Two doctors, frequent golf partners, were playing a round together when one was struck in the face at close range by the other’s ball. Lower courts dismissed the resulting case, which is now on appeal. [Lowering the Bar, WSJ Law Blog] Plus: WLF (“this is not a lawyer or doctor joke.”)
Coverage that exceeds expectations? “A Nassau County judge has ruled that MetLife must pay as much as $300,000 for Jacqueline Marshall to defend herself against a negligence lawsuit filed because her mentally ill son, Evan Marshall, then 31, decapitated and dismembered her neighbor.” [NY Post]
Following thirty years of battles, the Obama Administration signaled that it would extend federal recognition to the Shinnecock tribe. Of particular interest: “The tribe is also hoping to resolve more than $1 billion worth of land disputes in the Hamptons, including its claim to the site of the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, which has played host to the U.S. Open several times.” [NYT] Backed by casino promoters, the tribe filed a massive land claim in 2005 which I wrote about at the time in the NYT; a federal judge rejected the case the next year, following a turn against Indian land claims at the Second Circuit level.
The attorney’s multiple gigs representing Long Island school districts had touched off a furor and New York investigation. [ABA Journal] Update/related: Newsday.
“Parents and students at Tooker Avenue Elementary School bid a bittersweet adieu to home-baked goods Friday on the final day of class before a West Babylon district policy goes into effect that allows only prepackaged snacks.” [Newsday via Free-Range Kids; earlier]
And Scott Greenfield has a word or two to pick with District Attorney Kathleen Rice:
Allowing a woman who lied about a heinous crime being committed against her to avoid prosecution, causing four men who committed no crime to be arrested, smeared throughout the media, sit in jail and have their names perpetually tied to a gang rape, has no rational connection whatsoever to encouraging real victims to come forward. It does, however, have a strong connection to encouraging false accusations, since the conditions of counseling and community services offer little disincentive to not take the risk.
While our legal system is not much inclined to accord sanctions to the victims of meritless litigation, it does happen from time to time. [Vesselin Mitev, NYLJ; sanctions awarded against client John H. Libaire and Northport, L.I. attorney Mitchell A. Stein, who figured in 1990's "Lion Sleeps Tonight" case]
So Anthony Faggiani of East Islip, N.Y. is suing the Long Island Rail Road for “serious psychological injuries and distress.”
The divorce between Dr. Richard Batista of Ronkonkoma, Long Island, New York, and his wife Dawn has taken an unfortunate turn with Dr. Batista’s demand that she return his left kidney, which he had donated to her in a transplant operation. (Or at least its fair market value) Experts predict that the court will be less than sympathetic to his request [SSFC; Sally Satel, Daily Beast] And in Nebraska, the essential level of trust and goodwill that one would hope to see in a divorce has been undercut by William Lewton’s discovery of a secret recording device concealed in his four year old daughter’s teddy bear [WSJ Law Blog]
The American Tort Reform Association is out with its annual ranking of the jurisdictions where it thinks civil defendants are farthest from being assured a fair trial, and they are:
- West Virginia
- South Florida
- Cook County, Ill.
- Atlantic County, NJ
- Montgomery and Macon Counties, Ala.
- Los Angeles County, CA
- Clark County (Las Vegas), Nev.
The list reflects the views of big-company managers and lawyers as to tort lawsuits; a poll of, say, doctors might result in different nominations (Brooklyn, Bronx, Long Island*, Philadelphia) and one of class-action or patent-infringement defendants would likely produce yet other lists.
ATRA has a supplementary “Watch List”, nicknamed by some of us “Heckholes”, of toasty but not quite infernal jurisdictions, on which it places the Rio Grande Valley and Gulf Coast of Texas, Madison County, Ill., Baltimore, Md., and St. Louis city and county and Jackson County, Mo. It also offers side essays on notable scandals among high-rolling lawyers, trial lawyer-AG alliances, and pro-plaintiff’s-bar lobbying efforts.
Some coverage of the report: Pero, ShopFloor (with this and this on AG alliances), Ambrogi, Genova, CalBizLit (“We’re Number 6! We’re Number 6!), TortsProf, Miller (Baltimore), and Turkewitz (cross-posted from Point of Law; also note this recent post).
* Commenter VMS makes a case that Long Island does not belong on such a list.
Father and son Fritz Mesadieu and Jonathan Mesadieu say they were in the crowd during the now-notorious Black Friday crowd-crush episode at a Long Island Wal-Mart. They say they were left with neck and back pain for which they want $2 million. (Wisecracks about a stampede to court are in extremely poor taste and should be avoided.) Their attorney, who gets a prominent mention in the CNN coverage, is named as Kenneth Mollins, apparently the very same attorney Kenneth Mollins whose skill in transforming seemingly minor or transient injuries into litigation Ted saluted in June (h/t commenter Don Parks). (“Customers injured in crush suing Wal-Mart”, CNN, Dec. 2). More: Eric Turkewitz has some thoughts on the underlying liability issues, the Mesadieu/Mollins claim aside.