Posts Tagged ‘Dahlia Lithwick’

January 17 roundup

Great moments in legal journalism: Slate on RFRA standing

Slate really embarrassed itself the other day with a column by Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick flatly misreporting the holding of a Janice Rogers Brown opinion on religious liberty and Obamacare. I wrote this piece in response, which just appeared at PowerLine.

More: West Coast politics and law blogger Patterico likes my piece. Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center writes on Twitter to say that a post he wrote on Saturday “seems to be what triggered [the] weak correction.”

April 30 roundup

  • Because Washington knows best: “U.S. ban sought on cell phone use while driving” [Reuters, earlier here, here, here, etc.] More here; and LaHood spokesman says Reuters overstated his boss’s position.
  • Janice Brown’s Hettinga opinion: Lithwick can’t abide “starkly ideological” judging of this sort, except of course when she favors it [Root, earlier] At Yale law conclave, legal establishment works itself into hysterical froth over individual mandate case [Michael Greve] And David Bernstein again corrects some Left commentators regarding the standing of child labor under the pre-New Deal Constitution;
  • Latest antiquities battle: Feds, Sotheby’s fight over 1,000-year-old Khmer statue probably removed from Cambodia circa 1960s [VOA, Kent Davis]
  • Sebelius surprised by firestorm over religious (non-) exemption, hadn’t sought written opinions as to whether it was constitutional [Becket, Maguire] Obamanauts misread the views of many Catholics on health care mandate [Potemra, NRO]
  • “20 Years for Standing Her Ground Against a Violent Husband” [Jacob Sullum] How Trayvon Martin story moved through the press [Poynter] And Reuters’ profile of George Zimmerman is full of details one wishes reporters had brought out weeks ago;
  • Coaching accident fraud is bad enough, making off with client funds lends that extra squalid touch [NYLJ]
  • Kip Viscusi, “Does Product Liability Make Us Safer?” [Cato’s Regulation magazine, PDF]

“Why Did Legal Elites Underestimate the Case Against the Mandate?”

Legal academia, and the sector of legal journalism most closely aligned with its views, is too remote from practice, too wrapped in theory and too far left to have a good feel for how the current Supreme Court approaches legal issues. Thus argues Jonathan Adler, who notes that “In some corners, it’s more important to reconcile one’s claims with the writings of John Rawls than the opinions of John Roberts.” More: Mike Rappaport (noting that the right too has been influenced by legal academia’s “preference for broad overarching theories,” as on originalism), Peter Suderman, David Bernstein.

The “Halliburton rape” case: setting the record straight

Remember the “Halliburton rape” case, where the national media uncritically passed along claims that a young woman had been viciously assaulted by co-workers while stationed in the Middle East, then confined to a container by beastly managers when she tried to complain, and finally suffered the ultimate indignity when her employment contract required her to submit the claims to arbitration? It’s a tale that was advanced by politicians like Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), by some of the usual suspects in opinion journalism, and especially by the litigation lobby as part of its campaign against contractually provided-for arbitration (as with the much-reviewed, HBO-aired “Hot Coffee“). Not a few of these advocates — like the left-leaning ThinkProgress — threw “allegedly” to the winds and flatly accused the co-workers of rape.

Unless you’d read one of the very few skeptical evaluations of the case — many of them written by Ted Frank — you may have been shocked this July when a Houston jury summarily rejected Jamie Leigh Jones’s lawsuit. Now — better late than never — the Houston Chronicle shreds the popular narrative of the affair and its media coverage in particular (ABC News: a tale of “sexual brutality, corporate indifference and government inaction.”) Is it too much to hope that anyone will be embarrassed enough to apologize?

More: As commenter E-Bell notes, journalist Stephanie Mencimer, with whom we’ve had our differences in the past, deserves due credit for this July coverage in the unlikely venue of Mother Jones. And quoth @Popehat: “‘Putting the victim on trial’ is code for ‘defending yourself and testing the evidence.'”

