- “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]
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]
- “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]
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]
- Pittsburgh firm sued in W.V.: “Law Firm Hit With $429,000 Verdict Over Faked Asbestos Suits” [Daniel Fisher]
- “Mashantucket tribal leaders indicted in theft” [Norwich Bulletin; My 2004 take on Connecticut’s pioneering casino tribe]
- New Mexico: “Booster Club Parents Fed up with Regs” [Saving Sports] No, you can’t blame football for Title IX-driven cuts at Mount St. Mary’s [same; University of Maryland Big Ten angle]
- How about this compromise: Gannett publishes where gun owners live, but agrees to do so using Apple Maps.
- On a more serious note, some thoughts on the efficacy of popular gun-control measures in preventing mass shootings [Steve Chapman, Larry Correia, Cato on gun control] “During our negotiations, it wasn’t the NRA that was opposed to putting the names of people receiving anti-psychotic medication into the Instant Check database…it was advocates for the mentally ill.” [Josh Tzuker quoted by Tom Coale]
- “FBI Arrests 26 People for Immigration Fraud; 21 from Law Firms” [Legal Ethics Forum]
- Would anyone notice if we abolished the Cabinet position of Secretary of Commerce? [Ira Stoll]
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 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)]