- ObamaCare, Common Core, EPA policy all raise specter of federal commandeering of state governments [Richard Epstein and Mario Loyola, The Atlantic] Vocally supporting Common Core, William Bennett provides new reasons to be queasy about it [Neal McCluskey, Cato]
- Mom lets six-year-old play within sight of his own front door. Then Child Protective Services arrives [Haiku of the Day]
- Study finds no evidence California cellphone ban reduced accidents [The Newspaper]
- Or maybe if you’ve been in good health for 13 years it’s okay to let the grievance slide: pols, union leaders urge unimpaired WTC rescuers to enroll for possible future compensation [AP/WCBS]
- “Thomson Reuters Thinks Not Responding To Their Email Means You’ve Freely Licensed All Your Content” [Mike Masnick, TechDirt]
- New frontiers in urban expropriation: San Francisco imposes crushing new “relocation assistance” burden on rental owners [Pacific Legal Foundation]
- A lesson in standing up for individual liberty, and not being discouraged by setbacks [my Cato Institute piece on Lillian Gobitis Klose’s flag-pledge case, Donald Boudreaux/Cafe Hayek]
- Dodd-Frank, arms-trade laws serve to entrench bigger business against smaller [Tim Carney, Rand Simberg] Similarly with automakers and coal producers [David Henderson]
- One guess as to why: “Many Physicians Feel They’re Delivering Too Much Care” [WSJ health blog, CJAC] Insurers report incidence of med-mal claims has dropped, severity has increased [National Underwriter] Roundtable on defensive medicine [Orthopedics Today]
- Pinball Hall of Fame adversary doesn’t like being called a vexatious litigant [Las Vegas Weekly via @loweringthebar]
- U.K. “Solicitors from Hell” gripe site has so far defied multiple efforts to shut it down [Independent]
- WTC dust inhalation suits grind on on despite doubts on scientific effect [PoL, more] “Improbable Chain of Events Dooms Con Ed’s 9/11 Lawsuit” [Mark Hamblett, NYLJ]
- Nathan Glazer’s work in perspective, and an interview [City Journal];
- In the mail: Curtis Wilkie’s Dickie Scruggs book, “The Fall of the House of Zeus.”
- Are you a member of Tyson chicken or H&R Block Express IRA class action settlements?
- Jim Copland on Harry Reid and the trial bar. [NRO]
- Jim Copland on the Ground Zero settlement, which may pay lawyers $200 million—but the judge plans fee scrutiny. [NY Post; NY Daily News]
- Kevin LaCroix interviews the Circle of Greed authors. [D&O Diary]
- Judgeships: Rhode Island lead paint trial lawyer in despite mediocre rating, but Sri Srinivasan out because of his clients—not Al Qaeda, but, heaven forfend, eeeevil corporations like Hertz.
- There’s no evidence that workers on automotive brakes (which sometimes contain asbestos) get mesothelioma at a greater rate than the rest of the population, but auto companies still get sued over it. Ford fought one in Madison County, rather than settle, and won. [Madison County Record]
- Overview of defensive medicine at work. [AP]
- Pantsless Rielle Hunter on John Edwards: “He’s very honest and truthful.” [GQ]
Unfortunately, the story incorrectly refers to AEI as a “lobbying organization,” which it is definitively not. It is unimaginable how the Times could have made this mistake, given that just three weeks ago, they had to correct an identical mistake; the senior editor has promised me a correction.
I just got to the September 15 issue near the bottom of my pile of unread mail, and there’s an excellent piece of reporting by Jennifer Kahn on the case of James Zadroga, the police officer who worked at Ground Zero in the wake of 9/11 whose death was attributed to exposure to dust and was a symbol for the thousands of plaintiffs in that litigation–until the New York medical examiner found evidence that prescription drug injections were responsible for the lung scarring. Kahn’s article is tremendously damning on that question. Zadroga’s name was successfully used to get legislation passed in New York state, and similar legislation (on which I testified) is pending in Congress to open the taxpayer fisc to thousands of questionable claims.
Watch what you say about lawyers dept.: The high-profile mass tort firm of Napoli Bern Ripka and Associates LLP recently filed a defamation suit in Suffolk County, N.Y. against ex-client Scott Spielberg, a former cab driver who lives in Nevada.
The firm claims that Mr. Spielberg defamed the firm when he wrote to the office of the Manhattan district attorney asking prosecutors to open an investigation into what Mr. Spielberg alleges is the firm’s mishandling of earlier litigation involving the diet drug fen-phen.
The lawsuit also claims that Mr. Spielberg slandered the firm in conversations he had with a New York Times reporter, Anthony DePalma, who wrote a lengthy article about the involvement of a name partner at the firm, Paul Napoli, in the fen-phen litigation.
Yet, Mr. DePalma’s article doesn’t quote Mr. Spielberg or mention him at all. Napoli Bern is representing the vast majority of thousands of ground zero workers in their suits alleging that the city failed to protect them from toxins at the site that have caused respiratory and other illnesses. …
“They don’t want me to be able to talk to the press or law enforcement,” Mr. Spielberg said of the suit against him.
(Joseph Goldstein, “Seeking To Cut Off Criticism, Law Firm Sues Former Client”, New York Sun, Jun. 6).
Things I should’ve said: that a dictator did a good job in the past hardly means that a dictatorship is a good idea, even if you can reappoint the same dictator. But one can be dumbfounded by the stupidity of some questions.
In Sunday’s Times reporter Anthony DePalma takes a much-needed look at attorney Paul Napoli and his Napoli Bern law firm, which is now representing thousands of plaintiffs claiming injury from 9/11 dust inhalation and before that made its name in the fen-phen litigation. Among the controversies that have trailed it to the present day from that affair: charges that it divvied up settlements in a way favorable to its own fee interests, and that it used unreliable “echo mill” expert reports from echocardiologists attesting injury to fen-phen claimants. Prof. Lester Brickman, friend of this site, is quoted extensively. See our extensive earlier coverage at Overlawyered: Dec. 16, 2002, Sept. 21, 2003, etc. (echo mills); Dec. 28, 2001, Feb. 14, 2005, and Mar. 29, 2007 (settlement practices); Feb. 25, 2008 (broad net cast in 9/11 suits)(cross-posted from Point of Law).