…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)
Satire by Kyle Graham about some high-level legal-literary feuding.
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.
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]
An uninvited-fax case gives the judge a chance to express some views on the typicality, credibility and adequacy of class representatives. [Trask]
Who could resist a headline like that? And the case is worth knowing about, filed by a hospital employee who seems to have jumped to the conclusion that “because her boss was a Southern Baptist and a ‘good ole boy,’ … he therefore had ‘inherent sexist attitudes.’” [Jay Lechner, Greenberg Traurig Labor and Employment Blog via Ohio Employer's]
Judge Posner caustically dispatches a fee request following the failure of a putative class action over alleged defects in Sears’ Kenmore clothes dryers [AmLaw]
Rex Carr of East St. Louis is fighting his former partners at Korein Tillery. [ABA Journal]