Remarks by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have brought an old topic of mine — gunmaker liability, and the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act — back into the news [Brian Doherty, Reason] I last wrote about it in this piece for Power Line Blog two years ago, and the attempt to use coordinated litigation to take down the gun industry, thus achieving gun control by other means, was the subject of a chapter in my 2004 book The Rule of Lawyers.
“Sen. Sanders goes one step further. He would require that nominees publicly commit to case outcomes…. Although under President Sanders’ proposal judicial impartiality in fact and in appearance will suffer, there is a bright side. If President Sanders filled a majority of seats on the Court with pre-committed Justices, lawyers before the Court could significantly reduce the time and effort expended on the argument sections of their briefs.” [Raymond McKoski, Legal Ethics Forum]
Note also that Sanders managed to find a position on Citizens United worse than Hillary Clinton’s “Banning a critical movie about me should’ve been OK.”
“I’m going to make sure that some employers go to jail for wage theft and all the other abuses that they engage in,” said unpaid-intern-using presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at a Labor Day rally in Illinois. [Tom S. Elliott, National Review] The elastic epithet “wage theft” has been used to describe employer practices ranging from permitting employees to send work-related email after hours to failing to anticipate claims that employees who applied for and happily worked at fixed-salary jobs should instead have been classified as hourly and paid overtime.
- Really, I never want to hear one word ever again about Gov. Andrew Cuomo being “at least good on economic issues” [Peter Suderman and Nick Gillespie, Reason (New York will mandate $15/hour for most fast-food workers, which in many upstate cities could amount to 75 percent of average wage); Heather Briccetti/New York Post (activists bused from one hearing to next to jeer opponents); Nicole Gelinas/City Journal (Cuomo picks online guy to represent business on brick-and-mortar-endangering wage board), Joanna Fantozzi/The Daily Meal (possible legal challenge); Coyote on Card and Krueger study]
- Labor markets don’t behave the way sentimental reformers wish they behaved, part 53,791 [Seattle minimum wage hike: Mark Perry (largest half-year decline in foodservice jobs in region since Great Recession; but see, Brian Doherty on problems with that number series) and Rick Moran (“Employees are begging their bosses to cut their hours so they can keep their food stamps, housing assistance, and other welfare benefits.”); David Brooks via Coyote]
- Employers scramble to monitor, control time worked in response to Obama overtime decree [WSJ] “No one wants to go back to filling out time sheets…. managers fear (rightly) that I will have to set arbitrary maximum numbers of work hours for them.” [Coyote] Business resistance aims for the moment at (deliberately abbreviated) public comment period [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner] “Can Obama Really Raise Wages for Millions of People So Easily? Quick answer: no” [David Henderson; WSJ/@scottlincicome on seasonal pool-supply company]
- Hillary Clinton and the Market Basket Stores myth [James Taranto]
- Labor Department proposes tightening regulation of retirement financial advisers [Kenneth Bentsen, The Hill]
- Proposed: “well-orchestrated” state ballot initiatives aimed at overturning employment at will [Rand Wilson, Workplace Fairness] My view: “Everybody wins with at-will employment” [Ethan Blevins, Pacific Legal amicus briefs in Supreme Court of Washington, followup on oral argument, and thanks to PLF for citing my work in its amicus brief in Rose v. Anderson Hay and Grain; much more on employment at will in my book The Excuse Factory, also some here]
- The SEIU’s home caregiver membership motel: you can check in, but just try checking out [Watchdog Minnesota Bureau]
- House Ways & Means — yep, Charlie Rangel’s own — passes bill slamming taxpayers for innocent errors [James Peaslee, WSJ, via Alkon]
- Must protect the children! “Parents banned from British school sports event” [Common Room] After-school pickup procedures can get a little crazy too [Free-Range Kids, Florida]
- Once again, America’s Most Irresponsible Public Figure® (that’d be RFK Jr.) sounds off on an environmental dispute to which he turns out to have personal financial ties [Greenwire via Eco-Pragmatism]
- Allegations in ugly Florida law firm breakup include misallocation of Hillary Clinton campaign money [DBR]
- When in court, try to avoid following the example of “Girls Gone Wild” impresario Joe Francis [Lowering the Bar and more, earlier]
- “Judge Allowed to Sue N.Y. Daily News, But Not a Lawyer Thought to Be a Source” [ABA Journal, NYLJ]
- New Hampshire judge rules for divorced father who disapproves of homeschooling [Volokh]
- ABA Journal is taking nominations for its annual best-of “Blawg 100” list [hint, nudge]
Daniel Libit at Politico (Dec. 17) quotes me in a new piece on Judicial Watch, the more-or-less-conservative activist group that brought disrepute on itself in the Clinton years by advancing litigation (often of highly dubious merit) as a scorched-earth method of politics-by-other-means. Since the departure of eccentric founder Larry Klayman the group has been edging back toward respectability, but the return of Hillary Clinton to the Executive Branch seems to have rekindled a “Pavlovian” impulse to sue first and think later.
