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global warming

June 7 roundup

by Ted Frank on June 7, 2008

  • Monday’s polar bear panel at AEI is a panel about the law of polar bears and the effect of the FWS decision to list them as threatened, rather than a panel featuring polar bears. So no fish will be served. Volokh’s Jonathan Adler will be there, though. [Volokh; AEI]
  • Limiting lawsuit abuses lowers costs from litigation, creates jobs in long run. [Engler & McQuillan @ Detroit News]
  • HBO to small businesses: prepositions are okay, but conjunctions will lead to injunctions. [Baltimore Sun]
  • A one-sided love letter to Cozen O’Connor in the Philadelphia Inquirer over its September 11 litigation is a bit too revealing about its deep-pocket searches: “Cozen lawyers also had to be sure that such a defendant made financial sense, for the firm and its clients.” Culpability, of course, isn’t in the equation; and the newspaper story fails to account for the public-policy implications of having trial lawyers stepping on foreign policy. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
  • Life imitates “The Office”: law firm offers “love contracts” for dating workers. [ABA Journal]
  • More evidence of FDA overwarning, even when the science and law does not justify it. [Kyle Sampson @ Product Liability Law 360]
  • Business tries to bully small website with litigation; small website successfully fights back. [CL&P Blog]
  • “[Ron] Paul accomplished the one thing he’s always been good at: using political appeals to get people to send money. I don’t feel freer.” [Henley via Kirkendall]
  • “It’s infuriating how all three presidential candidates prattle on about the need to fight global warming while also complaining about the high price of gasoline.” [Postrel]
  • Story on Vioxx settlement and Merck winning reversals heavily quotes me. [Product Liability Law 360 ($)]

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Looks like we’ll be hearing a lot more about the “Kivalina” (Alaskan Inupiat village) climate-change suit:

Over time, the two trial lawyers [Stephen Susman of Texas and Steve Berman of Seattle, both familiar to longterm readers of this site] have become convinced that they have the playbook necessary to win big cases against the country’s largest emitters. It’s the same game plan that brought down Big Tobacco. And in Kivalina — where the link between global warming and material damage is strong—they believe they’ve found the perfect challenger.

In February, Berman and Susman—along with two attorneys who have previously worked on behalf of the village and an environmental lawyer specializing in global warming—filed suit in federal court against 24 oil, coal, and electric companies, claiming that their emissions are partially responsible for the coastal destruction in Kivalina. More important, the suit also accuses eight of the firms (American Electric Power, BP America, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, and Southern Company) of conspiring to cover up the threat of man-made climate change, in much the same way the tobacco industry tried to conceal the risks of smoking—by using a series of think tanks and other organizations to falsely sow public doubt in an emerging scientific consensus.

(Stephan Faris, “Conspiracy Theory”, The Atlantic, June). For the theory of legally wrongful participation in public debate (as one might call it), as it surfaced in the tobacco litigation, see, for example, this 2006 post.

More background on the suit at the Native American Rights Fund’s blog, here and here, and at attorney Matthew Pawa’s site. Carter Wood at NAM “Shop Floor” links to a report by the American Justice Partnership and Southeastern Legal Foundation (PDF) entitled, “The Most Dangerous Litigation in America: Kivalina“.

Yet more: Northwestern lawprof David Dana has a working paper at SSRN entitled “The Mismatch between Public Nuisance Law and Global Warming” (via Sheila Scheuerman/TortsProf). Abstract:

The federal courts using the common law method of case-by-case adjudication may have institutional advantages over the more political branches, such as perhaps more freedom from interest group capture and more flexibility to tailor decisions to local conditions. Any such advantages, however, are more than offset by the disadvantages of relying on the courts in common resource management in general and in the management of the global atmospheric commons in particular. The courts are best able to serve a useful function resolving climate-related disputes once the political branches have acted by establishing a policy framework and working through the daunting task of allocating property or quasi-property rights in greenhouse gas emissions. In the meantime, states do have a state legislative alternative that is preferable to common law suits, and that federal courts can facilitate without any dramatic innovations in federal preemption or dormant commerce clause doctrine.

