Posts tagged as:


  • Why license plate scanning is an up-and-coming front in the surveillance wars [Radley Balko]
  • Prosecutor whose lapse sent innocent man to prison for 25 years will go to jail — for ten days [Adler, Shackford]
  • “Nurse fights charges she helped father commit suicide” [Phil. Inq., Barbara Mancini case, via @maxkennerly]
  • California inmates released, crime rates jump: a Brown v. Plata trainwreck? [Tamara Tabo, Heather Mac Donald/City Journal]
  • Driver arrested under Ohio’s new law banning hidden compartments in cars even though he had nothing illicit in the compartment [Shackford] Tenaha, Tex. traffic stops, cont’d: “Give Us Cash or Lose Your Kids and Face Felony Charges: Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?” [Ted Balaker/Reason, earlier]
  • Arizona Republic series on prosecutorial misconduct [4-parter]
  • Few act as if they care about Mr. Martin-Oguike’s fate at hands of a false accuser [Scott Greenfield]


From Cato Institute chairman Robert Levy, who was co-counsel in the landmark D.C. v. Heller case. [National Law Journal] More: Trevor Burrus, The Blaze. And the New York Times takes up the topic of guns and suicide, but with some pretty big omissions [Tom Maguire, Ira Stoll/SmarterTimes]

Further: “Senate Judiciary Committee Hears from Cato on Gun Policy” [Ilya Shapiro, citing contributions by David Kopel, Randy Barnett, etc.] And while Bing’s real-time reaction tracker isn’t a scientific voter survey (though the sample size is large, and there’s a partisan breakdown) it seems I was not alone in being put off by President Obama’s demagogic “they deserve a vote” State of the Union wind-up on gun control. [Mediaite]

Education roundup

by Walter Olson on May 9, 2012


“A federal judge Tuesday okayed a lawsuit claiming the City of Ithaca and Cornell University are liable for the 2010 death of a student.” The father of Bradley Marc Ginsburg “alleges the defendants did not do enough to prevent suicides from the [Thurston Avenue] bridge.” [Ithaca Independent]


November 24 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 24, 2010

  • Jack Park on Bruesewitz v. Wyeth vaccine preemption case at Supreme Court [Heritage]
  • Incidentally happening to assure lawyers more access to work: Harvard’s Tribe devises “access to justice” initiatives for Obama administration [BLT]
  • New Haven cops accidentally photograph themselves deleting video of an unlawful arrest [Balko]
  • How elite law culture miscomprehends the military [Second Circuit chief judge Dennis Jacobs speech at Federalist Society convention, YouTube]
  • “Later, Bad Lawyer”: a blogger heads to prison [Greenfield]
  • Reform medical liability? Depends on how badly you want neurosurgeons’ services [Michael Lavyne, NYDN]
  • “Cab-rank principle” in legal ethics explained [Lawyers' Lawyer, Australia; via Legal Ethics Forum]
  • $3.5 million award to unsuccessful suicide-while-in-custody is one of long series of such cases [six years ago on Overlawyered]

October 21 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 21, 2010

  • “Japanese landlords sue families of suicide victims” [Telegraph via Tyler Cowen]
  • Best candidate you’ve never heard of: lawprof Jim Huffman runs for a U.S. Senate seat in Oregon [Weekly Standard]
  • “Freedom of culinary expression: Chefs speak out on behalf of salt” ["My Food, My Choice" via Ponnuru, NRO]
  • “In-House Counsel Expect More Regulatory Litigation, Survey Finds” [NLJ]
  • “Oladiran’s ‘Motion of the Year’ Earns Him Sanctions” [AtL]
  • Resisting a music-delivery-system claim: “Patent Trolls and Public Goods” [Julian Sanchez]
  • More transparency for New Jersey lawyer/lawmakers? []
  • “Ninth Circuit: marine mammals don’t have standing…yet” [six years ago on Overlawyered]


How litigious can insurance companies be when they find themselves in the plaintiff’s seat during the process known as subrogation? This litigious, per Patrick at Popehat.


