“Dominique Sharpton posted pictures to Instagram showing she completed a difficult mountain climb in Bali, Indonesia — even though her suit says that ‘she still suffers’ debilitating pain after twisting her ankle in a street crack in Soho last year.” [New York Post and more (“Al Sharpton’s daughter sues city for $5M after spraining ankle”)]
They say the neon lights are doomed on Broadway:
The feds say many of Times Square’s huge and neon-lit billboards must come down or the city will lose about $90 million in federal highway money.
The edict comes from a 2012 law that makes Times Square an arterial route to the national highway system. And that puts it under the 1965 Highway Beautification Act, which limits signs to 1,200 square feet. It took the feds until now to realize that Times Square was included, Kramer reported.
Blame lawmakers, not the current DoT administrators, says Marc Scribner of CEI:
This is a classic example of Congress passing stupid laws, ordering regulators to implement them stupidly, and then forgetting about them until unintended consequences spring up down the line.
- Driver’s license suspensions, which many states use to punish unpaid court debt and other offenses unrelated to driving skill, can accelerate spiral into indigency [New York Times]
- Your war on distracted driving: woman says she received $200 ticket “for putting on lip balm at a red light.” [KLAS Las Vegas, Nev.]
- “Of Course We Have No Ticket Quotas, But ….” [Lowering the Bar; Edmundson, Mo., in St. Louis County; Mariah Stewart, Huffington Post on revenue generation in Berkeley, Mo., and other neighboring towns; Scott Greenfield (“Ferguson: Where Everyone’s a Criminal”)]
- Yet more on St. Louis County: it started with a “defective muffler” stop in Florissant [Riverfront Times]
- NYC: “Speed cameras lead to surge in tickets and $16.9M in revenue for city” [NY Daily News]
- New Los Angeles parking signs explain it all for you, also recall design of craps table [Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing]
- Virginia: “How Police Drones and License-Plate Readers Threaten Liberty” [A. Barton Hinkle; related, Jim Harper/D.C. Examiner]
At least one contributor to the NYT’s “Room for Debate” roundtable seems confident lawmakers can finesse the First Amendment dangers of proposals broad enough to criminalize some instances of saying “hello” to a stranger on the street. Scott Greenfield offers one criminal defense lawyer’s perspective.
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: “A jury in a Luzerne County civil case ruled that PennDOT was partially responsible for a deadly crash in 2011 that killed a 15-year-old girl, even though the driver of the SUV was driving at roughly twice the speed limit and did not have a driver’s license.” While the driver admitted he was going nearly 90 miles an hour when he lost control, the family’s lawyer “told jurors in closing arguments that PennDOT’s own manuals showed Suscon Road needed more so-called chevron signs that reflect light and warn of an upcoming sharp curve.” [WNEP]
- Florida judge strikes down state’s workers comp system [Insurance Journal, WorkersCompensation.com, David DePaolo, Bradenton Herald]
- State of Washington will pay $10 million to family on theory it should have closed highways earlier in ice storm [Seattle Times]
- “Allegations that biglaw aided concealment of asbestos torts survives at the pleading stage” [John Steele, Legal Ethics Forum]
- “Pennies for Plaintiffs, Millions for Lawyers” — but some judges revolt [Megan McArdle, Bloomberg]
- Trial lawyers gain sympathetic press ear for suits over lack of bollards in front of stores as precaution against runaway drivers [Fair Warning]
- …similarly for suits seeking to abolish “Baseball Rule,” obtain damages when foul balls strike spectators [Bloomberg, earlier]
- More on California car dealer’s suit against asbestos law firm [Legal NewsLine, earlier]
- Among convict’s assortment of doomed pro se arguments: blaming Nike for not warning that its shoes might be injurious when used in stomping a victim [Oregon, Lowering the Bar]
- Reinstated University of Colorado “deviance” prof: colleges sacrifice academic freedom to risk/liability fears [Chronicle of Higher Education]
- Wisconsin court ruling “deals major setback to John Doe probe into recall elections” [Daniel Bice and Dave Umhoefer, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, earlier] About that Wisconsin Blue Fist: “what it was noisy about was a desire to be the clunking fist of state power” [Ann Althouse]
- Obama Administration’s “pursuit of group justice actually leads to injustice to individual students” [Mona Charen, syndicated, on the new racial guidelines on school discipline, and thanks for quote]
- Andrew Trask’s picks of 2013’s most significant class action cases and articles;
- Slate legal columns, like horoscopes, should be labeled “for entertainment only” [Ramesh Ponnuru]
- Remembering the days when Americans filed legal challenges against parking meters [Brian Doherty]
The lawsuit, which contends that the politically motivated closure of two bridge lanes from Fort Lee by Christie advisors with resulting traffic jams was a deprivation of “liberty,” was filed by attorney Rosemarie Arnold, who’s run some attention-getting TV ads in the past. [UPI]
P.S. From Widener lawprof John Culhane, a more serious look. “IRB/Human Subjects form from the Chris Christie bridge scandal” (humor, Kieran Healy) And Steve Chapman: “Anytime someone wants to expand some power of government, here’s what you should assume: [Bridget Anne] Kelly and [David] Wildstein will be the ones exercising it.”
A group in Iceland has sued to block construction of highway arguing (among other things) that it would disturb the ancient elves or “hidden folk” of the Icelandic countryside. “The group also claims the area the new highway would run through is of particular importance because it contains an elf church. A 2007 survey by the University of Iceland found that while only 8 percent of the population believe in elves, 54 percent would not actually deny their existence.” [PBS]