Posts tagged as:

Pittsburgh

  • “Emails show feds asking Florida cops to deceive judges by calling Stingrays ‘confidential sources.’” [Wired]
  • Trial penalty: mortgage fraud defendants in study fared far worse if they insisted on process of law to which they are notionally entitled under Constitution [Wes Oliver at Daniel Fisher's; more on joint Duquesne Law/Pittsburgh Post Gazette study from reporter Rich Lord, first, second]
  • “‘Florida’s Worst Cop’ Finally Convicted of Something, May Be Headed to Jail” [Ed Krayewski, Reason, earlier]
  • “Plans to expand scope of license-plate readers alarm privacy advocates” [Center for Investigative Reporting, earlier here, here, here, here, here] But at least our sensitive personal information will be safe with the government! [Lowering the Bar]
  • “Challenges to ‘shaken baby’ convictions mounting” [Wisconsin State Journal, earlier]
  • A Pavlik Morozov for the Drug War? “Brave” Minnesota 9-year-old hailed for turning in parents on pot rap [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, background on Soviet youth hero]
  • “Police SWAT teams in Massachusetts form private corporations, then claim immunity from disclosure laws” [Radley Balko via @gabrielroth, more from ACLU report on police militarization]

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Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer Daniel Muessig has set the bar high [Deadspin] More: Scott Greenfield, and yet more about whether criminal defense lawyers really do those things.

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The parents of a man killed in a 3 a.m. altercation outside the Original Hot Dog Shop in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood have sued the shop’s owners, saying the failure to provide security personnel “was an outrageous, reckless and callous act, in disregard for the safety of its patrons.” [Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

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February 3 roundup

by Walter Olson on February 3, 2014

  • “Class counsel in Facebook ‘Sponsored Stories’ case seeks to impose $32,000 appeal bond on class-action objectors” [Public Citizen, Center for Class Action Fairness]
  • The best piece on bar fight litigation I’ve ever read [Burt Likko, Ordinary Gentlemen]
  • Casino mogul Adelson campaigns to suppress online gaming; is your state attorney general among those who’ve signed on? [PPA, The Hill]
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): “Anyone who values the rule of law should be alarmed by the ADM enforcement action.” [Mike Koehler]
  • New FMCSA rules on length of workweek make life difficult for long-haul truckers [Betsy Morris, WSJ via Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven, National Review and more]
  • “It takes a remarkable amount of nerve to cobble together publicly available facts, claim you’ve uncovered a fraud on the government, and file a lawsuit from which you could earn substantial financial benefits.” [Richard Samp, WLF] Whistleblower-law lobby tries to get its business model established in West Virginia [W.V. Record]
  • Pittsburgh readers, hope to see you tomorrow at Duquesne [law school Federalist Society]

In Pittsburgh Feb. 4

by Walter Olson on January 16, 2014

I’ll be speaking at Duquesne Law.

“A federal judge has tripled the damages awarded against two former members of a Pittsburgh law firm and the radiologist they were found to have conspired with to fabricate asbestos claims in West Virginia.” [Chamber-backed WV Record] Many claims based on medical evidence supplied by the radiologist, Dr. Ray Herron, were among those dismissed in 2005 by federal judge Janis Graham Jack in an opinion in which she wrote, “These diagnoses were driven by neither health nor justice – they were manufactured for money.” In June 2013 the editorialists of the New York Times hilariously wrote that “there is no persuasive evidence of any significant fraud or abuse” in asbestos claiming.

“Four Pittsburgh firefighters are suing seven companies that manufacture fire trucks or sirens, claiming they’ve lost hearing due to the blaring sirens. … They contend the manufacturers should have insulated the sirens to protect their hearing and/or provided warnings about their use.” [Claims Journal]

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January 9 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 9, 2013

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It might be more accurate to identify the protagonist in this little tale as a class action law firm, rather than as a California “fan”:

Fred Weiss is the only plaintiff named in the class-action suit. In it, he claims he suffered “actual harm” because he was “subjected to the aggravation that necessarily accompanies the invasion of privacy caused by unsolicited text message calls, but also because consumers have to pay their cell phone service providers for the receipt of such wireless calls.” Weiss is bringing the suit under a federal law that prohibits unsolicited texts. …

The terms and conditions of the text program said the Pens would send no more than three messages per week for those who chose to subscribe. In his first week as a subscriber, Weiss claims the Pens sent him five texts. In the second week, Weiss says he got four.

The Edelson class-action firm of Chicago is one we have met before. [DeadSpin]

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The kids were playing on swings and were fine while the father ran errands and took a shower at the gym, but police charged him with child endangerment. [Free-Range Kids; Chartiers Valley Patch (suburban Pittsburgh)]

Also via Free-Range Kids: more on play date and birthday party liability waivers [Today Moms; earlier here, etc.]

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I’ll be discussing Schools for Misrule today at Syracuse University College of Law, tomorrow in Cleveland at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at 4 p.m., and Thursday in Pittsburgh at noon at Pitt Law with critical commentary from Prof. Peter Oh. Federalist Society student chapters are sponsoring the events, which are open to the public. Come out and introduce yourself!

Thanks to my hosts over the past two weeks at Fordham (where I debated Prof. Zephyr Teachout), Brooklyn Law School, and Yale (where Prof. John Fabian Witt contributed generous comments).

Why not book me to speak at your own city or campus? You can contact me directly at editor – at – overlawyered – dot – com, call the Cato Institute at 202-789-5269, or, if you’re a Federalist Society chapter, through the Society’s home office.