Citing text messages she sent her boyfriend shortly before the incident, Montana prosecutors contend that Justine Winter’s crash at 85 mph into an oncoming vehicle was a deliberate suicide attempt. Winter, who faces trial on homicide charges in the deaths of Erin Thompson, the woman she ran into, and Thompson’s 13-year-old son, has now sued Thompson’s estate as well as the construction company that built the interstate overpass where the accident occurred. [Daily Inter Lake, Siouxsie Law]


A lab technician in Bolton, Lancashire, U.K. kills himself after an offhand joke at his workplace is denounced as insensitive [Telegraph, Mail]


May 10 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 10, 2010

  • Failure to warn? “Non-Child Sues For Slide-Related Injury” [Lowering the Bar]
  • “AG Cuomo Sues Lawyer for Fraud, Says He Sold His Name to Debt Collector for $141K” [ABA Journal]
  • Ted Frank on his move to the Manhattan Institute and Point of Law [CCAF]
  • “Viacom is becoming a lawsuit company instead of a TV company” [Doctorow, BoingBoing]
  • UK: “NHS pays £10,000 to family of psychiatric patient who committed suicide” [Times Online]
  • American Cancer Society: federal advisory panel’s chemicals-cause-cancer alarms are overblown [NYTimes] More: Taranto, WSJ.
  • “Who Knew Bankruptcy Paid So Well?” [NYTimes]
  • Famed sleuth Bloomberg Holmes on the case: was the Pathfinder headed for a vile sodium den? [IowaHawk]

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And then sues would-be suicide over foot injury sustained in the jump. The unusual case reached an Illinois appellate court last year, which ruled that a suit could proceed against the would-be suicide, though not his wife, who had also been named as a defendant on the grounds that she had requested the plaintiff’s help. [Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog]


“See if you can figure out how the shock and sorrow of the young girl’s death got processed into criminal charges against 9 teenagers and whether this reaction is helpful or just.” [Ann Althouse]

More: there’s not enough in the article to reach conclusions either way, says Scott Greenfield.


“The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of a case against Wal-Mart for selling bullets to a person without requiring her to present an identification card as required by Illinois law. Candice Johnson later used the bullets to commit suicide.” [Day, MoreLaw]

A wrongful-death suit claims the TV host’s badgering drove a woman over the brink. [AP/L.A. Times, Brian Cuban; more on Grace, and our earlier coverage of this suit; OnPoint News]


Environmentalists have filed a lawsuit to block construction. [Santa Barbara Daily Sound via Popehat]


Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow John Avlon, in Forbes:

New York City spends more money on lawsuits than the next five largest American cities — Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix and Philadelphia — combined. The city’s $568 million outlay in fiscal year 2008 was more than double what it spent 15 years ago and 20 times what it paid in 1977.

And the odd and extreme cases continue:

A Brooklyn insurance investigator won $2.3 million this year after he tumbled onto the subway tracks with a 0.18 blood-alcohol level and lost his right leg. (“They’re not allowed to hit you just because you’re drunk and on the track,” his lawyer explained.) A corrections officer received $7.25 million after unsuccessfully attempting suicide, on the grounds that the city should not have permitted her to have a gun. (“Ms. Jones could just have easily turned her city-authorized firearm on anyone,” her lawyer said.)

The piece is adapted from a contribution to a City Journal symposium, “New York’s Tomorrow”, and there’s also an associated podcast (cross-posted from Point of Law). More: Eric Turkewitz talks back from a plaintiff’s point of view (“when you account for inflation, there really hasn’t been much change at all” [compared with 15 years ago)] (& welcome Above the Law, WSJ Law Blog readers)


In the S.F. Chronicle

by Walter Olson on May 25, 2009

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders discusses the large settlement paid by Santa Clara County to the family of Andrew Martinez, who suffered from schizophrenia and became famous as Berkeley’s “Naked Guy” before taking his own life in jail. She quotes me on the terrorizing effect of suing public managers individually and on the way outside direction of public agencies by litigators often (as consent decrees, court orders and legal avoidance layer one atop another) can add up to “management by no one at all.” [Debra Saunders, "A naked million", San Francisco Chronicle, May 24].


April 2 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 2, 2009

  • Topic we’ve covered before: should the MCAT exam for prospective M.D.s grant extra time to applicants with learning disabilities? [KevinMD]
  • Virginia blogger Waldo Jaquith fighting subpoena seeking identities of anonymous commenters [Citizen Media Law, earlier]
  • A free marketer’s case for why fired professor Ward Churchill might deserve to win his case against the University of Colorado [Coyote Blog]
  • She videotaped cops arresting her son. They took her camera. Could she have it back, please? [Ken @ Popehat]
  • Despite Obama campaign hints of Second Amendment truce, lower-level appointees far from gun-friendly [Dave Kopel] And new State Department legal advisor Harold Koh pushed international curbs on small-arms trade [Fonte, NRO "Corner"]
  • U.K.: “Man Who Attempted Suicide Sues Hospital that Saved Him” [Telegraph via Lowering the Bar]
  • National media jump on Luzerne County, Pa. judicial scandal, some details I hadn’t seen in earlier coverage [NYT, ABA Journal]
  • Atlanta jury — of 11 women and one lone guy — awards $2.3 million for circumcision injury [Fulton County Daily Report]