Posts tagged as:

child abuse

August 19 roundup

by Walter Olson on August 19, 2010

  • Judge bans $1.35 billion sugar beet crop for lack of environmental impact statement [NY Times]
  • Brennan Center, Justice at Stake attracting attention with new report on money in state court judicial races [report in PDF, Kang/ConcurOp]
  • Obama signs “libel tourism” bill into law [Levy, CL&P]
  • “Zach Scruggs claims new evidence clears him” [Patsy Brumfield, NE Mississippi Daily Journal via YallPolitics]
  • Second Circuit panel blasts 1980s abuse-accusation panic in ruling on Friedman case [opinion via NYT and Bernstein/Volokh]
  • Famed Cincinnati lawyer Stanley Chesley may face disciplinary action before Kentucky bar over role in fen-phen scandal [Courier-Journal via Dan Fisher and PoL]
  • Sexual harassment verdict against California casino “amounts to 2/3 of the company’s net worth” [Fox, Jottings]
  • Every White House needs to hire some partisan brawlers. But with “ethics czar” duties? [Matt Welch, Reason]

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William Saletan investigates a curious genre of harassment case [Slate; more at Atlantic Wire]

May 16 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 16, 2010

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“…than if she killed him.” More: Greenfield.

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Do we even have a procedure for that? And does it matter that they were cleared of the charges? [Radley Balko]

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January 20 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 20, 2010

  • Renewed attention to Amirault case contributed to Coakley’s political nosedive [e.g., Jacob Weisberg of Slate via Kaus, earlier] First time a Massachusetts prosecutor has paid a political price over that episode?
  • Many, many Democratic elected officials call for rethinking/renegotiating Obamacare rather than trying to force it through [e.g. Barney Frank] Blue Mass blogger: talk radio fueled ire at Coakley, let’s have FCC shut it down [Graham]
  • “Big Brother and the Salt Shaker” [NY Times "Room for Debate", Food Liability Law, earlier on NYC initiative and more] NYU’s Marion Nestle “loves” being called a nanny statist, so we’ll just go right on calling her that [Crispy on the Outside]
  • Terror suspects win right to seek compensation from UK government over restrictions on their activities [Canadian Press]
  • “Men Without Hats. Meaning no hard hats. Meaning The Safety Dance never met OSHA requirements. No wonder it was shut down.” [Tim Siedell a/k/a Bad Banana]
  • Italian judge orders father to go on paying $550/month living allowance to his student daughter, who is 32 [Guardian/SMH, earlier on laws mandating support of adult children]
  • Two informants vie for potential bonanza of whistleblower status against Johnson & Johnson [Frankel, AmLaw Litigation Daily]
  • “Polling Firm Says John Edwards Is Its Most Unpopular Person Ever” [Lowering the Bar]

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Didn’t realize the newsman had covered the story (quite a while back, it would appear from the look and feel of the video):


Via Andrew Sullivan. On Massachusetts AG and Senate candidate Martha Coakley’s role, see this earlier post, as well as critical videos here and here, Popehat, Jury Box, and Radley Balko.

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The Massachusetts attorney general and Senate candidate poses as the guardian of justice and civil liberties. Dorothy Rabinowitz knows better (earlier on the Amirault case here and here; on Coakley’s prosecutorial record here).

More (via Memeorandum): Bronwyn’s Harbor, No Quarter (citing views of Jeralyn Merritt/TalkLeft and Arthur Leonard); Dan McLaughlin, RedState; Dan Riehl (Woodward, Souza cases). Yet more: on Coakley’s offer to a deal to one defendant on condition that the experienced defense counsel handling the deal agree not to represent a second defendant in future, see Scott Greenfield (characterizing the move as “a deliberate effort to undermine the constitutional right to counsel”), Kenneth Anderson/Volokh, and John Steele/Legal Ethics Forum.

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Martha Coakley’s record as a criminal prosecutor. [Radley Balko, Politico] More: Ed Brayton. Update: Dorothy Rabinowitz has not forgotten the Amirault case, nor should we.

