- Colony collapse disorder, the honeybee ailment, was expected to have a dire effect on U.S. agriculture. Market-driven adjustments have helped prevent that [Walter Thurman, PERC]
- Adieu, Mimolette? Feds may be readying crackdown on imports of artisanal cheeses [Baylen Linnekin] “Food Safety Modernization Act Far More Costly Than Supporters Claimed” [Hans Bader, earlier here, here]
- “There may be no hotter topic in law schools right now than food law and policy” [Harvard Law School, quoted by Baylen Linnekin] New book, haven’t seen yet: Jayson Lusk, “The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate” [Amazon]
- Further thoughts on hot coffee injuries and lawsuits [Ted Frank]
- The gain in plains is mainly due to grains: residents of mountains and high-altitude areas have less obesity [Edible Geography] Restaurant labeling: per one study, “some evidence that males ordered more calories when labels were present” [Tim Carney] NYT’s Mark Bittman endorses tax on prepared food [SmarterTimes] “Michael Poppins: When the nanny acquired a police force” [Mark Steyn, NR on Mayor Bloomberg]
- Who’s demonizing Demon Rum these days, together with Wicked Wine and Baleful Beer? Check out an “alcohol policy” conference [Angela Logomasini, Open Market] Scottish government lobbies itself to be more prohibitionist [Christopher Snowdon]
- Bill filed by Rep Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) would cut off taxpayer funding of food-bashing propaganda [Michelle Minton; earlier here, etc.]
Humorous warning on a Canadian coffee cup: my new post at Cato at Liberty (with picture).
The best headline is at the ABA Journal: “Trump suit says he’s not ape spawn, seeks to collect on Maher’s ‘unconditional offer’”. Eugene Volokh writes that while Maher’s “orangutan” swipe was clearly a joke, the prospect of sanctions over a Trump court action isn’t. More: Lowering the Bar.
P.S. Someone in the Volokh comments section brings up the McDonald’s hot coffee case, provoking the usual misplaced condescension along lines paralleling the trial bar’s strenuous advocacy efforts on the issue. I do appreciate, though, the suggestion that I trademark the epithet “the goober at Overlawyered.”
P.P.S. Disgruntled beauty pageant contestant ordered to pay Trump $5 million.
- In Washington, DC today? Come to Cato New Media lunch where I’ll be on a panel on the nanny state;
- Future of food freedom looking brighter these days at state level [Baylen Linnekin] Polls looking good for it, too [same] “The FDA’s Pathetic Food Safety Proposal” [same]
- “Class claim against Crock-Pot seems a crock” [Sean Wajert]
- USDA issues proposed rules on vending machine fare and other school “competitive foods” [Lunch Tray, SmarterTimes, Julie Gunlock/IWF (good news: rules don’t address bake sales and birthday cupcakes. Bad news: why is this Washington’s business at all?)]
- Lawyer suing Subway over “Footlong” also handled controversial red-light camera action [NJLRA]
- So, lung, it’s been good to know you: fans of authentic Scottish haggis still vexed by US ban [BBC]
- “New Year, New Hot Coffee Case” [Abnormal Use]
- “Targeting the red plastic gas can”: how product liability bankrupted Oklahoma manufacturer Blitz [editorial, earlier]
- Summers v. Tice, the famous “which hunter shot him?” California tort case, re-examined [Kyle Graham, Green Bag/SSRN]
- Paul Taylor of House Judiciary makes a case for the constitutionality of broad federal tort reform [Suffolk University Law Review via Point of Law]
- New Ken Feinberg book on compensation plans in lieu of litigation [Scheuerman, TortsProf]
- Hot propaganda: filmmaker Susan Saladoff faces off against Victor Schwartz on “Hot Coffee” [TortsProf]
- Studies of tort reform’s effects underestimate effects of durable reforms by mixing them in with the many that are struck down by hostile courts [Martin Grace and Tyler Leverty, SSRN via Robinette, TortsProf]
- Membership in AAJ, the trial lawyers’ lobby, said to be on the decline [Carter Wood, PoL]
- Lacey Act madness: might Feds be empowered to disrupt summer concerts by seizing musicians’ Gibsons? [Bedard, DC Examiner; earlier; recent Heritage Foundation work; reworded to reflect comment from “Density Duck,” below]
- Contributors to new “Privatization Blog” include friend of this blog Coyote, e.g. here and here;
- “Big Government Causes Hyper-Partisanship in the Judicial Appointment Process” [Ilya Shapiro] Fuels Culture War, too: “The faster the state expands, the more likely it is to violate your values” [Matt Welch]
- Demagogy on expatriates: Schumer proposal for stiff tax on emigrants may have read better in original German [Ira Stoll, Roger Pilon/Cato, Paul Caron/TaxProf]
- Georgia high court considers $459 million fax-spam verdict [AJC, AP, my take] “Hot fuel” class actions enrich the usual suspects [PoL]
- New rebuttal to trial lawyer/HBO movie “Hot Coffee” [Victor Schwartz et al, auto-plays video] Ted Frank crossed swords with Litigation Lobby on the movie in January, particularly on the question of coffee temperature and the Liebeck case [PoL]
- Overlawyered “will become the first [law] blog teenager this summer” [Bruce Carton, Legal Blog Watch] “I’ve been a fan of Walter Olson’s Overlawyered blog for years.” [Amy Alkon, Advice Goddess] Thanks!
