You know, the money that was said to be so vital to fund “tobacco control” programs. What percentage of the state of Massachusetts’s haul (more than $250 million a year from legal settlement proceeds, aside from outright taxes) do you think actually gets spent on such things? Guess, then click through to my new Cato post.
A man who showed up at court in Springfield, Mass. to deal with a traffic ticket mistakenly wound up on a jury. The jury proceeded to hear the evidence and closing statements and convict the defendant; the judge declared a mistrial after it emerged that the man, who spoke limited English, had gotten on to the panel by accident. [MassLive]
Public health busybodies call on UK government to set minimum price for alcoholic drinks [Telegraph] Carrie Nation never thought of this: anti-booze campaigners target its calorie count [Baylen Linnekin] New York state plans anti-alcohol campaign [NY Post]
“Will Litigation over Playground Injuries Create a Generation of Neurotics?” [WSJ via ABA Journal]
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick reassigns his exceedingly accident-prone state highway director [Boston Globe, Ilya Somin]
“Magnet spheres may soon be harder to acquire than ammunition in the U.S.” as Buckyballs gives up [Anthony Fisher/Reason, earlier] And from Twitter: “Those 0.0 deaths per year were not in vain.” [@TPCarney modifying @bigtimcavanaugh]
“Mary Cain wants $3000 damages from the street car company for a ‘sudden jerk.’ MO1917″ [@tweetsofold]
“No Liquid Soap Allowed in Pre-School Bathroom: Children Might Drink It” [Free-Range Kids]
And finally, the catchy, unsettling safety promotion video that’s been everywhere the last week or two, from the Melbourne transit authority:
“Statutes of Limitations Apply Especially to Government Agencies” [Ilya Shapiro on Cato Institute amicus brief in Gabelli/SEC case] “The rule of lenity is violated when people go to prison for breaking ambiguous laws/regulations.” [Roger Marzulla, Federalist Society "Engage"]
Sen. Rand Paul on the Missouri rabbit breeder case [Daily Caller]
Visual representation of debate result (courtesy Chris Fountain) “Obama should have spent more time in court” [David Frum] “Can you imagine the rewards points we earned by paying for wars with the national credit card?” [@BCAppelbaum via @TPCarney]
Update: Thompson is now taking the allegations more seriously based on new information unearthed by William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection about Warren’s representation of a Massachusetts client on issues arising from Massachusetts law. But John Steele at Legal Ethics Forum does not find the representation as described (in a federal bankruptcy court) to raise UPL flags. For one state’s view on whether admission to practice before a federal bankruptcy court is a valid defense to charges of UPL concerning state-law issues ancillary to that practice, see also In the Matter of the Reinstatement of Mooreland-Rucker, Oklahoma Supreme Court, 2010 (thanks to a reader for the tip). More: Bader.
California politicos seek crackdown on lenders’ supposed “retaliation” against municipalities considering seizing mortgages by eminent domain: “You Can’t Use Voluntary Action to Try to Stop Government Coercion” [Coyote; earlier here, here, here] Will Congress step in to shut down the grab? [Kevin Funnell]
“The government of Honduras has signed a deal with private investors for the construction of three privately run cities with their own legal and tax systems.” [A Thousand Nations, Todd Zywicki, FedSoc Blog]
A Philadelphia business owner decides to clean up and improve an adjacent, neglected city-owned lot, and soon has sad cause for regret [Philly Law Blog]
“According to the bylaw approved by residents in April, it will be illegal to sell non-sparkling and unflavored drinking water in single-serving plastic bottles of 1 liter or less in Concord on or after Jan. 1, 2013.” Jean Hill, the chief proponent of the measure, cited environmental concerns and said, “I feel bottled water is a waste of money.” Thanks for saving us from that temptation, ma’am! [Boston Globe; Wicked Local Concord]
I dreamed someone sabotaged the memory care unit by switching Rosa DeLauro’s name tag with Rosa Luxemburg’s [Fox; Raising Hale, Labor Union Report with more on alleged nursing home sabotage and the Connecticut pols that enable it]
New York’s Scaffold Law will inflate cost of Tappan Zee Bridge rebuild by hundreds of millions, according to Bill Hammond [NYDN]
“In Michigan, a ballot measure to enshrine union rights” [Reuters, WDIV]
Massachusetts voters rejected unionizing child care providers, but legislature decided to do it anyway [Boston Herald]
Thanks to reader Hugo Cunningham for spotting this in a new Boston Globe report on the failure of the Massachusetts state medical board to post physicians’ disciplinary problems and other performance issues online:
Another major omission has resulted from a Catch-22-like requirement in state law. Russell Aims, the … chief of staff
[of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine], said the board used to post digital copies of its disciplinary orders [for medical malpractice]. But an online accessibility law requires that documents be available in a text-to-speech format for the visually impaired.
Because the PDF format of the disciplinary records is not compatible with text-to-speech software, Aims said, the law dictates that such records cannot appear in the database. If the visually impaired cannot access the information, then no one can.
A Newburyport, Mass. attorney formerly with the big personal injury firm of Kreindler and Kreindler has been suspended from practice for two years “after Suffolk County judges ruled she falsely claimed she was also a medical doctor.” The firm reportedly was unaware of the imposture (no one checked, then? ) and cited her nonexistent credential in its promotional materials. [Newburyport News]
“Paper Airplane? Late for School? Shouting Too Loud? You’re Under Arrest!” [Free-Range Kids, Texas]
Spielberg in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” paid homage to earlier movie sequences without sweating permissions. Oh, for those days [Joho] “Cultural gems that should be in the public domain today” [Atlantic Wire, Tabarrok]
UPS settlement exaggerates benefits to class members [Ted Frank; related, CCAF] “Federal Judges Have Harsh Words, Rulings for Class Action Plaintiffs’ Lawyers” [Lammi/WLF]
“Justice Breyer Calls Recusal Controversy a ‘Non-Issue’” [ABA Journal]
Robin Fretwell Wilson and Jana Singer debate on scope of religious exemptions in law’s recognition of same-sex marriage [FedSoc Engage] New Heritage backgrounder on same topic cites my writing (in the course of disagreeing). Michael Barone on the politics of the issue, and why he supports the evolution of the law [Examiner]
A new report for the Pioneer Institute by John Biebelhausen (Colorado) and Amy Lischko (Tufts) examines a range of policy options for improving the Massachusetts medical malpractice system, including “less traditional” options such as “contract liability,” a “method for patients to contract directly with doctors or health systems to establish pre-determined rules for compensation in the case of injury due to physician negligence.” ["Innovative Medical Liability Reform: Traditional and Non-Traditional Methods"]
Deal with ADA complainant averts closure of popular Popponesset Marketplace in Mashpee, Mass. [Cape Cod News]
Because it’s not as if NYC needs electricity or anything: Bloomberg gives $50 million to Sierra Club campaign to stop coal burning by utilities [WaPo] “Environmental justice” arguments deployed against pipeline that would bring Alberta tar sands oil to U.S. [John Kendrick, WLF]
Unimpaired have permanent right to sue: Fla. high court throws out asbestos-reform law [PBP]
Red tape demanded by quality-of-life progressivism suffices to strangle poorer urban economies [Walter Russell Mead]
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