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North Carolina

At Duke on Friday

by Walter Olson on February 20, 2013

On Friday at Duke Law School, the Duke Forum for Law and Social Change is giving its annual symposium, this year’s subject being legal approaches to obesity prevention. The organizers have kindly invited me to participate in a late morning panel, where my views are likely to differ from those of the other participants; details here.

If you’d like to book me to speak at your own event or campus, contact me directly at editor – at – overlawyered – dot – com, through the Cato Institute’s Events staff, or, if you’re associated with a Federalist Society chapter, through the Society’s national office.

Doormat warning

by Walter Olson on December 26, 2012

Courtesy Michael Schearer:

(& welcome Above the Law, Free-Range Kids readers)

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Don’t

by Walter Olson on November 20, 2012

If you’re a lawyer who specializes in defending DWIs (or even if you’re not) it’s probably a poor idea to charge your clients extra for getting their court records backdated [Charlotte Observer; ABA Journal; James Crouch, Wake County, N.C., takes plea and gives up law license]

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Free speech roundup

by Walter Olson on October 12, 2012

  • Why did Chevron subpoena a lawprof/blogger who took opposite side in Ecuador case? [Kevin Jon Heller, Opinio Juris]
  • “Paleo Diet Lawsuit Dismissed By Court in Blow to Free Expression” [Brian Doherty, Reason; earlier here, etc.]
  • “[National Hispanic Media Coalition] Renews Call for Federal Government to Study Hate Speech in Media” [Volokh]
  • Call for “oversight board of regional experts” to direct more YouTube takedowns [Ann Althouse]
  • No more dirty looks: North Carolina students now face possible jail time for what they say about teachers online [Reason]
  • Popehat sampler: “Schadenfreude Is Not A Free Speech Value; Holmes’s fire-in-theater quote the most “pervasive lazy cheat in American dialogue about free speech”; “Zampolit Angela McCaskill, Report For Reeducation.”
  • EU “terror” web-muzzle schemes: “We should start to freak out, but in a sort of preliminary way” [Ars Technica]

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Patrick at Popehat, who lives in Durham, N.C., interviewed his neighbors Gale and Elizabeth, who are a same sex couple, “about how Amendment One would affect them. This is what they had to say.” Earlier here (conservatives who oppose Amendment One include John Locke Foundation president John Hood) and here (most North Carolinians don’t realize measure would ban legal recognition of civil unions and domestic partnerships).

P.S. More from Richard Painter. And Gene Nichol (UNC Law) writes about the other time North Carolina amended its constitution to restrict marriage, which was back in 1875 [News & Observer]

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May 3 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 3, 2012

April 25 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 25, 2012

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The proposed constitutional amendment, which would ban legal recognition of nonmarital relationships, is opposed by figures that include John Locke Foundation president John Hood; Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.); noted foes of same-sex marriage David Blankenhorn and Elizabeth Marquardt (ban “goes too far“); and not least by Patrick at Popehat, who says, regarding the likelihood that the “parade of horribles” conceivable from the ban would ever come to pass in North Carolina, remembers the days “when I was represented in the United States Senate by Jesse Helms and John Edwards, simultaneously.”

Related: Moorfield Storey blog on Hayek and gay marriage.

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I’m quoted in this Carolina Journal article by Karen McMahan. “Chapel Hill became the first municipality in the nation to issue such a far-reaching ban when the town council enacted the measure March 26 by a 5-4 vote. The law goes into effect June 1.” Earlier on distracted driving here, etc.

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Kyle Graham asks why that variety of “heartbalm” action remains a vital and frequently used tort in the Tarheel State, but not elsewhere, though it remains on the books in ten or so other states. “The popularity of the tort in North Carolina suggests, at least to me, the importance of inertia and claim consciousness in tort law.”

Distantly related: demise of Breach of Promise to Marry laws linked to rise of engagement rings [Margaret Brinig via Matthew O'Brien via Sullivan]

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Is a pattern developing in North Carolina? First an official in that state sought an investigation of a man who prepared a traffic analysis for a neighborhood group agitating for traffic signals, on the grounds that he was practicing engineering without a license. [News & Observer] Now a blogger who offers dietary advice based on his own struggles against diabetes faces possible charges of practicing nutrition without a license [Diabetes Warrior; via Radley Balko, earlier]

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January 5 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 5, 2012

  • Big business vs. free markets again: light bulb makers “fuming” over GOP effort to restore consumer choice [Sullum] Large grocery chains like DC’s bag tax [Tim Carney]
  • Eeeuw! Bystander can sue train fatality victim whose body part flew through air and hit her [Chicago Tribune]
  • “Recommended Cell-Phone Ban Comes as ‘Shocking,’ ‘Heavy-Handed’ To Some” [Josh Long, V2M]
  • “Exploding churros are newspaper’s fault, Chilean court rules” [AP]
  • In New Jersey and North Carolina, GOP friends of trial bar block legal reform bills [Armstrong Williams, Washington Times]
  • Kozinski vs. ill-prepared lawyer in case of Sheriff Arpaio vs. newspaper that covered him [The Recorder; Phoenix New Times case]
  • Federal judges block cuts to in-home personal care services in California, Washington [Disability Law, San Francisco Chronicle, KQED]

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Today I’m talking to state legislators courtesy of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Next week I head off for luncheon talks about my new book Schools for Misrule before Federalist Society lawyers’ chapters in Greenville, S.C. on Wed. Dec. 7, and Charlotte, N.C. on Thurs. Dec. 8. And then the following week I keynote the annual luncheon of the Colorado Civil Justice League Dec. 13 in Denver. If you’re in the audience, do introduce yourself!

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Medical roundup

by Walter Olson on October 20, 2011

  • View from Massachusetts General Hospital: drug shortages getting “dire” [WBUR, earlier here, here, here, etc.]
  • Medical liability roundup: Sheriff arrives at Ohio doctor’s home to enforce $9.7 million award blaming lack of Caesarean section for cerebral palsy [TribToday] North Carolina legislature overrides Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of liability limits [News & Observer via White Coat] Trial-lawyer-friendly Florida Supreme Court could strike down malpractice award limits in pending case [Orlando Business Journal]
  • “Antitrust rules handcuff physician-led delivery models” [American Medical News]
  • Relatedly, who was it who imagined anonymous denunciation of doctors was going to be a good idea? [Jay Hopkinson via Larry Ribstein]
  • New Medicare paperwork threat to clinical trials? [Beck]
  • Study: Elected coroners less likely to label deaths as suicide than appointed counterparts, family’s access to insurance benefits may be factor [Kevin B. O'Reilly, American Medical News]
  • “Gee, why wouldn’t Obama administration want judges and “public interest” lawyers running its new health care law?” [Mickey Kaus on New Republic report]

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July 18 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 18, 2011

  • 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]

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A volunteer clearing debris after the recent tornado in north Minneapolis has been hit with a $275 fine for tree trimming without a license [Star-Tribune via Coyote]

More: In other legal news of tree-trimming, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has settled a battle with San Francisco neighbors over charges that the growth of their trees was spoiling his view [WSJ, more] And the city of Charlotte, N.C., has fined a local church $4,000, or $100 a branch, for excessively trimming crape myrtle trees on its own property under a city tree ordinance [Brittany Penland, Charlotte Observer via Amy Alkon]

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“From Winston-Salem to Nags Head, meat eaters are unable to order their burgers rare or even medium rare thanks to a state restriction that requires restaurants to cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit.” [Ben Muessig, AOL, related]

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