- Illinois now requires showing of ID, signing of log to buy drain cleaner. So long as you’re not trying to vote! [Consumerist via @amyalkon]
- Tribute to no-longer-anonymous Ken White of Popehat and his work defending bloggers from legal threats [Scott Greenfield; earlier; Ken’s defense in Maryland of blogger Aaron Worthing; new case of science blogger in Texas]
- Politicos mobilize against risk that Wal-Mart will bring fresh produce choices to Harlem [Greg Beato] India frets about whether to allow chain stores, recapitulating a debate U.S. once went through [Tabarrok, MR]
- Colorado legislators honored at a luncheon where I spoke [CCJL]
- HHS launches initiative to audit health providers for compliance with HIPAA data privacy law, and many are unprepared [American Medical News, Dana Thrasher, Dom Nicastro/HealthLeaders Media]
- New scholarship on effects of Twombly/Iqbal [Drug and Device Law series first, second, third, CL&P]
- Congratulations to the outstanding Abnormal Use for winning the ABA’s “Blawg 100” vote for best torts blog; we feel pretty good about placing third without mounting a campaign. While exploring that site, don’t miss its stellar coverage of the tendentious documentary “Hot Coffee”.
Another law professor finds the hot-coffee and obesity lawsuits admirable, and Ted Frank once more begs to differ.
“When consumers in California visit the Dunkin’ Donuts website hoping to order a bag of their favorite java, they are met with the following message: ‘Important Notice: We are temporarily suspending the shipment of orders to California while we work to comply with Proposition 65 with the State of California. We apologize for any inconvenience.'” Acrylamide, a compound naturally present in many roasted or cooked foods, is among the hundreds of substances that must be warned against under Prop 65, which has led, as we noted in May, to a lawsuit against more than 40 coffee companies. [TechNewsWorld] Author Vivian Wagner quotes me:
“The law empowers private litigants to enforce its terms without having to show that any consumer has been exposed to any material or substantial risk, let alone harmed,” Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, told the E-Commerce Times. “As a result, entrepreneurial law firms roam the state identifying new, often far-fetched, unwarned-of risks and extracting cash settlements along with promises to warn from hapless defendants.”
- Per New Jersey court, overly sedentary home office job can result in valid worker’s comp claim [Courier-Post, NJLRA]
- Trial bar’s AAJ denies it played “direct” role in backing “Hot Coffee” [WaPo, some background]
- “Cop repeatedly harasses waitresses, never disciplined. Feds defend their civil rights by . . . suing the restaurant.” [Palm Beach Post via Radley Balko]
- On “unauthorized practice of law” as protective moat around profession’s interests, Britain does things differently [Gillian Hadfield via Andrew Sullivan; related, Larry Ribstein] Forthcoming book by Robert Crandall et al urges lawyer deregulation [Brookings]
- “The Treaty Clause Doesn’t Give Congress Unlimited Power” [Ilya Shapiro, Cato on Golan v. Holder case headed to Supreme Court]
- The small bank regulatory shakedown blues [Kevin Funnell] Why is the Department of Justice including gag orders as part of its enforcement decrees against banks on race and lending? [Investors Business Daily via PoL] “Emigrant fights back against mortgage-discrimination suits” [Fisher, Forbes] Dodd-Frank squeezing out community banks [Funnell]
- “North Carolina to Seize Speeding Cars That Fail to Pull Over” [The Newspaper] “With what, a tractor beam?” [James Taranto]