Posts tagged as:

Montana

Hyundai expects to appeal a $240 million punitive award in Montana [ABA Journal on award and causation dispute]

The rules for class actions seeking injunctive relief against unlawful conduct are looser in key respects than those for actions in which monetary relief is the object, in part because the consequences for absent class members are less serious. But what happens when shrewd counsel institute an action that is injunctive on its face, but actually crafted to tee up an entitlement to class damages? The Montana Supreme Court approved such a maneuver in a case now called Allstate Insurance Co. v. Jacobsen; now Cato has filed a brief seeking certiorari review of that decision, which raises important issues of class action fairness and practicality leading on from such recent high court decisions as Wal-Mart v. Dukes and Comcast v. Behrend. Read a summary here and the full brief here. More: Legal NewsLine (on Washington Legal Foundation brief).

Farm and food roundup

by Walter Olson on February 18, 2014

Free speech roundup

by Walter Olson on October 3, 2013

  • University of Montana professors who refuse Title IX training to be reported to federal government [FIRE, more, Missoulian] Professor yanked from public-university classroom over offensive out-of-class tweet [Popehat, Peter Bonilla/FIRE]
  • Preacher/historical fantasist/horrible human being Scott Lively has probably accomplished more actual evil in life than the picketers of the Westboro Baptist Church, yet it raises disturbing First Amendment questions to let him be sued in U.S. court for having urged foreign governments to be more oppressive [NBC News]
  • Speaking of wacky preachers, Florida sheriff says Terry Jones arrested for unlawful fuel transport and open gun carry, not because anyone disagreed with his speech [Orlando Sentinel, Volokh]
  • Critical speech annoys elected officials and that’s one reason we keep having to fight about campaign regulation [Barton Hinkle, Brad Smith on McCutcheon case, Ilya Shapiro on Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus]
  • Minnesota: “Ban on ‘Advis[ing or] Encourag[ing] … Another’ to Commit Suicide Violates First Amendment” [Eugene Volokh] Pennsylvania: “Crime to ‘Disparag[e]‘ an Under-18-Year-Old ‘With Intent to Harass’?” [same] Liking Facebook page presumptively protected speech [same] Veto override fails, so Missouri won’t enact proposed ban on publishing names of gun owners or concealed carry permit holders [same, followup]
  • Danish-Iranian artist convicted of “racism” after critical comments re: Muslim men [Copenhagen Post via @ClaudiaHajian]

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Free speech roundup

by Walter Olson on July 2, 2013

  • Paleo-diet blogger wins a round in battle with North Carolina occupational licensing [IJ via Alkon, earlier here, here, etc.]
  • If you live in Connecticut or Montana, you have a U.S. Senator who’d go this far to trample rights [Volokh on Tester-Murphy constitutional amendment, earlier] Related: “In Attack On Commercial Speech, Law Professor Sadly Supports Selective Rights” [Richard Samp, WLF, on Columbia's Tim Wu]
  • Lawyers sue publishers of medical literature for failing to warn about drug side effects [ABA Journal, Drug and Device Law]
  • “Anti-Bullying Bill Could Jail People Who Criticize Politicians” [Ted Balaker, Reason]
  • Regarding the L.A. Times: “So people are really suggesting a city council interfere to make sure a newspaper’s owners have the proper political views. Flabbergasting.” [@radleybalko]
  • “Judge: Rocker must pay Herald $132G in court costs for dismissed defamation suit” [Boston Herald] Second Circuit recognizes scientific-discussion defense to defamation claims [Science World Report]
  • “Does Freedom of Speech Conflict with Freedom of Religion?” [Jacob Mchangama video] “Turkish Blogger Sentenced to 13 Months in Prison for Criticizing Mohammed” [Volokh] So much repression: State Dept. International Religious Freedom Report for 2012 [executive summary]

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Step 2: Sue golf course because balls land constantly on your property. Step 3: Lose lawsuit. [Ravalli, Mont., Republic]

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Free speech roundup

by Walter Olson on March 10, 2012

  • Berkeley: “Police chief sends sergeant to reporter’s home after midnight to demand article revision” [Poynter] In 1932, a New York Congressman convened a hearing to blast theater critics for harming the welfare of Broadway shows [Philip Scranton, Bloomberg]
  • “Blasphemy and free speech” [Paul Marshall, Hillsdale "Imprimis," PDF] “Egyptian Christian Imprisoned for 6 Years for Insulting Mohammed” [Volokh]
  • What is it about Montana and election free speech these days? [Volokh] Judge denies Ron Paul campaign request to unmask source of anti-Huntsman video [Paul Alan Levy, earlier] “Eliot Spitzer Bucks Liberal Orthodoxy: ‘Citizens United Was Correct’” [TheDC] If you rely on the NY Times for what you know about Citizens United, you’re probably misinformed [Wendy Kaminer, Atlantic]
  • “In which Ben Bagdikian, alleged scourge of media monopolies, frets at the possibility of more TV channels” [BBC via Jesse Walker]
  • Guernsey as a haven for libel tourism? [Annie Machon] “Someday I will commission a study of the relationship between defamation lawsuit threats and illiteracy.” [@Popehat on Gawker item]
  • “Key Techdirt SOPA/PIPA Post Censored By Bogus DMCA Takedown Notice” [Mike Masnick]
  • Overly aggressive trademark lawyers? “Their mothers love them too, in a prone-to-sudden-weeping sort of way.” [Popehat; earlier on Louis Vuitton v. Penn Law case]