BusStopAdGreedyAttys

A park-bench ad — and really, what better way to select a lawyer for an important matter? — advertises “Injury Law Group, LLC — Successful, Greedy, Attorneys — We Won’t Let You Settle Cheap.” [@mattniemi] The sponsors appear to be this Pittsburgh-based lawyer network.

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January 21 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 21, 2012

  • Because judges should decide cases the way clamoring crowds want them to: “Occupy the Courts” [Althouse, Somin, earlier] Pittsburgh lawprof: bank’s office park has become public forum and is ours to seize [Daily Caller]
  • Some reactions to Megaupload indictment [Julian Sanchez, Ken at Popehat]
  • Kozinski, others trade quips at oral argument in Disneyland Segway ADA case [Courthouse News via Disabilities Law, earlier] “Ouch! Judge Posner eviscerates both a damages expert and the trial judge who let him testify against FedEx” [Technology Law Notes]
  • Victim of NYC gun laws: “Free Meredith Graves” [NRO] “NYC Business Bled To Death Over Toy Guns” [Moonbattery]
  • “Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Swipe: A Critique of the Infancy Rule in the Federal Credit Card Act” [Andrew Schwartz (Colorado), SSRN, via Ted Frank]
  • Federal drug cops unapologetic about role in Adderall shortage [Rob Port] A failure of central planning [Reuters, Jacob Sullum and more ("Does the DEA know what 'quota' means?")] Some trial lawyers pushing to ban the drug [via Ted Frank].
  • Go, my child, and steal no more: TSA agents who pilfered $40K from luggage get six months [AP via Balko]

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August 4 roundup

by Walter Olson on August 4, 2011

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Cleveland federal judge Donald Nugent has dismissed a disabled-access lawsuit by Bonnie Kramer against a real estate management company and allowed a counterclaim to go forward against Kramer and her lawyers “alleging abuse of process, fraud, civil conspiracy to commit fraud, spoliation and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations violations”. Kramer, a self-styled “tester”, has been plaintiff in more than 100 actions under the ADA. [Andrew Longstreth, American Lawyer] More on “Disabled Patriots of America” group: Charlie Deitch, Pittsburgh City Paper.

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August 21 roundup

by Walter Olson on August 21, 2009

  • NYC criminal defense lawyer and TV commentator Robert Simels convicted of witness tampering in closely watched case [NY Daily News and more, NYLJ, Greenfield, Simon/Legal Ethics Forum]
  • Title IX suit says harassment by other students pushed school girl into anorexia, school should pay [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
  • Federal judge upholds some Louisiana restrictions on lawyer advertising, but says rules on Internet communication unconstitutionally restrict speech [WAFB, Ron Coleman]
  • “Woman Claims Display Was So Distracting, She Fell Over It” [Lowering the Bar; Santa Clara County, Calif. Dollar Tree]
  • Associated Press now putting out softer line on blogger use of its copy, but is it a trap? [Felix Salmon, earlier]
  • Update: Google ordered to identify person who set up nasty “skank” blog to attack NYC model [Fashionista, earlier here and here]
  • Some speak as if lawsuits over “alienation of affections” a thing of the past, alas not so [Eugene Volokh, more, yet more; earlier]
  • Connecticut: “State Holds Hearing On Whether Group Can Hand Out Food To The Poor” [Hartford Courant; "Food Not Bombs" group at Wesleyan]

Note: post was mistakenly titled as “August 22 roundup” at first, now fixed; thanks to reader Jonathan B. for catching.

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Former state Superior Court judge Michael Joyce, of Erie, “was sentenced this afternoon to nearly four years in prison.” Joyce’s bogus claims of neck and back pain after a rear-ending had netted him $440,000 in settlements; “the judge filed his claims on judicial letterhead, [Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian] Trabold said, and referred to himself as a judge 115 times in the letters.”

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Reading from the weekend:

  • At the American Spectator, Quin Hillyer says his co-thinkers “need to really get up newcriterionin arms about” changing the law, and has kind words for a certain website that is “the single best place to track all its devastation”. At The New Criterion, Roger Kimball finds that the threat to vintage children’s books provides a good instance of the dangers of “safety”. And commentator Hugh Hewitt is back with another column, “The Congress Should Fix CPSIA Now“.
  • Numerous disparaging things have been said of the “mommy bloggers” who’ve done so much to raise alarms about this law. Because, as one of Deputy Headmistress’s commenters points out, it’s already been decided that this law is needed to “protect the children”, and it’s not as if mere mothers might have anything special to contribute about that.
  • Plenty of continuing coverage out there on the minibike/ATV debacle, including Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (office of local Congressman Mike Doyle, D-Pa., says most members think, dubiously, that ban “can be fixed without new legislation”); Lebanon, Pa. (“Ridiculous… It’s closed an entire market for us”), Waterbury, Ct. (“The velocipedesadgovernment does stupid things sometimes without thinking”), and, slightly less recent, Atlantic City, N.J. (“I would’ve had three sales this weekend, so they stomped us”). Some background: Off-Road (agency guidance in mid-February told dealers to get youth models “off their showfloors and back into holding areas”); Motorcycle USA (“With right-size models being unavailable to families, we may see more kids out on adult ATVs and we know that this leads to crashes”). To which illustrator Meredith Dillman on Twitter adds: “Just wait until someone gets hurt riding a broken bike they couldn’t get replacement parts for.”
  • One result of CPSIA is that a much wider range of goods are apt to be subject to recalls, but not to worry, because the CPSC recall process is so easy and straightforward.

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