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May 16 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 16, 2008

  • Polar bears on parade: “Lawsuits are not the best way to force the public into solving planet-size problems such as climate change.” [Christian Science Monitor editorial]
  • Jury convicts private investigator Anthony Pellicano, trial of entertainment lawyer Terry Christiansen set for July [Variety; earlier]
  • Knockoff sneakers differed from Adidas original in having two or four stripes instead of three, didn’t save Payless Shoes from getting hit with $304 million verdict [American Lawyer]
  • Following up on our discussion of municipal tree liability: Michigan high court OKs homeowner class action over sewer line damage from city trees [AP/MLive]
  • Attorney Franklin Azar, of Colorado TV-ad fame, says jury’s verdict ordering him to pay a former client $145,000 was really a “big victory” for him [ABA Journal]
  • Annals of tolling-for-infancy: “Dog bite 10 years ago subject of civil suit” [MC Record]
  • Feds indict Missouri woman for cruel MySpace hoax that drove victim to suicide: Orin Kerr finds legal grounds weak [@ Volokh]
  • “I blame R. Kelly for Sept. 11″: some ways potential jurors managed to get off singer’s high-profile Chicago trial [Tribune; h/t reader A.K.]
  • Update: “click fraud” class actions filed in Texarkana against online ad providers have all now settled [SE Texas Record; earlier]
  • Judge orders dad to stay on top of his daughter’s education, then jails him for 180 days when she fails to get her general equivalency diploma [WCPO, Cincinnati; update, father released]
  • Lawyers still soliciting for AOL volunteer class actions [Colossus of Rhodey; earlier]

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April 24 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 24, 2008

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April 16 roundup

by Ted Frank on April 16, 2008

  • Schadenfreude overload: Eliot Spitzer fighting with Bill Lerach’s old law firm. You see, Spitzer returned Lerach firm’s money after the indictment (unlike many other Democrats); when Lerach left the firm, Spitzer hit them up for cash again; now, they’re the ones seeking money. [WSJ Law Blog; NY Sun]
  • Breakthrough on Keisler nomination. [Levey]
  • Sued for accurately saying government employee was a Mexican. [Volokh]
  • Global warming lawsuit finds conspiracy in free speech. [Pero]
  • Yet another free speech lawsuit: 50-Cent sued for “promoting gangsta lifestyle.” [Torts Prof]
  • 3-2 decision in NY Appellate Division: Not a design defect for tobacco companies to sell cigarettes that aren’t light cigarettes. [Rose v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co.; NYLJ/law.com via Prince]
  • Meanwhile, tobacco companies are also being sued over light cigarettes. Second Circuit tosses Judge Weinstein’s novel class certification (Point of Law); Supreme Court grants cert in Altria Group v. Good.
  • Defensive medicine one of many reasons that health-care costs so much in US [New York Times]
  • Eyewitness testimony: you can’t always believe your eyes. [Chapman]
  • First-hand report on Obama’s views on guns. [Lott]
  • Ethical problem for law firm to be representing judges in litigation seeking pay raise? [Turkewitz]

A major rebuke for former California AG Bill Lockyer and his successor, Jerry Brown, as well: “A federal judge in San Francisco today threw out a lawsuit filed by the state Attorney General’s office against the six largest automakers in what had been billed as a novel attempt to hold the companies financially liable for global warming. … U.S. District Judge Martin Jenkins said it would be inappropriate for the court to wade into issues pertaining to interstate commerce and foreign policy – matters that should be left to the political branches of government.” The judge’s order can be found here (PDF). (Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 18)(cross-posted from Point of Law).

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Litigation or its threat really does seem to wind up as the ultimate deciding weapon in all sorts of controversies, including whether the city of Santa Barbara can install a temporary public art project aimed at raising alarm about global warming. (Instapundit, quoting James Q. Wilson, Aug. 28; Steve Chawkins, “Property value worries sink Santa Barbara art project”, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 26).

Guestblogger thanks

by Walter Olson on July 25, 2007

Our thanks to Steve Hantler of Chrysler for some provocative posts which stirred considerable reader interest. His post on global warming litigation drew links from (among others) Prof. Bainbridge and New York magazine’s “Intelligencer”.

Among the nightmare scenarios of global warming, there’s one only now coming into view – and it’s definitely manmade: As predictable as the rising seas, we can expect a flood of class-action lawsuits trying to cash in on the issue.

