Caller, earlier]
- Fifth Circuit upholds constitutionality of Texas law banning barratry (stirring up litigation) [Christian Southwick, Legal Ethics Forum]
- A Linda Greenhouse column I agree with? One of us must be slipping [vagueness in criminal statutes, see related Harvey Silverglate]
During the successful campaign for Proposition 64 in California, reformers cited as an example of the sort of the “shakedown lawsuit” they hoped to eliminate a suit in which Bill Lerach’s class action firm demanded money from lock maker Kwikset because its product was marked “Made in U.S.A.” but included screws made in Taiwan. Nonetheless, the California Supreme Court has now ruled 5-2 that the proposition does not ban such suits after all, because consumers can claim to be injured by the arguable mislabeling, even though nothing was defective about the lock. Dissenting Justice Ming Chin, joined by Carol Corrigan, pointed out that to get around the Proposition 64 limit all that consumers “now have to allege is that they would not have bought the mislabeled product,” and that this “cannot be what the electorate intended” in voting for the measure. [L.A. Times, CJAC, earlier here, here, etc.]
Relatedly or otherwise: Glenn Reynolds interviews University of Tennessee law professor Ben Barton about his new book The Lawyer-Judge Bias in the American Legal System (“Virtually all American judges are former lawyers. This book argues that these lawyer-judges instinctively favor the legal profession in their decisions and that this bias has far-reaching and deleterious effects on American law.”)
- If you’re thinking of starting in: “A law blogging FAQ” [Venkat Balasubramani] Recommended, even if not new: “Notes on blogging for journalists” from Felix Salmon [July]
- Welcome the Originalism Blog, from Prof. Mike Rappaport’s Constitution Center at the University of San Diego. Acclaimed blogger Mark Herrmann is back, this time at Above the Law. Blogs proliferate on the hot legal area of employment class actions [Trask] Disgraced class-actioneer Bill Lerach has an online column now [John Frith/CJAC, HuffPo]
- A brief history of law blogging [Alex Aldridge, LegalWeek UK] Milestones: Drug and Device Law Blog reaches fourth anniversary (more, Abnormal Use) and Eric Turkewitz reflects on his 1000th post.
- “Lawyer by day, blogger by night:” profile of Anna Berend of Motherly Law [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and thanks for kind mention]
- Plenty of good reading to be found on ABA’s annual Blawg 100 list despite baffling omissions [Turkewitz, Abnormal Use, Russell Jackson]
- R.I.P: Peter Nordberg, attorney with Philadelphia’s Berger & Montague and a pioneer of online legal commentary with his outstanding site on scientific and expert testimony, Daubert on the Web [Tributes.com obituary, April 2010 but not seen until recently]
The disgraced class action king plans to teach an ethics-of-capitalism course at Irvine. Prosecutors wonder whether it’s really aimed at doing penance for his ethical failings, or instead will offer him a chance to blast away at his enemies while garnering “community service” credit. [Josh Gerstein, Politico; David Lat, Above the Law]
“He misled and fooled the court into believing he had remorse at the time of his sentencing.” Walter said that he now believes the sentence was “way too lenient” and regretted having accepted Lerach’s plea deal.
(& welcome Bainbridge readers)
Not everyone on the Left is comfortable at seeing the felonious class-actioneer feted on the progressive conference circuit. [Tim Fernholz, TAP]
- Compensation awards to soldiers in the UK: £161,000 for losing leg and arm, but £186,896 for sex harassment? [Telegraph]
- Judge in banana pesticide fraud case says threats have been made against her and against witnesses [AP, L.A. Times]
- Teacher plans to sue religious school that fired her for having premarital sex [Orlando Sentinel]
- Now sprung from hoosegow, class-actioneer Lerach on progressive lecture circuit and “living in luxury” [Stoll, Carter Wood at PoL and ShopFloor (Campaign for America’s Future conference), San Diego Reader via Pero]
- Connecticut law banning “racial ridicule” has palpable constitutional problems, you’d think, but has resulted in many prosecutions and some convictions [Volokh, Gideon]
- Gone with the readers: newsmagazines, metro newspapers facing fewer libel suits [NY Observer] More: Lyrissa Lidsky, Prawfs.
- Having Connecticut press comfortably in his pocket helped Blumenthal turn the tables against NY Times [Stein/HuffPo] Must not extend to the New Britain Herald News, though;
- Interview with editor Brian Anderson of City Journal [Friedersdorf, Atlantic] I well remember being there as part of the first issue twenty years ago.
Bill Lerach’s contemplated hop from the federal slammer to a teaching position may be especially notable, but Kai Falkenberg at Forbes reminds us that others with records of disgrace or lawbreaking have turned up at the law lectern too, including Sixties terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, long ensconced at Northwestern; disbarred felon Lynne Stewart, who addressed the celebrated Hofstra ethics conference; and smurfing specialist Eliot Spitzer, who “taught a class called ‘Law and Public Policy’ at City College during the fall 2009 term.” And had you heard that former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose trial on corruption charges is upcoming, gave a student-sponsored talk last month at Northwestern on the topic of ethics in government?
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the faculty panel discussion from the police lineup. In my forthcoming book Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America — due out next spring from Encounter Books — I’ll have a lot more to say about the lessons that sends.