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September 21 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 21, 2009

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August 31 roundup

by Walter Olson on August 31, 2009

  • California: “Feds Say Lawyer Took Bribe to Encourage Client to Lie in Immigration Case” [NLJ]
  • “Before you celebrate [the] seemingly wise anti-litigation statement [of the "Skanks in New York" blogger], take note that she’s suing Google…” [Althouse, earlier here, here, etc.] Dispute is female-vs.-female, but feminist lawprofs inevitably spot gender discrimination [Citron, ConcurOp; Greenfield]
  • “Ousted members of Florida chess board sue to reclaim their volunteer positions” [St. Petersburg Times]
  • Man freed after serving 22 years on dubious child abuse charges, but prosecutor who went after him is doing fine [Radley Balko, Reason "Hit and Run", Bernard Baran case, Massachusetts]
  • Khalid bin Mahfouz, plaintiff in celebrated “libel tourism” case against Rachel Ehrenfeld in England, is dead at 60 [Wasserman/Prawfsblawg]
  • Colorful University of Connecticut law professor lands in a spot of bother again after girlfriend’s arrest [Above the Law]
  • Federal judge says prosecutor in Chicago U.S. Attorney’s office allowed witness to testify falsely [WSJ Law Blog]
  • Deja vu? “‘Seinfeld’ joke gets man canned for harassment” [Des Moines Register, earlier Wisconsin case; & see Ted's caveat in comments]

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July 14 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 14, 2009

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A North Dakota woman has pleaded guilty to child neglect and faces a possible five years in prison. But was the baby endangered? [AP/Austin American-Statesman via DRJ/Patterico] More: Deputy Headmistress (citing work of Thomas Hale); Wilfred Laurier University Press.

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At her great new site, Free Range Kids, Lenore Skenazy hears from a reader in suburban Texas who reports that parents wishing to attend their class holiday party are required to undergo a volunteer background check. Many of her commenters have similar stories — and worse.

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March 1 roundup

by Walter Olson on March 1, 2009

  • Somehow not shocked to hear this: “ABA Pushes for 1,000-Lawyer Legal Corps” [ABA Journal]
  • Appeals court will consider whether Roommates.com violated fair housing law by asking subscribers about sexual orientation [Heller, OnPoint News]
  • World gone mad: Bank of America has given ACORN nearly $3 million since 2005 [Capital Research Center] Group hasn’t given up its old lawbreaking ways [Michelle Malkin]
  • Gloria Allred representing injured passenger who rode with Morgan Freeman [AP, PopSquire, Janet Charlton]
  • If even they can’t comply you know it’s bad: Federal Labor Relations Authority found to have committed unfair labor practice [Workplace Prof]
  • Poor England, perhaps it’s time to retire its reputation as a place of civil liberties [Ken @ Popehat] Related: we’ve cleared you of child abuse, but it’s too late to get your children back, beastly sorry about that [Neatorama]
  • When the judge writes well, even a slip and fall verdict can make for agreeable reading [Turkewitz]
  • “Ebay Founder Tweets About An Unusual Lawsuit” [NY Times "Bits", Pierre Omidyar]

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Setting spies and informers against us in our houses dept.: I’m quoted about a bad idea under consideration by the New York legislature (Benjamin Sarlin, “Child, Animal Abuse Linked Under Albany Bill”, New York Sun, Aug. 20).

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The old joke is that chutzpah is defined as the case of the orphan who kills his parents and then begs the court for mercy because he’s an orphan.

A pair of Philadelphia parents, however, may redefine the idea for all time.  Danieal Kelly, who suffered from crippling cerebral palsy, was 14 when she starved to death in a West Philadelphia rowhouse, covered in bedsores, weighing just 42 pounds.  Her mother, “Andrea Kelly was charged with murder on July 31. Daniel Kelly, who authorities say abandoned his daughter despite knowledge of her mother’s neglect, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.” (Three friends of the mother were charged with perjury for lying to a grand jury; four social workers were also charged with felony endangerment, which will no doubt screw up incentives further for over-reacting child protective services everywhere.)

The parents responded as any parents would, and sued the city, the state, city and state agencies, and four social workers, blaming them for Kelly’s death, and seeking damages for “love, tutelage, companionship, support, comfort and consortium” as well as the “economic value of her life expectancy”–which couldn’t possibly be anything other than the taxpayer-funded disability benefits.  Public outrage has caused the lawyers, Brian Mildenberg and Eric Zajac, to substitute other parties as plaintiffs so that there is no direct hint of Daniel and Andrea Kelly profiting, but the underlying appallingness of the suit remains.  (Julie Shaw & Catherine Lucey, “Lawsuit by Danieal’s parents called ‘disgusting’”, Phil. Inquirer, Aug. 13; Nancy Phillips and Kia Gregory, “Danieal Kelly’s parents sue the city”, Phil. Inquirer, Aug. 13; John Sullivan and Craig R. McCoy, “Nine indicted in fatal neglect of girl”, Phil. Inquirer, Aug. 1; ongoing Inquirer coverage).

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Problem #1: children abused by clergy decades ago are demanding recognition from the civil justice system; it’s not about the money they say, but justice.

Problem #2: simply reviving 35-year-old tort claims that are otherwise barred by the statute of limitations, aside from the basic unfairness and loss of legal certainty to others, encourages fraud on and error by the judicial system.

Solution, in Ohio S.B. 17, passed in May 2006:

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