Climate change promises to be “a lucrative new field” for the tort bar reports the Newark Star-Ledger. A Rutgers law professor predicts that global warming will make for “one of the biggest legal practices in the next 20 years.” (The Star-Ledger, 7/8/07)

The opinion is shared by the president of the World Resources Institute: “Companies that generate significant carbon emissions,” he warns, “face the threat of lawsuits similar to those common in the tobacco, pharmaceutical and asbestos industries.” (The Toronto Star, 4/29/07)

And if you thought asbestos and tobacco litigation were profitable, try to imagine all the “mass tort” cases that global warming will inspire. Energy companies, coal mines, any firm at all that generates carbon dioxide – these industries and many more can expect to find themselves accused of causing climate change.

Some law firms already have “climate-change groups” studying the possibilities. Another hint of things to come was a class action suit was filed on behalf of Mississippi residents against oil and coal companies after Hurricane Katrina – arguing that company emissions caused the climate change that caused the hurricane. (Star-Ledger, 7/8/07).

In Alaska, the Inuits claim that their island is sinking because of global warming. The aggrieved islanders haven’t decided who to sue yet – but they’ve got a Houston trial lawyer working on it. (Star-Ledger, 7/8/07)

All of which proves nothing at all about the actual causes or dangers of global warming. It’s just more evidence of a climate of greed and opportunism in the trial bar. And that’s one climate that never changes.

Steve Hantler

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July 9 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 9, 2007

  • Judge Ramos disallows settlement of Citigroup directors derivative suit: deal had met defendants’ needs, plaintiff’s lawyers’ too, but not shareholders’ [PDF of decision courtesy NY Lawyer]

  • Drove a golf cart into the path of his car as it was being repossessed, jury decides he deserves $56,837 [MC Record]

  • Per ACOG, 92 percent of NY ob/gyns say they’ve been sued at least once [NY Post edit; more]

  • New British online-gambling law could trip up some virtual-world/massively multiplayer online games [GamesIndustry.biz]

  • Good news for bloggers: Iowa-based site can’t be sued in New York just because it answered questions from NY reader and accepted NY donations [Best Van Lines v. Walker, Second Circuit; McLaughlin]

  • Another great idea from Public Citizen: let’s not use new drugs till they’ve been on the market for seven years [Pharmalot via KevinMD]

  • After conviction of Mississippi trial lawyer Paul Minor in judicial corruption scandal, squabbling drags on over sentencing [Jackson Clarion-Ledger]

  • Conservative public interest law firms “can win some big cases [but] are notorious for lacking follow-through” [Tushnet, L.A. Times]

  • Contestants in Australian business dispute probably wound up spending more on the litigation than had been at stake in the first place [Sydney Morning Herald]

  • New at Point of Law: New Hampshire governor vetoes trial lawyers’ bill; global warming litigation to be bigger than tobacco?; the Times notices HIPAA;

  • It’s my emotional-support dog, and my lawyer says you have to let it into your store [eight years ago on Overlawyered, before these stories started getting common]

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December 14 roundup

by Ted Frank on December 14, 2006

  • Ford wins an Explorer rollover lawsuit brought by family of unseatbelted accident victim, but press coverage is skimpy. [Detroit News]
  • Milberg Weiss’s claims for $12 million in fees viewed skeptically, cut in half. [Lattman; WSJ]
  • Dog food prank plaintiff Tennie Pierce is “the O.J. of the Fire Department.” Contrary to what one may think, this is apparently meant as a compliment, suggesting a racial divide that can’t be entirely attributable to whites. [LA Times]
  • SDNY Clinton appointee Judge Scheindlin thinks she’s smarter than Judge Easterbrook, throws pension law into mess again. See POL Nov. 12 and Aug. 8 for background. [Business Insurance; Cooper v. IBM]
  • Nifong gets around to releasing DNA results that appear to exonerate indicted Duke lacrosse players. Earlier: Oct. 12, etc. [AP/ABC News]
  • Judge won’t censor Borat DVD, but frat-boy lawsuit goes forward. [Reuters]
  • Criminal speeds away from DC police, hits innocent motorist, DC taxpayers liable for $1M. [WaPo]
  • Similarly: negligent driver veers across three lanes of highway traffic into oncoming vehicle, killing 18-year old; taxpayers liable for $2M because SUV was able to smash through the median. [AP/King County Journal]
  • Today’s Ninth Circuit Follies edition: lawless reopening of final sentences. [Kerr @ Volokh; Bashman; Carrington v. US; Lat]
  • Robert Ramsey files two more lawsuits claiming simultaneous asbestosis and silicosis in Madison County against several dozen defendants. [Madison County Record]
  • UK: 100-pound fine for misfiling trash. [Market Center Blog via Overcriminalized]
  • Inhofe’s take on global warming. [Senate]
  • Trial lawyer puts money where his mouth is. Check back in ten years to see whether it’s lawyers or insurers who are really at fault for medmal insurance crisis. [Point of Law]
  • I blame the fact I joined Friendster for this. [PrawfsBlawg]