July 12 roundup

May 2 roundup

  • In suit over weird, elaborate online hoax, court allows fraudulent-misrepresentation claim despite lack of motive of tangible gain [Chi Trib]
  • Service animal rodeo: “A trained rat probably would have had a good case in California” [AP/Statesman-Journal] Broward County, Fla. backs lonely widow’s right to keep “prescription Chihuahua” against rules of condo board [AOL, Sun-Sentinel] Oklahoma: “Depressed Woman Fights to Keep Therapy Kangaroo” [Newser] Earlier on recent change in federal rules;
  • DahliaCrateLabel

  • Should lawmakers screen bills for constitutionality? Ms. Lithwick has trouble sticking to a position [AEternitatis]
  • Human-relations complaint leads to arrest of U.K. man for singing “Kung Fu Fighting” [MSNBC]
  • Barney Frank: Yes, let’s talk about med-mal reform [The Hill] Ringing the bell: Roundups of more big med-mal verdicts [White Coat, more]
  • “Expert Witnesses Stripped Of Immunity From Negligence Suits In The UK” [Erik Magraken]
  • “Sustainability”: an empty idea? Or perhaps actively wrongheaded? [David Friedman via David Henderson]

March 3 roundup

  • EU imposes unisex insurance rates [BBC, Wright]
  • Law blog on the offense? TechnoLawyer asserts trademark claim against Lawyerist over “Small Law” [Lawyerist]
  • “Pro-business Supreme Court” meme strikes out yet again as SCOTUS backs “cat’s-paw” bias suit theory by 8-0-2 margin [Josh Blackman, Schwartz, Fox; Lithwick locus classicus]
  • Subprime CDO manager sues financial writer Michael Lewis over statements in his book The Big Short [AW, Salmon, Kennerly]
  • Police in Surrey, England, deny advising garden shed owners not to use wire mesh against burglars [Volokh, earlier]
  • Patterns of intimidation: protesters swarm Speaker Boehner’s private residence [Hollingsworth, Examiner] Unions fighting Wal-Mart in NYC plan actions at board members’ homes [Stoll] Report: GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin fear for personal safety [Nordlinger, NRO] White House pushing street protests [Welch, Nordlinger] Age of Civility short lived [Badger Blogger, Althouse, Sullivan]
  • In clash with trial lawyers, Cuomo proposes pain and suffering limits in med-mal suits [NYDN, more: NYT] “Bloomberg looks to Texas for ideas on changing medical malpractice laws” [City Hall News]
  • Hey, should we seize his drum set? Infuriating video on cop raids and forfeiture laws [Institute for Justice, Michigan]

October 7 roundup

February 3 roundup

  • Lawyer charged with particularly awful pattern of thefts from disabled/incapacitated persons [NYTimes, Steven Rondos]
  • “Buy American” provisions in stimulus bill could start trade war [Postrel]. Parting blow to America’s taste buds: outgoing Bush admininstration slapped high tariffs on Roquefort cheese, Irish oatmeal [Cowen, MargRev]
  • In widening scandal of U.K. miners’-claim lawyers, one law firm found to have funneled more than £6 million to Arthur Scargill’s union [Times Online]
  • 1936 Clarence Darrow piece on how to pick a jury makes a sort of time capsule of wince-worthy stereotypes [Deliberations]
  • Want to start up moving company in Oregon or liquor store in California? You might find your competitors can legally block you [Coyote]
  • Maybe there’s hope for Dahlia Lithwick, she “shares concerns” about lame lawsuits and judgment-warping liability fears [Slate, on Philip Howard’s Life Without Lawyers]
  • Dear major banks: Regret to inform must impose high penalties for your unauthorized overdraft of our funds [Naked Capitalism]
  • “Ethics laundering”: how lawyers can use Internet to evade NY rules against client solicitation [Turkewitz]