…may not be all that it seemed, reports a Mississippi newspaper. It’s almost enough to make you rethink the cathartic value of mass Internet shaming. What if the process could be misused by people with agendas?
“A woman who made international headlines when she lied about finding a severed finger in a bowl of chili at a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose is expected to return to prison for concocting another tale – that someone had shot her son, a prosecutor said Wednesday.” [Henry K. Lee, SFGate.com, autoplays]
- If you thought “finger in chili” was bad, meet the Utah couple arrested on charges of planting razor blade shards in doughnuts and swallowing some [KSL, Daily Mail]
- My talk a few weeks ago as part of Cato Institute panel on nanny state [YouTube, Bruce Majors]
- New Reason-RUPE public opinion survey finds public broadly opposed to food and drink bans [Sullum]
- Feds’ bad advice on polyunsaturated fat: more damaging than any mass tort in sight? [David Oliver] More: Hans Bader.
- Coroner blames woman’s death on Coca-Cola addiction [TV NZ] Monster Beverage: natural causes, not caffeine toxicity, killed Maryland teen [Reuters, NYT, earlier] More: Jacob Sullum.
- Oh, CSPI, thou contradictest thyself [Baylen Linnekin; more from him on parents’ and kids’ food choices quoting me, NYC soda ban]
- “Bloomberg limits seder portions” [Purim spoof, New York Jewish Week]
- Kelly Brownell, guru of obesity-reduction-through-coercion formerly based at Yale, named dean of public policy school at Duke;
- “A Knife, a Walmart Birthday Cake and a Frenzy of Overreaction” [Free-Range Kids] Mardi Gras perennial: can you buy king cake with baby figurine already in it? [same, earlier]
- Now they tell us: NYT book review not conspicuously enthusiastic about Michael Moss anti-food-biz book hyped to the rafters in NYT magazine three weeks earlier [Ira Stoll, SmarterTimes, our take]
Anna Ayala served four years of a nine-year sentence after pleading guilty (with Jaime Plascencia) to attempted grand theft and the filing of a false insurance claim in the famous Wendy’s chili incident. Now she’s facing charges over new fibs allegedly told to the police to cover for her son in a gun possession case [San Jose Mercury News, earlier]
- Liquor commissioner of New Hampshire nabbed on DWI rap, refuses breathalyzer test [WMUR]
- Slumber party liability waivers are something we’ve reported on before. But home trampoline disclaimers? [Free-Range Kids]
- Website’s terms and conditions include giving up your immortal soul [Popehat]
- Scottish jury says charges “not proven” against lawyers in case of monetary demand for return of stolen Leonardo da Vinci painting [Guardian, earlier]
- If you’re going to shake down food makers with false claims of contaminants in their wares, it’s best to vary your story patterns [Tacoma News-Tribune, Seattle Times]
- “My task is simple: spew foundationless tripe that turns itself into a pre-trial settlement demand.” [The Namby Pamby, a lawyer blog I really should have linked before now] More: Daniel Fisher, Forbes.
- Why plaintiffs lawyers aren’t so thrilled about recent Toyota revelations: most are invested in blaming electronics, not stuck pedals or mats [WSJ Law Blog]
- Duck hunters sue guide over disappointing trip [Fred Hartman, Fort Bend, Texas, Herald]
Speaking of national media hoaxes, today’s San Jose Mercury News profiles the post-incarceration life of Anna Ayala. The digital pioneer is divorced from co-conspirator Jaime Plascencia, who is still in prison. Ayala’s greatest trauma from her four years in prison (out of her nine-year sentence) seems to be that everyone called her the Finger Lady. She’s permanently banned from Wendy’s, so she’ll miss out on the Baconator.
- Wronged wife loses suit under California “Drug Dealer Liability Act” (DDLA) against mistress who supplied crack cocaine to husband [OnPoint News]
- “D.C. Circuit to Former Judge in Pants Lawsuit: Follow the Rules” [NLJ, more, earlier]
- “Law firm demands retailer destroy all copies of Olivia Munn comic, retailer refuses” [BoingBoing, HeavyInk, earlier on TJIC]
- Can’t find jury for tobacco trial: “Lawyers excused a woman who said people have no right to sue over diseases that are disclosed on the warning label of a package.” [Russell Jackson, Chamber-backed W.V. Record]
- Despite widespread misconception to the contrary, editing comments generally does not open blogger to liability over what remains [Citizen Media Law]
- To heck with HIPAA, introduce your patients to each other if you think they’ll get along [Musings of a Dinosaur]
- Devoted daughter vs. RSPCA: epic will contest in Britain over family farm bequest [Times Online]
- Woman found guilty after planting dead rat in meal at upscale restaurant [Appleton Post-Crescent via Lowering the Bar and Obscure Store]
Newcastle, England leaflet distributor (and former Labour Party council member) Mark Hunter is suing a dog owner whose Jack Russell terrier, the imaginatively named Jack, allegedly bit off the tip of the leafleteer’s finger as he pushed election paraphernalia through a front-door letterbox. While both Hunter and dog owner Mark Monroe seem to agree that part of Hunter’s bloody finger did indeed end up on the floor of Monroe’s home, it’s unclear how Jack could have bitten Monroe through the letterbox–which boasts a contraption known as a “letterbox guard”. Also unclear: why Monroe put Hunter’s finger in his freezer (keeping it for several months before ultimately tossing it in the rubbish), and why neither Hunter nor Monroe immediately reported the incident to police. Hunter is seeking about $25,000.
- Eeeeeeuw: House of Meats employees show reporter “they have all ten of their fingers” after customer reports human digit in her dish of oxtails [BayNews 9 Tampa]
- Press keeps digging into Joe Biden ties to asbestos bar [American Lawyer, more links in PoL roundup]
- Black eye for big law site FindLaw with reports that it’s been selling law firms links in editorial material, a practice sure to raise Google wrath [Oilman, Kevin O’Keefe/Real Lawyers Have Blogs, ABA Journal, Search Engine Land, National Post] More: WSJ on FindLaw’s denial; O’Keefe.
- Overlawyered favorite Fred Baron, of Rielle Hunter generosity, much in evidence at Democratic convention [Dallas Morning News, ABC News] Texas trial lawyer Steve Susman is only individual lawyer listed as convention sponsor [AmLaw Daily, scroll]
- As if legislative expansion of the Americans with Disabilities Act weren’t worry enough, 1,000 pages of new DoJ regulations will add billions in costs, as by requiring that 50 percent of miniature golf holes be wheelchair-accessible [Las Vegas Review-Journal via ABA Journal]
- “Bond reduced for two fen-phen attorneys” in Kentucky [Lexington Herald-Leader, more]
- Cozen O’Connor and insurers dealt big setback as Second Circuit’s Judge Jacobs rules they can’t sue Saudi government over 9/11 [Philadelphia Inquirer, more; related on FOIA, Legal Intelligencer; earlier here and here]
- Jury awards $500,000 in malpractice suit against D.C.-based plaintiffs’ firm Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll [Legal Times]
- Australia: “A serial protester who injured a policewoman during the G20 riots wants her conviction overturned so she can still practise as a lawyer.” [Melbourne Herald Sun, Julia Dehm]