Posts tagged as:

lawyering vs. privacy

The capabilities of onboard GPS systems keep getting more impressive. And the product liability implications might nudge Detroit into using the information in ways unwelcome to customers, for fear of being blamed otherwise for crashes they might have prevented. [Volokh]

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  • Reminder: Second Amendment rights run against the government, not against your employer or other private parties [Eugene Volokh]
  • Invasion of privacy? Employees continue to win awards and settlements by way of surreptitious recording devices in workplace [Jon Hyman]
  • Gov. Brown signs bill creating overtime entitlement for California nannies, private health aides [Reuters, L.A. Times]
  • Does rolling back a benefit under a public employee pension plan violate the Contracts Clause? [Alexander Volokh, Reason Foundation]
  • Even as anti-bullying programs backfire, some propose extending them to workplace [Hans Bader, CEI, earlier]
  • Background on Harris v. Quinn, SCOTUS case on herding family home carers into union fee arrangements [Illinois Review, earlier]
  • “California unions target business-friendly Dems” [Steve Malanga]

Because you thought he was some kind of big privacy advocate or something? “Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed the data as part of an investigation into the website stemming from a 2010 law that makes it illegal to use such sites to rent out your own apartment.” He says he’s after the 15,000 or so customers who used the service to let guests stay on their premises for a fee. Next: Craigslist? [New York Daily News, Matt Welch/Reason]

Procedure roundup

by Walter Olson on September 12, 2013

Perhaps inevitably, following revelations that NSA surveillance data is being passed on to law enforcement for use against drug crimes and other non-terrorist offenses, criminal defense lawyers are demanding that the government turn over surveillance-obtained data and recordings that might help their clients’ case. And thus do telephone and online records that would once have been considered private wind up spilling out to wider circles of users for wider ranges of purposes. How long before we begin to see attempts to use them in civil suits? [Miami Herald]

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Growing out of the press-hacking scandal that has stirred so much outrage: “one of the key hackers mentioned in the report has admitted that 80 per cent of his client list was taken up by law firms, wealthy individuals and insurance firms while only 20 per cent of clients were from the media. … the most common industry employing criminal private detectives is understood to be law firms, including some of those involved in high-end matrimonial proceedings and litigators investigating fraud on behalf of private clients.” [Independent]

“…for evidence in murder, divorce cases.” [Bob Sullivan, NBC News]

May 10 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 10, 2011

  • Hey, why don’t we invade people’s privacy so we can recruit them as figureheads for our privacy-invasion class action? [Cal Biz Lit, earlier on Starbucks pot-convictions case] Class-action coupon settlements are a no-win for consumers [Michelle Singletary, WaPo]
  • “Former Silicosis Clients Sue O’Quinn Law Firm, Estate” [Texas Lawyer via PoL, related earlier]
  • Gathering ammunition for suits: “Are your employees recording you?” [Hyman]
  • Canada: “Inflatables too dangerous for school fair” [Free-Range Kids]
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of medical liability reforms [Kachalia & Mello, NEJM]
  • “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About ‘Judge Judy’” [TV Squad]
  • “Woman awarded $45,000 after dog kills cat” [six years ago on Overlawyered]

What did law and lobbying firm Hunton & Williams know, and when did it know it, about subcontractor proposals to employ hardball and covert tactics against critics of Bank of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, including in one instance what has been reported as “the identification of vulnerabilities in critics’ computer networks that might be exploited”? [Brad Wendel/Legal Ethics Forum, BLT, Above the Law] Per Above the Law, “Based on what we know now, it doesn’t seem like Hunton actually accepted or endorsed any of these tactics, nor does it seem that Bank of America or the Chamber of Commerce knew about or signed off on ‘Project Themis,’ protecting them from legal fall-out.” But if Hunton was in fact sure to greet the proposed tactics with shock and dismay, why had the subcontractors imagined that they would fall on welcoming ears?

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July 22 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 22, 2010

  • Update from Germany: “Teacher Loses ‘Rabbit-Phobia’ Trial” [Spiegel, earlier]
  • Farther shores of for-your-own-goodery: “Should Obese Kids Be Placed In Foster Care?” [Katz, CBS News]
  • Just one problem with that $725 million AIG securities suit settlement [D&O Diary]
  • After Texas passed bill requiring evidence of impairment, more than 99% of silicosis claimants dropped out [LNL, PoL]
  • Lindsay Lohan disserved by lawyer who can’t keep a confidence [Turkewitz]
  • Pearlstein’s the Washington Post’s anti-business business columnist [McArdle, Wood/ShopFloor]
  • Lawyer shenanigans in Fosamax trial in New York [Walk, Drug & Device Law]
  • Unwelcome surprise: health care bill turns out to tax many house sales [David Boaz, Cato at Liberty]

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Daniel Schwartz doesn’t think much of this private venture.

P.S. A moving target, it seems.

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Online courthouse files are a giant privacy/security breach waiting to happen. [Eric Turkewitz]

“A spouse can legally conceal the GPS in the glove compartment or seat pocket, and depending upon the model of the GPS, track his or her partner’s whereabouts in real time.” [Legal Blog Watch; Chicago Sun-Times]

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Mining data from your highway tolls, micropayments, instant messages and Twitter for purposes of litigation.

Adding color to the legal woes of the controversial American Apparel chief is the identity of the lawyer suing him, Keith Fink, Esq., who’s known for getting negative tidbits about his Hollywood adversaries into the papers. (Alex Ebner, Hollywood Interrupted, Nov. 30; WSJ law blog, Nov. 12). Earlier here, etc.

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Nowhere to hide

by Walter Olson on November 15, 2008

When your litigation opponent subpoenas your Facebook, Amazon, MySpace, Flickr, LinkedIn and (locked) Twitter pages (& Likelihood of Confusion).

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November 4 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 4, 2008

  • Thanks to guestbloggers Victoria Pynchon (of Negotiation Law Blog) and Jason Barney for lending a hand last week;
  • Will the U.S. government need to sponsor its own motorcycle gang in order to hold on to trademark confiscated from “Mongols” group? [WSJ law blog]
  • With a little help for its friends: Florida Supreme Court strikes down legislated limits on fees charged by workers’ comp attorneys [St. Petersburg Times, Insurance Journal]
  • Stripper, 44, files age discrimination complaint after losing job at Ontario club [YorkRegion.com, Blazing Cat Fur via Blog of Walker] The stripper age bias complaint we covered eight years ago was also from Ontario;
  • Federal judge green-lights First Amendment suit by college instructor who says he was discriminated against for conservative political beliefs [NYLJ] (link fixed now)
  • Judge orders parties to settle dispute over noisy parrots after it reaches £45,700 in legal costs [Telegraph]
  • How to make sure you’re turned down when applying for admittance to the bar [Ambrogi, Massachusetts]
  • Questions at depositions can be intended to humiliate and embarrass, not just extract relevant information [John Bratt, Baltimore Injury Lawyer via Miller]

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October 29 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 29, 2008