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Richard Posner

October 3 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 3, 2014

  • Posner smacks lawyers, vindicates objectors in Radio Shack coupon settlement [CCAF, Fisher, more]
  • “Germany To Consider Ban On Late-Night Work Emails” [Alexander Kaufman, Huffington Post]
  • 7th Circuit overturns Wisconsin John Doe ruling, sends back to state judges [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, ruling; more, Vox] John Doe case prosecutor John Chisholm, via columnist Dan Bice, strikes back against source in office who talked to Stuart Taylor, Jr. [Taylor, Althouse]
  • Trial lawyer/massive Democratic donor Steve Mostyn also dabbles in Texas Republican primaries [Robert T. Garrett, Dallas Morning News; Mostyn's national spending from Florida and Arizona to New Hampshire and Minnesota]
  • Sad: immigration lawyer known for Iraqi Christian advocacy faces asylum fraud charges [Chicago Tribune]
  • Might have been entertaining had Bruce Braley opponent Joni Ernst in Iowa argued in favor of nullification, but that’s not what evidence shows [Ramesh Ponnuru]
  • California hobbles insurers with diverse-procurement regulations [Ian Adams, Insurance Journal]

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“A federal appeals court has rejected an ‘inequitable — even scandalous’ class-action settlement, removed the lead lawyer and reinstated ‘defrocked’ lead plaintiffs who had objected to the deal.” The ruling, involving a class action against the Pella Corp., window manufacturers, is another triumph for Ted Frank, former contributor to this blog and now a prominent objector through his Center for Class Action Fairness. [ABA Journal, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin ("attorneys would receive $11 million in fees while their clients would get, at most, $8.5 million — and likely much less")]

Over “incessant filing of frivolous lawsuits.” [Lowering the Bar, opinion in Conrad v. AM Community Credit Union et al. (PDF)]

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November 20 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 20, 2013

  • KlearGear and the consumer non-disparagement clause that ate (or tried to eat) Chicago [Popehat and followup]
  • “House Passes Bill That Would Open Asbestos Trusts To Scrutiny” [Daniel Fisher/Forbes, Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine]
  • Randy Maniloff interviews Judge Richard Posner on his new book Reflections on Judging [Coverage Opinions]
  • In a custody fight, anything can happen: “Dad Accused of ‘Unfit Parenting’ for Refusing to Take His Son to McDonalds” [TIME]
  • “Released after serving 10 years on false rape accusation –then wrongly arrested for not registering as sex offender” [Chicago Tribune via @radleybalko]
  • Institute for Justice launches campaign to challenge local restrictions on food with suits over sale of cottage baked goods, front-yard vegetable gardens, advertising of raw milk [AP/Yahoo, "National Food Freedom Initiative"]
  • Alabama regulators add hassle factor when business tries to move into the state [Coyote]

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…2. The new front-loading washers turn out to have novel maintenance issues. In particular, they may develop musty smells unless owners practice some combination of leaving doors open to vent, wiping down surfaces, and other steps. Some consumers are irritated at this and regret the purchase, others not.

3. Trial lawyers sue all the major makers in class actions saying the new designs are defective, even though Consumer Reports rates the new category of washer “best in class” despite its drawbacks.

4. One of these class actions lands before Judge Posner at the Seventh Circuit, and he rules for letting it go forward on a theory of “predominance” (do these plaintiffs all belong in the same suit, when many are experiencing no problem at all?) that varies interestingly from what people assumed the Supreme Court’s thinking was on that subject.

5. The U.S. Supreme Court decides (coming up momentarily) whether to grant certiorari in Sears v. Butler.

There isn’t actually a strong logical chain linking 1) through 5); it’s kind of happenstance that the case threw up an issue involving predominance that the Supreme Court might find worth its attention, as opposed to merely presenting an overall profile of “hasn’t the whole system just become a crazy way to enrich lawyers?” Because “hasn’t the whole system just become a crazy way to enrich lawyers?” doesn’t count as a well-formed question for certiorari. [Ted Frank, more, Daniel Fisher] (& cross-posted, adapted, at Cato at Liberty) Update: Court vacates and remands in light of Comcast.) (& thanks to Marissa Miller, SCOTUSBlog, for roundup link)

October 31 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 31, 2012

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Satire by Kyle Graham about some high-level legal-literary feuding.