Environmental law roundup

by Walter Olson on December 16, 2011

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“The president of the Florence Park District says he’s disappointed in a system that allows a man riding a motorized bicycle on a winter night on a trail that doesn’t allow motorized vehicles to receive an insurance settlement. Half of the settlement came from a Florence bar because snow was pushed onto the trail when the bar parking lot was plowed.” [AP]

Citing text messages she sent her boyfriend shortly before the incident, Montana prosecutors contend that Justine Winter’s crash at 85 mph into an oncoming vehicle was a deliberate suicide attempt. Winter, who faces trial on homicide charges in the deaths of Erin Thompson, the woman she ran into, and Thompson’s 13-year-old son, has now sued Thompson’s estate as well as the construction company that built the interstate overpass where the accident occurred. [Daily Inter Lake, Siouxsie Law]

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A Montana jury decided that the aluminum baseball bat manufactured by “Louisville Slugger” maker Hillerich & Bradsby was not a defective product, but that the company should have warned of the dangers from its hitting balls at a higher speed, and awarded a family $850,000 for the 2003 death of their son at a baseball game. [Helena Independent Record, AP] Early commentary: Russell Jackson (doubting that a warning would actually have altered the behavior of those in the game) and Eugene Volokh (before verdict). Earlier here. More: Jim Copland discusses on CNN; Above the Law.

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And soon Bridget Kevane, a professor of Latin American and Latino literature at Montana State in Bozeman, found herself fighting a child endangerment rap. [Free Range Kids via Amy Alkon; Judith Warner, NYT]

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July 6 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 6, 2009

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A high-profile federal environmental prosecution has struck out following charges of prosecutorial misconduct as well as disputes over the quality of the evidence [Montana's News Station, Van Voris/Bloomberg] Carter Wood and others have been blogging the case at Point of Law, and a joint blog effort of the University of Montana’s law and journalism schools has given the case extensive coverage. See also Kirk Hartley.

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For years controversy has raged over a Las Vegas businessman and resort owner’s efforts to trademark the phrase, widely used as a description of Montana. (Missoula writer William Kittredge says he remembers coming up with the phrase himself.) Now, per TTA Blog, Montana Sen. Max Baucus has again included language in an appropriation bill to direct that (for the time being) no funds be expended by the PTO to register such a trademark.

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February 16 roundup

by Walter Olson on February 16, 2009

  • “Texas Judge Orders 178 Anonymous ‘John Does’ Who Posted on Topix Be Revealed” [Citizen Media Law]
  • $4 billion lawsuit over racially insensitive Miley Cyrus eye gestures [Michelle Malkin, TMZ.com]
  • Update: “Tulsa World drops lawsuit after writer apologizes” [Romenesko/Tulsa World, earlier]
  • Also update: “Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of John Lott’s Libel Lawsuit Against Steven Levitt” [Volokh, earlier]
  • “M-I-C — Cease and desist! K-E-Y — Why? Because we caught you! M-O-U-S-E” [Ron Coleman]
  • California: “Another Step Toward Shielding Good Samaritans From Civil Damages” [Calif. Civil Justice Blog, more]
  • Montana lawmakers consider bill saying hazardous recreation goes on at your own risk [PoL]
  • Senior writer at Wired decides to go work for Wal-Mart, what he found departed from the Barbara Ehrenreich formula [BoingBoing]

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Microblog 2008-12-22

by SSFC on December 22, 2008

Found here and there on the web, some matters on topic, some not:

This will have to be a short microblog, due to impending depositions, but it’s better than no microblog at all.

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Brian Schweitzer speech to AAJ

by Walter Olson on September 12, 2008

The Montana governor now claims he was just making up all those stories about using underhanded tactics to make sure his candidate won the U.S. Senate race, but his audience at the trial lawyers’ convention seemed to lap it up at the time. (Kirk Johnson, “Montana Officials Chastise Governor Over Boasts in Speech to Lawyers’ Group”, New York Times, Sept. 12; Rusty Shackleford, MT Pundit, Sept. 8; Robert Struckman, “Gov. Schweitzer’s Tampering Comments Spark Controversy”, New West Network, Sept. 10; Charles S. Johnson, “Schweitzer catches heat over July speech”, Helena Independent Record, Sept. 11; Jennifer McKee, “Bit of truth found in Gov. Schweitzer’s joke”, Missoulian, Sept. 12; speech).