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November 27 roundup

by Ted Frank on November 27, 2006

  • In the Supreme Court November 29: Watters v. Wachovia. Also an AEI panel November 28, broadcast on C-SPAN1, 2pm to 4pm Eastern. [Point of Law; AEI; Zywicki @ Volokh]
  • Also in the Supreme Court November 29: Massachusetts v. EPA global warming regulation case. Previously an AEI panel November 21. [Adler @ Volokh; AEI; C-SPAN (Real Media)]
  • Legal cliche: If the facts are against you, pound the law; if the law is against you, pound the facts; if both are against you, pound the table. Table-pounding class of Gerry Spence protegee offers lessons in emotionally creating jury sympathy worth millions. [LATimes]
  • What judicial activism?, Part 7356: Indiana state court judge holds “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” unconstitutional, complains gun industry supported the law. [Indianapolis Star via Bashman; Indiana Law Blog]
  • Entertaining doctor victory in medmal case. [Musings of a Dinosaur via Kevin MD]
  • Dahlia Lithwick gets something right; if only it was on an issue more important than a suit advertisement. [Slate]
  • Leftover from Thanksgiving: lawyers acting like turkeys. [Ambrogi]
  • Ninth Circuit grants potential standing to monkeys over Kozinski dissent. Earlier: Oct. 21, 2004. [Bashman roundup of links]
  • Gloria Allred joins the Borat pile-on. [LATimes]
  • Speaking of, here’s the future case of Allred v. Kramer. More Allred: Oct. 16. [Evanier]
  • Speaking of Allred nostalgia, and of primates, whatever happened to chimpanzee victim St. James Davis? (Mar. 17, 2005; Mar. 8, 2005) [Inside Edition; "The Original Musings"; CNN Pipeline ($)]
  • More Allred nostalgia: is Veronica Mars‘ Francis Capra the next Hunter Tylo? Discuss. [Prettier than Napoleon]

October 30 roundup

by Ted Frank on October 30, 2006

  • My Oct. 28 WSJ op-ed is now on-line for free. [AEI]
  • Your tax dollars at work: $24.2 million for two 17-year-old trespassers burned by high-voltage electrical wires six feet above the top of an Amtrak train that they had climbed. The one who received “only” $6.8 million had injuries minor enough that he’s serving in the Army now. [Lancaster Online via Northridge Buzz Blog]
  • Refuting trial lawyers’ claims of repealing McCarran-Ferguson as a panacea for insurance rates. [Point of Law]
  • “At what point are these accommodations exacerbating learning disabilities, and creating life disabiltities?” [Ivey; Wall Street Journal]
  • $1.5 million verdict: plaintiff blamed her bipolar disorder on a nurse’s error that caused a lung to collapse. [Columbus Ledger-Enquirer; see also Kevin MD commenters]
  • Trial lawyers insult West Virginia businessmen for daring to challenge their hegemony. [Institute for Legal Reform]
  • Bank of America overcredits account, takes money back, gets hit with California state class action verdict that could cost billions. [Point of Law]
  • Latest Duke lacrosse case outrage: prosecutor’s office says it hasn’t even interviewed alleged victim. [Volokh; Outside the Beltway; Corner]
  • In anticipation of Philip Morris v. Williams, hear the great Sheila Birnbaum argue State Farm v. Campbell. [Oyez MP3 via Mass Torts Prof]
  • Kristol: the U.S. Senate still matters because of judicial nominations. [Weekly Standard]
  • Election challenge to Washington state incumbent Supreme Court justice who is supported by trial lawyers. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer via Bashman]
  • Don’t tell AG Lockyer, or he’ll want to sue the fat for global warming. [NY Times via Kevin MD]