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  • This is getting serious: “Patent troll targets Minecraft” [Rob Beschizza, BoingBoing] Are mainstream tech companies joining the patent-troll brigade? [WSJ Law Blog] Bessen-Meurer have another study of patent trolls out, this one suggests their direct costs to economy $29 billion a year [Joe Mullin, Ars Technica]
  • London Olympics games: you may link to our site only if not in a “derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner” [Popehat]
  • “Fan Fiction vs. Copyright – Q&A with Rebecca Tushnet” [Reason.tv]
  • Are the logos similar? Apparel maker Under Armour sues maker of “Body Armor” sports drink [Baltimore Sun]
  • “U.S. Patent System is Broken, Declares Judge in Android v. Apple Cases” [Posner; DailyTech] Posner “on Why he thinks There Are Too Many Patents in America” [Atlantic]
  • Startups: “Why do investors want founders to spend money and time on bogus patents?” [Cory Doctorow]

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July 17 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 17, 2012

  • Prediction: Homeland Security to emerge as major regulatory agency prescribing security rules to private sector [Stewart Baker] Regulators fret: air travel’s gotten so safe it’s hard for us to justify new authority [Taranto via Instapundit] “Romney’s regulatory plan” [Penn RegBlog]
  • Claim: frequent expert witness in Dallas court proceedings is “imposter” [PoliceMisconduct.net]
  • “‘Temporary’ Takings That Cause Permanent Damage Still Require Just Compensation” [Ilya Shapiro, Cato]
  • On the ObamaCare decision’s wild card, the ruling on “coercive” conditions on Medicaid grants under the Spending Clause [Mike McConnell, Ilya Somin] Ramesh Ponnuru argues that ruling is no victory for supporters of limited government [Bloomberg]
  • D.C.’s historic Shaw neighborhood near Cato Institute narrowly escaped planners’ bulldozer [Greater Greater Washington, WaPo]
  • Michelle Obama on the right track with an idea on occupational licensure but should take it farther [Mark Perry]
  • Everyone’s a judicial critic: Auto-Correct proposes replacing “Posner” with “Poisoner.”

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I’ve got a new essay up at The Atlantic, part of the “America the Fixable” series edited by Philip K. Howard. I have a bit of fun at the expense of the Harvard Law Review, raising the question of whether it should be held to lower standards than the Long Island tabloid Newsday, and cite such figures as Richard Posner, Elizabeth Warren, Ross Davies of George Mason, and the bloggers at Volokh Conspiracy and Balkinization.

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  • Deborah Gerhardt on the ruling in favor of an artist who paints Crimson Tide sports highlights without University of Alabama say-so [Deborah Gerhardt/Eric Goldman, earlier here, etc.]
  • Posner throws out Apple/Motorola case [Tabarrok, more]
  • Joinder of defendants allegedly violating same patent: “D.C. Court Ruling Makes Life Tougher For Patent Trolls” [Daniel Fisher, Forbes]
  • “Google, AOL Face Patent Suit Over ‘Snippet’ Search Results, Ads” [Justia]
  • “Absurd patent of the day, Apple re: wedge-shaped computers” [Tabarrok]
  • “Defensive Patent License: judo for patent-trolls” [Doctorow/BB]
  • Why are copyright terms so long? One theory [Julian Sanchez]

June 25 roundup

by Walter Olson on June 25, 2012

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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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Said Judge Posner, of an alleged serial spammer’s courtroom presentation. “It’s not only incompetent, it’s grotesque. You’ve got damages jumping around from $11 million to $130 million to $122 million to $33 million. In fact, the damages are probably zero.” [Timothy Lee, Ars Technica]

April 11 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 11, 2011

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An uninvited-fax case gives the judge a chance to express some views on the typicality, credibility and adequacy of class representatives. [Trask]

November 8 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 8, 2010

  • “Dad Settles Suit Against Crocs Over Daughter’s Escalator Injury” [ABA Journal, Knoxville News]
  • Almost unheard-of: “California state bar to investigate 130 prosecutors” [LEF]
  • Judge flays U.S.-based lawyer in Chevron-Ecuador suit [Law.com, more, Dan Fisher/Forbes]
  • “Federal Government Acknowledges Constitutional Limits on Housing Discrimination Law” [Eugene Volokh on HUD dismissal of "Christian-roommate" complaint, earlier]
  • “Brave and brilliant decision” from Judge Posner points way to provide relief from class action plaintiffs who won’t accept defeat [McConnell and Beck, Trask]
  • “Referring to Former Boss as Slimebag Does Not Constitute Disparagement, At Least in Ohio” [Robert Fitzpatrick]
  • “Couldn’t get elected dogcatcher” — actually, dogcatching’s harder than being a Senator [Christopher Beam, Slate]
  • Midterm election wipeout — for Republicans, that is [four years ago on Overlawyered]

September 23 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 23, 2010