The ten big donors who bootlessly pledged up to $12 million include some familiar names, such as John Eddie Williams and Peter Angelos, as well as a new one, Calvin C. Fayard, Jr., of the firm Fayard & Honeycutt, A.P.C., who boasts connections with former Louisiana AG Charles Foti (Folo, Mar. 20; “Michigan Missives”, The Caucus (NY Times), Mar. 19).
- Speaking of prostitutes and politicians, Deborah Jeane Palfrey has come to recognize that Montgomery Blair Sibley (Oct. 29; May 4; etc.) may not be the best lawyer for her. [WTOP via BLT]
- Update: Nearly two years later, trial court gets around to upholding $2 million verdict in lawn-mower death we covered Jun. 16 and Aug. 18, 2006. [Roanoke Times (quoting me); opinion at On Point]
- In other lawn mower news, check out Jim Beck’s perceptive comment on a Third Circuit lawn-mower liability decision.
- Update: Willie Gary wins his child-support dispute. [Gary v. Gowins (Ga.); Atl. Journal-Const.; via ABA Journal; earlier: Nov. 2]
- Tobacco-lawyer Mike Ciresi drops out of Minnesota senate race. [WCCO]
- Belfast court quashes libel ruling against restaurant critic. [AFP/Breitbart]
- Trial-lawyer-blogger happy: jury returned $1.25 million med-mal verdict for death of totally disabled person suffering from end-stage renal disease, pulmonary hypertension, oxygen dependent lung disease, and obesity, after rejecting businessperson from jury “for cause” because he was head of local Chamber of Commerce. [Day]
- Car-keying anti-military attorney Jay Grodner faced the law in January; here’s the transcript. [Blackfive]
- Anonymous blog post not reliable evidence of factual allegations. [In re Pfizer, Inc. Sec. Litig., 2008 WL 540120 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 28, 2008) via Roberts, who also reports on fee reduction in same post]
- Clinton’s nutty mortgage plan. [B&MI (quoting me)]
- A supposed DC cabbie’s take on DC v. Heller. [DC Cabbie blog]
Before they officially became presidential candidates, the Illinois and New York senators co-authored an article in the May 25, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, entitled “Making Patient Safety the Centerpiece of Medical Liability Reform.” (See: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/354/21/2205)
They sympathized with physicians over escalating insurance costs and condemned the current tort system for creating an “intimidating liability environment.” Still, Clinton and Obama said, it’s more important to focus on how to improve patient safety than “areas of intense disagreement,” such as caps on financial awards to patients.
They introduced legislation, which died in committee in 2006, to provide money and assistance to physicians, hospitals, insurers, and health care systems to start programs for disclosure of medical errors and compensation to patients. The bill would have created an office of patient safety and health care quality to establish a database to track incidents of malpractice and fund research into guidelines to prevent future injuries.
“Physicians would be given certain protections from liability … in order to promote a safe environment for disclosure. … This legislation would provide doctors and patients with an opportunity to find solutions outside the courtroom. In return, [hospitals, insurers, and others] would be required to use savings achieved by reducing legal defense costs to reduce liability insurance premiums and to foster patient-safety initiatives.”
That’s the most favorable thing I’ve heard about Hillary Clinton in quite a while; naturally, it’s provoking heartburn in some quarters where Dellinger is viewed as neither leftist enough nor pro-litigation enough. (Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones blog, Jan. 28).