October 27 roundup

by Ted Frank on October 27, 2006

  • Bill Moyers calls his lawyers. [Adler @ Volokh]
  • Jim Copland: 9/11 suits against New York City over emergency recovery work “simply wrong.” [New York Post]
  • Did the PSLRA help shareholders? [Point of Law]
  • 32-year-old Oregon grocery store employee sues, claiming that Green Day stole his never-recorded high-school writings. [Above the Law]
  • Does one assume the risk of a broken nose if one agrees to a sparring match at a karate school? [TortsProf]
  • “At KFC (né Kentucky Fried Chicken), the chicken is still fried. At Altria (né Philip Morris), the cigarettes still cause cancer. And at the American Association for Justice, some will say that the trial lawyers are still chasing ambulances.” [New York Times via Point of Law]
  • More on global warming lawsuits. [Point of Law]
  • Dahlia Lithwick, wrong again when bashing conservatives? Quelle surprise! [Ponnuru @ Bench Memos; see also Kaus] Earlier: POL Oct. 6 and links therein. Best commentary on New Jersey gay marriage decision is at Volokh.
  • Michael Dimino asks for examples of frivolous lawsuits. What’s the over-under until it turns into a debate over the McDonald’s coffee case? [Prawfsblawg]
  • Unintended consequences of campaign finance reform. [Zywicki @ Volokh; Washington Times]
  • Who’s your least favorite Supreme Court justice? [Above the Law]
  • More on Borat and the law. [Slate] Earlier on OL: Dec. 9 and links therein.
  • “Thrilled Juror Feels Like Murder Trial Being Put On Just For Her.” [Onion]
  • A revealing post by the Milberg Weiss Fellow at DMI: companies make “too much” profit. I respond: “Again, if you really think the problem is that insurance companies charge ‘too much’ and make ‘too much’ money, then the profitable solution is to take advantage of this opportunity and open a competing insurance company that charges less instead of whining about it. (Or, you could use a fraction of the profits to hire a dozen bloggers and thus solve the problem at the same time keeping the whining constant.)” [Dugger]

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In a first-of-its-kind suit, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer is demanding damages from automakers for the impact of global warming. “Because, after all, the California attorney general is the one who should be deciding national policy on the global warming controversy,” notes Ted at Point of Law. Even accepting Lockyer’s contentions at face value, autos sold in California contribute less than 1 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions (David Shepherdson, “Calif. sues over auto emissions”, Detroit News, Sept. 21).

Is Lockyer making it up as he goes along with the new suit, legal-theory-wise? It would seem so. His theory that autos constitute a nuisance have never been enacted as law even by the California legislature, yet he’s asserting it retroactively to punish past behavior by Detroit and Japan worldwide. His views clash strongly with those held by elected officials in many other states, which is one reason our system gives the U.S. Congress, rather than the California attorney general, the right to set national environmental policy. His notion that internal combustion engines might not be unlawful in themselves, but constitute nuisance in this case because manufacturers could be doing more to minimize their impact, makes as much sense (which is to say, no sense whatever) as if he sued California’s own drivers on the grounds that they contribute to the problem by taking unnecessary trips.

Prof. Bainbridge has quite a bit more to say about the abuse of power involved in using this type of litigation as an end run around the political branches of government which are the proper locus of authority on policy matters of this sort (Sept. 21).

Reader Earl Wertheimer writes: “I would rather see the automakers simply agree to stop selling cars in California. Let them walk & bicycle for a while. This would promote better fitness and also reduce future obesity lawsuits.”

Reader Loren Siebert writes: “I wonder if the discovery process will include how many motor vehicles the state of CA has purchased and operates.” And Nick Fenton at DTT Buzz has suggestions for more litigation (Sept. 20).

