“Beware: sled may develop high speed under certain snow conditions,” Christmas trees “not for human consumption,” and more holiday warnings. [Bob Dorigo Jones]
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg reprints a column from 2000 about a lawsuit that ensued after he exchanged words with a young man waiting in line at the drugstore. The process dragged on through the Christmas season until just before the holiday itself: “It is days in a windowless, airless room, somehow both too big and claustrophobic, waiting for your case to be called, staring dully at tiles on the ceiling, hearing the headachy murmur of legalisms just out of earshot, noting the starched exhaustion of lawyers, the unease of regular folk. There are motions and counter-motions. Many times I recalled that Hamlet, listing reasons to kill himself in his famous ‘To Be or Not to Be’ soliloquy, puts ‘the law’s delay’ up high, right after the pangs of despriz’d love.”
Merry Christmas to all! Our posts will be slowing down, though not disappearing, over the next week or so. You can read some highlights from past Overlawyered coverage of the holiday here.
Those “most dangerous” toys lists are an easy way for news editors to fill space before the holidays, but could a note of strain be creeping in? One of the ten on this year’s list from Massachusetts-based W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm) is a recreational art dough that contains wheat (and warns of that fact for allergy sufferers). [AP]
“For anyone planning to terrorize unsuspecting trick-or-treaters, you may want to ask yourself: Is it worth a potential lawsuit?” [Eric Mandel, KIRO/MyNorthwest.com]
Punkin Chunkin, a ballistic pumpkin-launching event, had developed into a beloved Delaware event until a 2013 accident where an ATV overturned on a farmer’s field, leading to an injury claim. “On Oct. 8…organizers pulled the plug for a second year, saying liability insurance for the event had proven unobtainable. Even supporters of Punkin Chunkin were left wondering: Is it over for good?” [Wilmington News-Journal, our coverage last year] More: Bob Dorigo Jones.
“The world’s most popular English language song is potentially free from copyright after a federal judge ruled on Tuesday that filmmakers challenging Warner/Chappell Music’s hold on “Happy Birthday to You” should be granted summary judgment.” [Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter/Billboard] We’ve covered the saga a number of times previously. More: Lowering the Bar.
If one of my family members chooses to sing the familiar “Happy Birthday To You” in celebration of my birthday today, their chances of prevailing against the tenacious lawyers at Warner Music Group appear better than ever. Law librarians helped by laying hands on a copy of a 1922 songbook in which the ditty, already by then decades old, appeared with no copyright notice; Warner/Chappell applied for copyright registration in 1935. [Above the Law, ABA Journal, BoingBoing, Joe Mullin/ArsTechnica] Earlier here, here, and here.
- Senate Republicans make noises about reining in runaway EEOC [Roger Clegg, Senate minority staff report, Human Resource Executive Online]
- Yes, minimum wage increases hurt many low-skilled workers [NBER via Charles Hughes]
- “Women earn less than men even when they set the pay” [Emma Jacobs, FT, via Tyler Cowen]
- Just a typical fast food worker, except for happening to have a high-powered P.R. firm representing him [Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Economics21]
- Aaargh: “Federal judge wants to bury summary judgment for many reasons, but especially because it harms employment-discrimination plaintiffs” [CL&P]
- “Ideally, someone from Human Resources will join you to meet with the aggrieved employee and inform her that the tree is staying up.” (Well, not up this far into January, but you know.) [Evil Skippy at Work]
- “But”, sic: “Vermont has some of the most progressive wage-and-hour laws in the country, but low-income workers are still struggling.” [Alana Semuels, National Journal]
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate! You can read some highlights from past Overlawyered coverage of the holiday here.