More: Lockyer “is unlikely to win” the suit, according to legal experts interviewed, especially since “a similar case brought by California and other states against utilities companies in 2004 failed in the courts”. “Even with a small chance of success, environmental advocates say the new legal action is useful and necessary”, one reason being “to pressure carmakers”. “I hope that automakers realise this will be the first of a series of lawsuits,” says Jim Marston of Environmental Defense. (Roxanne Khamsi, “California faces uphill battle on car emissions”, New Scientist, Sept. 22). EconBrowser (Sept. 24):

…the key question in my mind is not the extent to which reducing greenhouse emissions from vehicles may be a good idea, but rather whether, under previously existing U.S. law, it has been lawful to manufacture cars that emit carbon dioxide. I submit that it has, and if a judge somewhere now creatively determines that a company can be punished for such perfectly lawful behavior, then I fear that America is no longer a nation ruled by law, but rather ruled at the whim of whatever those currently wielding power happen to think might be a good idea.

Yet more: Brian Doherty, Reason “Hit and Run”, Sept. 21.

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“For no apparent reason, the state of California, Environmental Defense, and the Natural Resources Defense Council have dragged [MIT's Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology Richard] Lindzen and about 15 other global- warming skeptics into a lawsuit over auto- emissions standards. California et al. have asked the auto companies to cough up any and all communications they have had with Lindzen and his colleagues, whose research has been cited in court documents.” (Alex Beam, “MIT’s inconvenient scientist”, Boston Globe, Aug. 30).

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Can you sue over something that you claim will affect everyone in the planet in the distant future, even if that means that everyone on Earth can file a similar lawsuit now? The Supreme Court may address a similar question soon. The Supreme Court agreed today to consider whether the Bush administration must regulate carbon dioxide to combat potential global warming, in Massachusetts v. EPA.

Twelve states had sued the EPA to force it to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles. Although carbon dioxide is an integral component of the atmosphere, and does not contaminate or cause cancer, the states argued it constitutes air pollution covered by the Clean Air Act, because it may cause global warming over the long run.

A splintered three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-to-1 to reject the lawsuit, but the judges in the majority didn’t agree on why. Judge Sentelle would have rejected the suit for not complying with the Constitution’s requirement of standing, under which a plaintiff must allege particularized injuries, not a “generalized grievance” shared by much of the public at large (much less the entire planet). Judge Randolph, by contrast, was unsure of whether the plaintiffs had standing, but concluded that even if they did, and the EPA had jurisdiction to regulate carbon dioxide, the lawsuit should still be dismissed. He pointed out that regulating carbon dioxide on a state-by-state basis, as the Clean Air Act would do, made no sense, since global warming is a planet-wide concern. Thus, the EPA’s decision not to regulate carbon dioxide was sensible. By contrast, Judge Tatel’s dissent argued that the plaintiffs did have standing, since although everyone might be affected by global warming, they might be affected by it in different ways, with a coastal state being flooded while an arid state might become more arid.

In another lawsuit, attorney generals from seven states have sued out-of-state utilities under state nuisance laws, alleging that power plants, by generating carbon dioxide, are causing global warming. New York federal judge Loretta Preska dismissed their lawsuit in Connecticut v. American Electric Power Co. She, too, held that the plaintiffs lacked standing, since they complained of a generalized injury that would be better handled by the political process than by the courts.

If state attorney generals can sue power plants in distant states, that may lead to an explosion of interregional litigation, regional conflict, and judicial micromanagement of out-of-state utilities.

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New at Point of Law

by Walter Olson on September 14, 2004

Dozens of new posts at our sister site, including: plagiarism on the Harvard Law faculty; bill to revive Rule 11 sanctions for meritless litigation moving through House; more coverage of a lawyer’s attempt to collect “referral fee” of more than $140,000 from Illinois widow; Steve Bainbridge on attorney campaign donations and scoundrel Joe Kennedy; a sonnet on scientific evidence; class action fees in the InfoSpace and Ameritech cases, plus a paper on coupon settlements and an in-production Madison County movie; in praise of the Michigan Supreme Court; big fees in the really old days; public environmental suits, including the one on global warming; and Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus urges philanthropists to support legal reform.

For employment-law buffs, there are new posts on legal protection for messages on employee T-shirts, California and federal overtime regulations, and the Wal-Mart class action. For those who follow product liability there’s coverage of fen-phen fraud arrests, firearms liability and asbestos bankruptcies. Plus election-year politics, including Jim Copland, Ted Frank and more. Shouldn’t you bookmark it today?